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Conversational Threads

What’s your favorite fabric?

karen_morris_ | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

I’ve been floating around here for about a month as a web host, reading a lot and answering a few questions. I’m curious to hear about people’s favorite fabric, either to sew or to wear. What do you love? It’s okay to mention more than one….


  1. sanderson | | #1

    I just fall in love with fabrics with delightful weaves. I play with reversing and sometimes pull threads out of chunks or stripes and then reweave a design back into the pulled area.

    1. silkscape_ | | #2

      *Hi, Karen,Linen, without a doubt. It always feels comfortable and elegant to wear. It's easy to work with, durable, washable, versatile. And, I get some pleasure out of the fact that it is an "ancient" and time honored fabric.

      1. karen_morris_ | | #3

        *dawn, and linen never wears out! i love this fabric too, especially fine handerchief linen. they find it in tombs thousands of years old, and the fabric is still intact. and it gets better the more it's washed (as long as you iron bright colors on the wrong side....)sanderson, you're 'new' weaves sound very interesting. i've never tried that. do you have any close-up pix that you could post here? i love fabrics with waffley texture, like pique. i have a piece of cotton/lycra pique, which has a wonderful but subtle stretch (probably 1% lycra). i haven't decided what to do with it yet.

        1. Shannon_Gifford | | #4

          *Karen, I love all the new fabrics with lycra added. I have a piece of wool crepe with lycra in my stash now that is crying to be sewn...but other items must come first:0 I also love linen; here in the south, it is almost a year round fabric. I like to wash my linens several times so I don't have to iron them. I also love all kinds of silks. I have not met a silk that didn't impress me;) Lately, it has been fun changing the textures of my stash fabrics by acid-washing some of the silks, bleaching linens that were ugly, that kind of thing. I guess my favorite fabric is the one I am working on at any given moment...I just LOVE fabric!

          1. silkscape_ | | #5

            *Hi, Shannon!I have some linen with lycra in it. It's one of the nicest things I've worked with, and extrememly comfy.What do you think of silk noil? I want to try this since I saw some hand painted garments in it that were breathtaking. More than that, i just liked the way it hung, not too stiff or too drapey, nice for blouses or loose pants. and I understand that it is washable. I have also come to understand that it stinks (though the samples I saw didn't, but I have had raw silk tweed that did, and it was fairly annoying), and is sort of the "poor man's silk". Well, I think I'll try it none the less. Thing is, for me, I never know what fabrics to use for tops in the fall/winter. I dont' want wool b/c it is too warm and I want washable. Dont' want overyly drapey things b/c I am just very casual adn want things that feel like wearing favorite jeans and tee shirts, but nicer.

          2. Shannon_Gifford | | #6

            *I just finished a top made of silk noil; I think of it as a linen substitute. It drapes and looks very much like a linen, but with fewer wrinkles. Some of it doesn't wash particularly well (a red dress in my closet comes to mind which is faded), otherwise, it is easy to work with. The smell fades over time:)

          3. silkscape_ | | #7

            *Thanks, Shannon. I'm going to go ahead and order some. figures, it was red I was after. But maybe if I wash it with vinegar....Besides, when I have fabric that has faded, I figure to myself...well, I'm not going to wear it like this anyway so I might as well throw it in the washer with some dye and see what happens. I've had good luck so far! I just use the RIT dyes available anywhere and sometimes I'll combine colors. It's kind of exciting and much safer than sky diving. take care

          4. karen_morris_ | | #8

            *Shannon, let me know what you make with the wool/lycra crepe. it sounds great. the wonderful thing about lycra blends is that they fit my requirement for clothing that looks like you're dressed, but feels like pajamas....(and i try to always wear this kind of clothing). want to share your acid-washing technique with us? my ex- just bought a hideous pair of plaid shorts on sale, and i suggested that he bleach the heck out of them. they came out great, like a soft, aged madras plaid.dawn, i haven't seen any linen/lycra, or i surely would've bought it! where did you find this?

          5. Shannon_Gifford | | #9

            *Karen, the particular piece of wool/lycra crepe that is waiting for me has another interesting feature. There are splattered spots of what looks like rubber all over the surface in a border print effect. I bought it because it was so unusual...it is probably going to become a really "artsy" jacket. I have some moleskin-fake-fur that looks incredible sitting next to it and I think they are destined to be a part of one another:) The whole idea is still in the percolation stage....no coffee, yet!LOLI have seen linen/lycra a couple of times; there are a few internet sources. I'll look them up and report back.

          6. karen_morris_ | | #10

            *Shannon, I tried to answer you several days ago and my computer crashed, and I just realized that it didn't go through. This wool crepe sounds amazing. I'm visualizing it as black with black rubber splats....is that right? It could either be a very 'artsy' jacket, or it could be a prim little 50s suit with fake-fur collar and cuffs, and then it will cause people to do a double-take when they get closer and see the fabric....Maybe you'll let us know what you end up doing with it. I'd love to hear, or even see a pic? I think it's fairly easy to post a photo here. (hint.)

          7. Shannon_Gifford | | #11

            *I'll see what I can do. BTW, since you're doing the "host" routine; where can we get info on submissions of articles? I have one almost ready to send.

          8. karen_morris_ | | #12

            *Shannon, you can submit article ideas directly to Threads magazine, in the form of a letter explaining your idea, with supporting samples and/or pix. It's best to send ideas before you've written the article, because the editors may want to work with you to focus the article before you've spent the time writing it. Our sheet of Author Guidelines are usually somewhere on the website, but I haven't found them yet on the newly redesigned site. They'll probably be added shortly. Meanwhile, you can get a copy by calling the Threads editorial office at 800-926-8776, x. 523, and requesting it; they can either mail it to you, email it, or fax it. So you can just leave a message for Nancy with your info.Good luck! I look forward to reading about what you do.

          9. Cathy_Dixon | | #13

            *I believe JoAnn's had linen/lycra blend in the spring/summer. The only fabric I remember was a natural linen color with a navy blue stripe. I bought it and made it up and it is very comfortable. Sewed well, too.

          10. karen_morris_ | | #14

            *thanks, cathy. maybe it'll be on their sale table by now--i'll go look. these fabrics with a tiny percent of lycra are so great because they don't look any different....they just FEEL different. pants are especially great because they can look very fitted, and still feel sooo comfortable.

          11. Leslie_Williams | | #15

            *I love border prints and I'd love to hear of any resources for the same. I'm anxious to sew a few wrap skirts but am having trouble locating resources. Joann's just doesn't carry many border fabrics in my area (Tallahassee). Thanks for your help.

          12. karen_morris_ | | #16

            *Leslie, this is a perfect type of request to make to mail-order companies. No one store will have dozens of border prints for sale, but I'll bet that the good stores have at least a few. I would call and ask about border prints they have in the fabrics you like for a wrap skirt, maybe wool challis, silk crepe, cotton broadcloth, or whatever, and ask them to send you samples. There are dozens of good mail-order places to try. My personal favorite is Banksville Designer Fabrics (115 New Canaan Ave., Norwalk, CT 06850; 203-846-1333; great designer offcuts; 36 swatches, $10, refundable). Another great one is B & J Fabrics (263 W. 40th St., NY, NY 10018; 212-354-8150; designer fabrics; free swatches). Also, prowl around in the articles and ads in Threads for more highly rated sources, and keep a list of your favorites.The more specifics you know about the fabric you want (for example, color, fiber content, weave, weight, type of print), the easier it will be to purchase it by mail.

          13. Sarah_Kayla | | #17

            *My vote is for B& J. I'm working on making a skirt out of two matching remnants of a HEAVY black silk with a a white brocade arabesquey border print. They have a huge selection of fancy stuff - If budget is no issue you can get some really amazing amazing stuff. I visit just to drool.s

          14. karen_morris_ | | #18

            *Sarah, I love B&J, too. What a great place to visit.How did your black/white skirt turn out?

          15. Sarah_Kayla | | #19

            *The skirt came out great - Well, I have to qualify that. It was a Burda Magazine pattern and I traced it out on big sheets of tracing paper. I had to piece the paper to make it long enough. Unfortunately i had lost one of the pieced pieces and didn't realize it until I had already started cutting. The skirt sits a little low on my hips as a result, but the border matches up perfectly. Rather than lining the skirt i edged the top with a bias binding. For $16 I got myself a pretty elegant skirt. The silk is astoundingly heavy. It looks great with a black velvet T. I made three skirts from the same pattern, a leopard skin velour, an orange shantung and the black silk. It is a great way to use up my stash.s

          16. Ghillie_C | | #20

            *When I first read your question my immediate response was SILK! but then silk is so often tricky, and seems to attrack grease spots like a magnet - at least when I wear it.So - what fabric can be woven in a thousand ways or printed, can be as heavy as tent canvas or light and gauzy, can stitched and unpicked, stretched or shrunk and come up smiling?I am voting for high quality wools.Cheers,Ghillie

          17. Ann_Parkinson | | #21

            *Sarah, your skirt pattern sounds as though it would be suitable for my stash of rather nice batik border print fabrics. Could you tell me the number of the Burda and the pattern number (I have most magazines since about 1983, so it's possible that I have it). Thanks. Ann Parkinson

          18. Sarah_Kayla | | #22

            *Sure -It is from the Sept 2000 issue. #104. The skirt sits pretty low on the hips. They suggest lining it. I lined it for one skirt and bound the top edge for two the of skirts. Sarah

          19. Karen_Vesk | | #23

            *I found a great resource for border prints in an unusual place: the sari shops in "Little India" in my city. They come in standard 5 metre lengths, and the ends usually have a really interesting border print.I bought several in bright, splashy colours, that I will make into samples for prom dresses. They were quite inexpensive (I bargained one piece down to $10 because it had fading that would require clever cutting around), most were $15 to $40 for the full piece. Of course, some of the really gorgeous silks were a lot more expensive ($400 to $600 or more), but they were very very unusual and beautiful

          20. Liz_Kemble | | #24

            *I made a little black dress of silk noil once, and loved it! It draped nicely without clinging, and I just love the texture. It is very easy to work with, like cotton. Not slippery.

          21. Liz_Kemble | | #25

            *B&J is the best! I got some great striped cotton in earth tones there for a shower curtain and roman shade for the bathroom. I had already painted the room in a deep red shade, and one of the colors in this stripe coordinated perfectly. The result is smashing!

          22. Liz_Kemble | | #26

            *To answer Karen's original question, I love interesting blends. Silk/wool is a great one, as is silk/linen. The latter does not wrinkle as much as linen, and has some of the sheen of silk. I haven't seen cotton/silk yet -- probably too much of a prince and pauper combination. I also love fabric in subtle shades, such as greige. My latest favorite is a natural, slubby Indian silk. The warp is crimson and the weft is black, giving it a subtle irridescent effect. It looks burgundy overall. It makes a nice raspy sound when you touch it. I am pairing it with a provencal print I brought back from France 20 years ago. It has a striped motif, with burgundy stripes interspersed with stripes of a twining flower pattern in blue, pink, and green on a white ground. I am making a roman shade out of the silk, and combining the silk and cotton for matching curtains and a quilt. This silk dresses up the cotton just enough. A satin would be too much for the country cotton print.

          23. karen_morris_ | | #27

            *Karen, thanks for the sari border print ideas. Some of the sari fabrics are just amazing. I think your bright-colored sari fabric will make interesting, unexpected prom dresses! Let us know how they turn out.Liz, I agree that raw silks are a good combination of earthy and dressy. I always heard that silk noil HAD to be lined, but I used it for a vest very successfully with no lining. Great fabric, and easy to sew.By the way, that is how irridescent fabrics are woven, with one color for the weft, and another for the warp. B & J has lots (maybe 30?) of irridescent silk chiffons, in every possible combination. So gorgeous. One of my favorites is green and black. wow.I've been fooling around with dark reds for walls....Is yours a pinky red, or a bricky red, or a baked-earth red? Your striped earth-tone roman shade sounds wonderful. I'm thinking of using a deep red for my bedroom walls, but am afraid it'll turn too pink, or too bright. The color cards look risky. I guess I just have to buy a quart and try it out. I got the idea from a piece of knitted lace that I framed on a background of persimmon pleated silk, and now i want my walls that color. I guess I could get a custom color matched to the persimmon silk.

          24. Sarah_Kayla | | #28

            *Ok, I guess we've shifted this to home-dec. We live in a 1909 NYC apartment. I obsessed for a year before we painted. I chose a bottom of the card deep victorian red for our front hallway. I chose a color a couple of shades lighter for the narrow hallway off of it. All of the rooms in the house are deep colors, pumkin for the livingroom, periwinkle for the dining room, wedgewoodblue for the adult bedroom, a deep saphire for the kid bedroom and a robins egg blue for the other kid room - utility areas, kitchen & baths are glossy white. The ceiling are fairly high 10', and white so it does not feel oppressive. Each room is a different color. It makes me completely happy to live here. I love how you look out of one room and see slivers of fabulous color from the hall or other rooms. the colors are all deep and slightly off. My only regret is that I didn't do it sooner. Go for rich color.

          25. karen_morris_ | | #29

            *oooh, sarah, your house sounds fabulous, rich and soothing. just think what memories your kids will have of their childhood home.it's not such a leap, is it, from talking about fabric to talking about color...?I just finished renovating my kitchen, and painting was completed yesterday. it has a pale aqua ceiling (sky), with three subtle, medium-tone greens on the walls--bok choy, escarole, and lunar green, with white trim. it's just delicious! now if i can figure out what to do about all this plaster dust. oh--and floors are being sanded tomorrow. ick. the rest of my house is pretty boring...my goal is to be more bold with deep colors, a la sarah.

          26. Sarah_Kayla | | #30

            *I'm always amazed at how indivudual color is. This winter I was invited to a party at the home of a woman I know slightly. She is blond. her apartment was painted in beautiful sage greens, taupes and greys. It was beautiful but I knew that if I had to live in that apartment I would become bedridden with depression within two weeks. I'm sure that other folks would see my apartment as being just too much color. My very red hedded pal lives in a house that is all white, pale yellow & deep blue. ( She is recreating maine in southern new England) Great for her - too stark for me.I also wonder at the people who seem to always dress in the color that will make them look the most wan and washed out. on that musing...sarah

          27. Liz_Kemble | | #31

            *My red is orangy pink, almost brick, well certain bricks are that color. It's very deep though, and definitely reads "red." Most standard colors are very two-dimensional -- only one or two tints is used to make them. A book I have, "Color, Natural Palettes for Painted Rooms," by Donald Kaufman and Taffy Dahl, says that for alive, luminescent colors you need to mix all the colors of the rainbow, in varying amounts, into any color you make. That way they will reflect all the colors of the spectrum and be alive. You have to mix these colors yourself, which I haven't tried yet. I used a standard color of Safecoat paint, an environmentally friendly paint for chemically sensitive people, and it was quite nice. I don't think you necessarily need to match your silk, but find a shade that harmonizes. Sometimes that's more interesting.

          28. karen_morris_ | | #32

            *Liz, your deep orangy-pink sounds like what I mean when I say 'persimmon'. It sounds great, and would probably coordinate with this silk. You're right, I don't want to match it exactly. I was planning to make the walls a bit deeper than the silk.I love the idea of mixing all the colors into a wall paint! Wow. I'm going to look for that book. And let us know if you try it.

          29. Judy_Williment | | #33

            *To go back to the favourite fabrics again - rather than a favourte type of fabric, I just love the textures, visual and tactile. I love to go shopping and touch all the fabrics - to feel the weight and watch how they hang, how they catch the light. Do other people have a stash full of fabrics fallen in love with for "a skirt" and never found a pattern worthy of the delicious fabric? I love the thrill of going through my stash and finding fabric I'd forgotten about which is perfect for a project I've just thought of (which is why I go through my stash in the first place!). Fabric is such a tactile medium, as well as visual. I'd have to say my favourite fabrics are ones which feel good to touch - soft and warm and usually silky, slightly heavy for the draping qualities. I like colours which match the look of the fabric - soft visuals for soft textures, if that makes any sense! Natural or classic colours for natural fibres and more funky colours for modern fabrics.

          30. karen_morris_ | | #34

            *Yes, yes. You're making lots of sense to me.Often, I hate to sew a favorite piece of fabric in my stash. Then I can't dream about what I want to make with it anymore....

          31. Judy_Williment | | #35

            *Karen, I don't have anything to add, just wanted to say how much I enjoy your comments on these boards. I've found posts from you all over the place, and you're always so encouraging, helpful and inspiring. PLEASE keep doing this!

          32. Sarah_Kayla | | #36

            *I taught myself how to sew about ten years ago. I have really learned by making many major errors. I have often bought fabulous fabric that was beyond my abilities and kept it until my skills were up to it. I recently pulled out scarf panels that it took me eight years to learn how to hand roll in a way that matched the fineness of the fabric ( I've never seen such wonderful screen printing with layers and layers of color). There is another gossamer chiffon & metallic remnant that i'm still not ready to touch. I have lots left to learn before i can work on that one.karen, you are right, sometimes the unfinished , untouched piece of fabric is a touchstone and becomes filled with meaning. I have inherited many untouched pieces of fabric from relatives, friends of relatives & relatives of friends. I often incorpoate those pieces into new works for loved ones. it is a pretty cool process.Judy is right, Karen you do add so much to this site.sarah

          33. Judy_Williment | | #37

            *I've never bought fabric which was beyond my skill - I either avoid it, or have enough arrogance to assume I can figure it out! It's braver than I could be to have fabric I wasn't sure I could do justice to in my stash. Having said that, I experiment extensively on scraps before putting needle to fabric if I'm not sure what will happen. I love the thrill of turning a gorgeous piece of fabric into a garment which makes me feel good every time I wear it. I have a red velvet dress which I made a few years ago, and recently dieted back into - just looking at it hanging in my wardrobe makes me feel good! I never wear red normally, but for velvet, for special, red was just totally appropriate. Funny how I never noticed that before - I wear totally different colours when I go out than I do during the day. I wonder why that is? Maybe the fact that they aren't everyday colours makes them more special.

          34. karen_morris_ | | #38

            *Thanks for the positive comments, you two. I enjoy being here in the discussions. It's like having a group of friends to visit with.

          35. Judy_Williment | | #39

            *Yes, it is like a group of friends - I only have one friend who sews (we went to the ballet last night, and happily discussed what we thought the costumes were made of all through intermission! I wore that red velvet dress I mentioned in my last post, too), and it is great to get ideas from other people. I've posted questions on a couple of topics, and had great replies - so very helpful. I wonder if there should be a support group for hopeless fabric addicts with stashes big enough to need a new house?

          36. karen_morris_ | | #40

            *Well, you could always rent a storage unit, and visit your fabric there. I knew someone who needed an extra storage unit just for all her Christmas decorations....

          37. Judy_Williment | | #41

            *LOLYou should look at the "confessions" page on http://www.sewgeeky.com for people with serious addiction problems. The problem with renting a storage unit is those middle of the night flashes of inspiration while you're doing something else (like this for example). When inspiration strikes I just HAVE to check that the fabric I'm sure I have is actually there, big enough etc etc. I'd suffer withdrawl if I couldn't get at my fabric any time of the night or day. Oh help, I think I have a problem.

          38. karen_morris_ | | #42

            *I had the same conversation with a woman today at the bead store, and told her, "Just think, all this could be candy, or drugs. Instead, they're just beautiful, harmless beads that we love...."

          39. JudyWilliment | | #43

            Phew!  It's taken a while to get back on here - had a lot of trouble logging on after the change, then couldn't even re-register till today....

            My best friend and I have had a few guilty conversations about our respective stashes - hers is "worse" than mine (only because she sews less than I do), and it occurred to us last time we were discussing projects, that this is something else we both enjoy a great deal.  I'd bought some gorgeous green/silver "denim" as a remnant, along with very similar coloured velour, both of which are intended to be for my 2 year old daughter.  Well, just had to get on the phone to best friend to have a good discussion about what to make!  We often bounce ideas off one another, and I find it so helpful to get her input.  Sometimes she'll come up with brilliant ideas for the perfect project for that treasured item from the stash, or will point out some flaw in my plan.  Sometimes talking about fabric is as much fun as sewing it, and you don't have to risk cutting into treasured stash piles.  Is there an end to the pleasures of sewing?  I for one, hope not.

          40. ShannonG4d | | #44

            Interesting, all this talk about stashes. I have two comments: 1. Last Saturday, I had the privelege of sitting at the feet of Claire Shaeffer, who was here for an all-day workshop. She said "you have permission to collect fabric." If Claire says I have permission, then I have permission:)

            2. I have a friend with a huge stash. She is a bit embarrassed by it....because she doesn't sew! I told her it's cheaper than a dog and doesn't shed:)

            Seriously, I think maintaining a stash is fine. Actually, artists keep a stash of colors, mechanics keep a stash of tools....we are both, in a way. Why should we feel guilty? Besides, it makes a great collection, if nothing else. There are some fabrics I bought (and buy) knowing I will never use them, I just like them! Once in awhile, I'll pull everything off the shelves and refold and restack, telling everyone I have to "prevent creases from becoming permanent, dust the bottom of the shelves", you pick the excuse. Actually, I just want to PET it!LOL


          41. Jean | | #45

            This stash business is definitely a disease. I not only have a shamefully large stash of fabrics, I also have a room full of yarns, patterns, (both sewing and knitting) and now I've added cookbooks and recipes..all thanks to Taunton!!

          42. JudyWilliment | | #46

            I have to say, all these confessions about everyones stashes makes me feel SSOOOOOOOOOOO much better about even having one!  I used to feel terribly guilty about buying fabric if I didn't have a specific purpose in mind for it, and sewed it up quickly.  Now I have got over this, and my stash is growing accordingly, and giving me much pleasure.  Does having internet access to a whole lot of other addicts make this less of a disease? I feel so much better now :-)

          43. rzgreen | | #47

            I've enjoyed reading these posts, as I have an abundant stash as well.

            BTW, I have about 8 yards of a sky blue silk/cotton and it's wonderful stuff!

            I live in the NYC metro area, and when I work, I always make sure that I have easy access to the garment district, so you can imagine that I have a stash that I love to pet.  I like working with linens and silks especially, but the microfibers also sing to me.  I have some wonderful fabrics that I got from Trebor's before they closed--they would layaway fabric for me until payday (very bad!).  I was not working with my very best fabrics for a long time, until I felt I had some major fitting issues down pat--but now i realize that I don't want to leave my stash for DH's next wife/g/.  There's another problem since i moved to NJ and have some space to play with (I was a Brooklyn gal for many years)--I now have quite a collection of sewing machines as well.  I have two computerized machines and I love them, but when I want speed and power, I pull out an electronic or a mechical machine and hit the gas.


          44. JudyWilliment | | #48

            Silk and cotton - what a combination!  I'm salivating at the thought of what I could do with all that scrumptious fabric......

            Since I have three children, the majority of my stash is suitable for them, but there are a few little bags in the bottom waiting for my attention.  I'm all excited at the moment over luscious velour and sparkly denim for my two year old daughter.  The fabrics sound rather adult, but are lovely colours (green and silver) for her.  Can't wait to get onto those garments.  I don't often make co ordinating outfits, so getting to make three or four garments from two or three fabrics is like being given a present.

            The more I think about this subject the more I realise that half the fun of buying fabric is to get on the phone with my best friend and spend hours discussing what to do with it!  Who needs drugs when you can get the kick from buying the most gorgeous fabric and the high of turning something with potential into something beautiful which makes you feel good to put it on.

            One small confession - looking through my stash the other day I found some CUT OUT garments I'd intended to sew for my newborn daughter.  She's now two, and the next child was a boy!  He got the moleskin jeans I cut out for her last winter, and made up in a hurry a few days ago so he'd still fit them.

          45. deebee247 | | #49

            My 'stash' consists of (mostly) cotton remnants that I used to use when my 5 kids were small. I could clothe them for summer in good size remnants for about 50 cents a garment, shorts and tops. Then they 'growed' up and got too big or wouldn't wear homemade stuff, but I was in the habit of checking out remnants and I have never stopped! Now I have enough to make MANY quilts or clothe every doll in the world. I am making quilts for two grandsons, no girls yet for the doll clothes. I have made some stuffed animals for the boys and as gifts.

          46. Jean | | #50

            Of my three grand daughters, there is only one that would look at a doll, and that would have to be a Barbie. Not fun sewing for these aging eyes.

          47. ShannonG4d | | #51

            After this week, I have a new favorite fabric. Silk gazar! I just saw a trunk show where this was used throughout the collection and it is stunning fabric. Now I just have to find some..........


            Edited 3/25/2002 7:37:17 PM ET by SHANNONG4D

          48. sarahkayla | | #52

            try B& J for the gazar. 212.354.8150. BTW, it dyes up just wonderfully.


          49. JudyWilliment | | #53

            I have to know - what is gazar?  I've never heard of it, but have yet to meet a silk I didn't like.  What weight is it?  How drapey is it?  I loved the sand washed silk of about 10 years ago - haven't seen it for a while.

          50. sarahkayla | | #54

            Gazar is an almost waxy looking and textured translucent silk. it is very smooth and has a good deal of body - not drapey at all. For the sand washed silks- just wash a silk twill or a china silk or similar smooth silk in a washing machine - yes you can run it through the dryer too. The Gatherings archives should have directions about how to sandwash silk. Gazar you can get from B&J or you may want to see if Thai silks (www.thaisilks.com) has it.


          51. JudyWilliment | | #58

            Thanks for the info on gazar Sarah.  I'd be interested to see garments made up in it.  I'll look through the archives forsandwashing, but wondered if you had any idea where I should start looking?  I'd love to have this soft feel on garments again.

          52. ShannonG4d | | #59

            Judy, I have the instructions handy. Here they are:

            Soak the fabric in cold water (this is to completely water stain the fabric)

            Run your washing machine with the hottest water possible; add one cup vinegar to the water. Swish the vinegar around to mix, then add the fabric. No detergent or soap. Complete the wash and spin cycle and dry in the dryer. That's it!

            I love what this does to charmeuse.

            As for the gazar, I doubt it would sand-wash very well and maintain the properties that make it so special. Gazar is about the beefiest silk I have seen. It looks like one of those fabric that, when you say, "stay here!", it will:)

          53. JudyWilliment | | #60

            Thanks Shannon - I'll have to have a go at that.  Might start with something I'm not worried about spoiling though.  You say to dry it in the dryer - also hot I presume?  I hate to sound dumb, but what kind of vinegar?  I'd guess white, but I'm not good with vinegars!  Thanks again for the info.

          54. carolfresia | | #55

            Shannon, what kinds of garments were made of silk gazar in this trunk show? It's got such a lot of body and oomph you'd have to be pretty careful about how you used it! I'd love to hear about interesting ways to incorporate it into your wardrobe, though.


          55. ShannonG4d | | #56

            Carol, the clothing was very architectural.  (The collection was Chado Ralph Rucci)  In particular, there was an evening skirt that was amazing; it seemed to have a life of its own.  There were also jackets made of a cashmere-like fabric, but softer....after doing some research, I found that he uses a rare hair fiber for these, but cashmere would probably work.  If you get a chance to look at this collection first-hand, it is a good education in structure!  I learned more about fine sewing in the hour or so I spent looking through these garments than you can imagine.  Took lots of notes, too.


          56. carolfresia | | #57

            Mmmm....sounds very intriguing. I'm not sure I have a need for an evening skirt just now, but I do maintain high hopes for future glamour requiring such garments. Meanwhile, jackets of cashmere or other rare, warm fibers sound like just the ticket for "early spring" as we are experiencing it here in CT! I'm certainly going to look into this designer. Thanks for the heads-up.


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