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Buttermilk, onionskin?

Josefly | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

I just browsed a little on Emmaonesock.com, and saw some wonderful fabrics. But I have no idea what “buttermilk” is, or “onionskin”, or really, mesh. I think I may have seen some mesh, a printed, stretchy, polyester? sheer, that I’ve seen made into t-shirts and flouncy lined skirts. The buttermilk is polyester and lycra, or rayon and lycra? The onionskin is 100% polyester. Has anyone used these fabrics?


  1. KarenW | | #1

    I've used both - I buy a lot from Emmaonesock (excellent service).  The buttermilk is a really smooth poly knit, every top I've made from her buttermilk fabrics has been soft and comfortable and greatly admired by others (note though, it is poly so in hot or humid environments you may not be comfortable - I'm usually cold so it's ok).  The mesh is not usually as sheer/see through as a mesh you might find on some of those swimwear wrap skirt coverup type garments - you can sometimes get away with one layer or underline the body and leave the sleeves unlined.    The onionskin has a sort of "parchment" texture, sometimes crinkly. 

    Linda, the owner, is very good about sending out swatches - on each fabric on the top right there's an option to "request swatch" - this might be the best way to get a piece in your hand to see if firsthand and compare the different fabrics.


    1. Josefly | | #2

      Thank you. I'm interested in the buttermilk, though for Atlanta's climate maybe it's only for fall/winter use. The mesh - is it stretchy? Is it the kind of mesh that might be used in athletic wear, that I might've seen in tanks, etc, for cool-wear? And what have you made from the onionskin? I will definitely get some swatches, but I'm wondering if the onionskin is sort of like a stiff silk organza? I have been so dependent on Hancock's for fabrics that I guess I've been missing out on some new things. Joan

      1. woodruff | | #3

        The onionskin is very stretchy, but also VERY soft, light, and drapy, not at all like an organza. On another sewing site, a number of women have made panties of it!

        1. Josefly | | #5

          Thanks. Wow, this looks like an interesting fabric. I'm eager to get my hands on some.

      2. SewNancy | | #4

        On all the fabrics Linda has wonderful instructions and descriptions of the fabrics. Send for samples, they come quickly. But don't wait to order, things sell out quickly.

        1. Josefly | | #6

          Thanks for that advice. I'm going to ask for some swatches immediately. But since I need to see and feel the fabric, I won't know yet what I might do with it. I'll bear in mind though, that I might miss out on the fabric if I don't order quickly. In fact when I went to the Emmaonesock site, all the buttermilk had been sold out at that point, though some more was expected in soon.

          1. woodruff | | #8

            Ah, Emmaonesock! Such nice stuff. I find her descriptions and color representations so good that, so far, I have only needed to send one piece (out of LOTS) back because it was not quite as it appeared.

          2. Josefly | | #9

            Thanks for that reassurance. I had not, when I first posted this question, actually "clicked" on a thumbnail photo to take me to the larger picture and text description of the fabrics - what a good description, with suggestions for uses, and the sewing tips and laundering options. I still want to order some of the buttermilk, but at my last checking a few days ago, it was all sold out!

  2. Ckbklady | | #7

    Wow - thank you for posting this question. I had never heard of buttermilk or onionskin and would have guessed that they were fancy names for colors. Nice to learn something so unusual.


    :) Mary

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