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The International Textile Expo Hits Las Vegas

This fabric reminds me so much of LasVegas I had to start with it. Paved with square sequins this fabric changes tones by how it plays with the light.

I love independent fabric merchants and independent pattern companies, so it was a special treat for me to attend the International Textile Expo in LasVegas recently. This is an event for fabric merchants to stock their stores, and a place for independent pattern companies to show their lines to merchants. This is not an event for the public at large, but as a member of the press I was allowed behind the scenes where none of us normally get to go—consider me your personal spy. Here are some of the things I saw:

Sequins – this fabric reminds me so much of LasVegas I had to start with it. Paved with square sequins this fabric changes tones by how it plays with the light.


Ruffles – you can sew layers of premade ruffles or buy ruffled fabric to get the look—with ruffles any width or color.


It is hard to describe this fabric because it has so many dimensions—it’s part lace, part appliqué for magnificent depth and texture.

This fabric is another combination of lace and fabric components assembled in a dramatic and stunning result. Your dealer can find fabrics such as these at Royal Fashion Centre Inc.


So many textures, weights, fibers. Fabric is anything but boring. There are fabrics out there the likes of nothing you have ever seen.


Pick your bling. You can have rhinestones or studs merged with fabric like walls of diamonds or suits of armor.


Silk velvet, silk devore, silk charmeuse, and kimono silk crepe to name a few. In one booth you could fine enough silk to keep you happy for a lifetime. These came from Exotic Silks.


Oil cloth—how often do you see oilcloth in a fabric store? Not too. It’s still made and in wonderful colors and patterns. Every child should grow up with an oilcloth table cloth under their morning cereal. You can find it at Oilcloth by the Yard.


Buckles I’m so happy to know that some of these things still exist for the home sewer. You can buy buttons and buckles and all kinds of wonderful hardware for your creations. Ask your dealer to find these at S. Axelrod.


What a delight to see the hard-to-find tools you’re always looking for in one place.

Follow some of these links to take a peek at what these distributors have to offer and if you see things you like ask your dealer to order them for you. This feather wig comes from Zucker Feather Products.


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  1. abfababfab | | #1

    Thank you for giving us a taste of what is there to come in the future. Love it, the lace is beautiful. I especially like the white one with the roses sort of hidden in the fabric. You tell you where the other fabrics come from but not that one. Is that fabric for sale anywhere? It'll be so amazing as the top of a weddingdress. Could you find out where we can buy it ? Thanks so much !

  2. just jane | | #2

    What a feast for the eye and the imagination and with
    web addresses.
    Thank you for being a personal spy.

  3. LaurieDiane | | #3

    The 3rd and 4th fabric in particular. I can't help but wonder how that fabric is even made and what cost it must be ..Can it be made by machine...yards and yards of it or who and how many people are putting it all together! I can only think how much time it would take me! thank you for giving us a glimpse into this wonderful place we would all like to see!!! Now I must visit Axelrods...

  4. appliquegirl | | #4

    I am astonished by the complexities of the fabrics available by the yard. I assume they must be couture fabrics. Thank you for the opportunity to see what is being produced in the textile field. Also thanks for the opportunity to drool all over my keyboard.

  5. User avater
    NoSmallThing | | #5

    Thank you for a peek into future fabrics. Being a "fabri-alcholic I am anxiously awaiting these to hit the stores.

  6. ebd | | #6

    Thanks for adding the web sites! Really interesting, makes you wish you owned a fabric store!!

  7. Sewandsews | | #7

    It truly was an amazing event to attend! Row after row of fabric, trims, patterns and accessories. As a new independent fabric store owner this is where I do my bi-annual shopping. So to answer abfababfabs question, look around locally for these wonderful fabrics. Many of the vendors at this market don't sell to large retailers, but to us smaller shops. My little shop is in Eastern NC, and I don't sell on-line, just locally, however many other small retailers do. I did see Judith Neukam there when I was coming out of a training session. I felt like I was in the presence of a celebrity!

  8. User avater
    packrat1 | | #8

    The email newsletter asked us to comment here on what sewing embellishments we currrently love working with.

    I love beading on fabric. And I became a crocheter/knitter a few years ago, so I am now looking to incorporate those. I also love to check out the local sewing and craft stores for cute pre-made trims after I've been clothes shopping.

    One project I am contemplating, I have a black, heavy denim vest that would make a great autumn jacket with the addition of knitted or crocheted sleeves. I'll draft a sewing pattern first for the shaping, then calculate stitches for a yarn.

    Some of the other embellishments I have recently done (or are on my TO DO list) are:

    - frayed fabric rose trim (sew-on) for a sweater (similar to the white fabric shown in the article)
    - two fabric (sew-on) appliques for a cardigan sweater; also changed the buttons
    - a length of chain, flat shell beads, and organza ribbon to spruce up a blouse neckline in an improvised design
    - alpaca yarn crocheted into detachable lace cuffs
    - organza ruffle edging glued along the top-line of a pair of evening shoes
    - simple iron-on rhinestone designs for a couple long sleeve tee tops
    - lots of crochet thread for simple edgings and motifs to fill in low necklines

    I haven't used any spray fabric paint yet, but just got some to try a scrunched design on a tee.

  9. sewcietymaven | | #9

    More info please. That was just a tease.

  10. Moonbeams | | #10

    Thanks for being our personal "spy" and giving us the scoop. I hope my local fabric store gets some of those ruffles by the yard. I would love to start using them!!


  11. agatha44 | | #11

    Thank you for being our behind the scenes person. I just love the gorgeous fabric.

  12. DebsThreads | | #12

    Hi Judith -
    Oh I wish I had been in Vegas when you were - what a treat to attend this. As one of the other posts asked, do you know who manufactured that incredibly gorgeous part lace/part embroidery piece that you showcased? I've got to find some of this - I'm on the hunt and can't stop now till I find it.
    Do you know if it was from Royal Fabrics?
    And I'll see you in October (I hope) at the ASDP conference in Portland!! Who knows,if I can find that fabric, it may wind up in one of my fashion show pieces!

  13. anitat | | #13

    please help me find resources for the "part lace/part applique" You feature a recent article on a person making custom "show shirts" for equestrian competitors. This "part lace/part applique" is another example of fabrics for the show shirts. I live in Alaska and have not been able to find sources on the internet. Please help and thanks for this article ... very inspiring!

  14. gillzach | | #14

    I just returned from 5 days in Paris, and on my very first day, from the lookout at Sacre-Coeur, I saw below me a building with big letters: TISSUS. I ended up spending over an hour in a trims shop, and while for a few seconds I dreamed of asking for two metres of just about everything (so as not to spend the rest of the day there), I finally settled on a 2-inch-wide, crocheted, stretchy, woolley, ruffle trim in a dark blue. It's very soft-looking but not floppy. I am thinking of a fitted blouse in blue knit with lace around neckline and cuffs (a la 1940s). The second trim is a straight, soft grey embroidery on tulle, about 2 inches wide--it has a real heft in the hand. I'm imagining a blouse with vertical inserts for that, or perhaps a straight grey silk skirt for evening with the trim horizontal at the bottom. I also saw very wide trim with the square sequins as shown above! I was kicking myself for not having brought an inventory of my fabrics with me because I could have used it--a good lesson for the future. The other amazing place I found was a leather producer in the flea market, who had the most gorgeous lambskins in all kinds of colors, and a few shagreen and patent-treated skins. I've been wanting to make my own gloves, but that has to wait until next time!

  15. Michelina | | #15

    Judith, So good to see your smiling face before we read the article!! The fabrics are fantastic and I can't wait to get to see them in person! All the links have been added to my favorites for future rainy day browsing. Thank you for another great glimpse of future sewing projects!

  16. Krixin | | #16

    Hun, please check your links. Many of them are not formatted correctly and don't take you to the correct place. Great pics and article, though! Loved drooling over it!

  17. judyhouston | | #17

    Liked the article but am left with many questions. Are the fabrics shown because the author liked them or are they 'a sign of things to come' ? Are sequins here for while?. Please someone tell me that. Especially the first featured fabric. A few weeks ago there was a foto on her show of Martha Stewart wearing a FANTASTIC pair of gold sequin pants with a casual navy silk top that was cut like a loose t-shirt. I would make an outfit like that if I knew I could wear those pants for a few years...... thx

  18. User avater
    stitchhappy | | #18

    For those of you who asked about the sources that I didn't include--I have lost track of them. But, go to your favorite independent fabric store and show them the photo. There were many fabrics of this nature available from different vendors, your dealer can find the fabric for you. It's good to start up a dialogue with your dealer so they will know what you want when they are placing their orders.

  19. photomom | | #19

    I used to live in Las Vegas; and I do so again after being away for ten years. Just a note for those who live in Vegas. There is a fabric store called Heddy's Fabrics that is the absolute best!! Heddy has been in town for over forty years and her clients consist of many from the hotels. If you live in Las Vegas or are visiting sometime and you are a seamstress, you must visit her store. It's on 5411 West Charleston. I don't waste time going anyplace else. Heddy's Fabrics will have just what I need. So, when I can't go to the International Textile Exp, I go to Heddy's. (Wish I could go, though!)

  20. Jill_a_Lynn | | #20

    I am glad to see the fabrics, but often have a hard time finding even the most simple fabrics locally. Alas, many fine stores have gone by the wayside. Because I love interesting fabrics, sometimes I want to learn to make the embellishments myself. Some of the stitches that I can't replicate on my electronic sewing machine are the chain stitch that is seen in a lot of embroidered fabrics, and the 6 thread cover stitch that is so popular on sports clothes. They can be very interesting on a very simple fabric that I can source locally. I would like to see sources for these types of stitches.

  21. DebsThreads | | #21

    I found that incredible part lace/part embroidery fabric. If you are interested in purchasing some, please e-mail me at [email protected] and I'll fill you in. It's gorgeous!

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