Tweed has been around for ages starting it’s home with the Scots and then was picked up by the English where its modern day name came to be. It’s traditionally made of spun and died wool which is then woven into several different designs such as:
You can find tweed in just about everything now: jackets, pants, seat covers, home decor accents, blankets, the list goes on. When you do purchase a tweed piece of fabric, just remember to dry clean, because washing and drying it will cause major shrinkage.
Bamboo fabric is relatively new on the scene. It’s super green to manufacture since it’s one of the most sustainable resources and uses no harsh chemicals during the manufacturing process. More and more companies have been using bamboo in their products making it readily available in the market.
Learn more about bamboo here
Polyester is well known for it’s groovy fashions starting in the 1950s and going strong through the 1970s. It’s a strong fiber and makes for a fabric that is quite resistant to wrinkles and creasing. There are great polyester blends out there as well, like cotton polyester blends that give you the best of both worlds: softness and breath-ability with the wrinkle resistance and added life of polyester built in.
You can find polyester not only in fabric but also in fiber-fill and sewing thread. Polyester thread has exceptional strength, wears well, and is used in home and manufactured sewing.
Get your polyester on today!
Despite its controversy, hemp is really a great environmentally friendly fiber. Yes, hemp is made from the cannabis plant but it cannot be smoked. However, it can be used to produce a variety of things such as paper, textiles, jewelry (We know you’ve had a hemp necklace or two from the boardwalk!), biodegradable plastics, construction, health foods, and fuel but let’s just concentrate on the textiles.
Hemp fiber is very strong and durable which makes it an ideal industrial fiber for cords and canvas. Betsy Ross even sewed the first American flag with canvas made from hemp! Heck, if its good enough for Betsy Ross, it’s good enough for us! For the longest time, the coarseness of hemp restricted it to only being used for industrial goods but now, with the advance of modern technology, researchers were able to de-gum hemp fiber. This made the fibers soft and pliable so it can be used for clothing, shoes, and even furniture.
Try making something with hemp today! It’s all-natural and durable. It can even be compared to cotton with its breathability and color retention! You know how much we like that.
Whenever I shop with my mom, she always looks for the 100% cotton tag. Despite her sometimes crazy tendencies, there is some logic to this. Cotton allows you to b r e a t h e. Now, you’re probably thinking, “huh? I can breathe just fine in polyester.” Actually… you can’t. The properties in cotton are ideal for absorbing and releasing perspiration which allows your skin to “breathe” and feel absolutely wonderful.
Cotton is used in a variety of fabrics that we all know and love such as denim, terrycloth, seersucker and even for yarn!
So go get some cotton for wearing, sewing, crafting, eating, and upholstering. After all, it is the fabric of our lives!
Spandex. All it takes is that one word to summon up images of stretchy biker shorts and shiny American Apparel leggings. Since this material hit the scene in 1959, it has revolutionized the world. Spandex’s name was created from the anagram of “expands”. Completely obvious, yet wonderfully surprising!
This material has been used for everything from leggings to motion capture suits and orthopedic braces. Unlike many fabrics or fibers, there is rarely a seedy under belly. What could be odd and unusual about wool or silk? But with Spandex, there is a whole other world of this skin-tight synthetic fiber. Even though this fiber has mingled with the dark side, it is still a respectable member of all communities.
So, maybe it is halloween and you need to pull together a super hero costume fast, grab a few yards of your friendly neighborhood polyurethane-polyurea copolymer!
We’ve been seeing a lot of lace in this season’s trends and we love it! White lace can give off that pretty, girly look while black lace can give off an edgy dark and gothic vibe.
No matter what color you choose, lace can be defined as a fabric with open holes that create an intricate design. Lace is an ancient craft and back in the day, it was made painstakingly with real silver and gold thread woven together without any backing. In fact, some purists still make it this way! Today, lace is typically made with cotton while machine-made lace is made from synthetic fibers.
Lace can be so pretty and it can really add as the finishing touch to a dress, a pillow, or a tablecloth. We really like these lace coasters made with some leftover batting and cotton fabric. Easy Peasy!
Some of the greatest, most expensive wools used are produced by goats and sheep all over the world, but Angora is different. The puffy tufts of fur are collected from the Turkish Angora Rabbit. This small, ridiculously furry animal has to be groomed multiple times a week in order to harvest this floaty fur.
Angora is woven into yarn, which is then knitted and crocheted into sweaters, mittens, hats, etc. Angora Rabbits have been coveted by farmers and royalty alike for Centuries. This wool was predominantly in Turkey and Europe until it was finally brought to America in the 20th Century.
Angora is one of the softest and most sought after fibers available, but at a price of course. Angora costs approximately $10-$16 per ounce! Even though this fluffy creature costs an arm and a leg, It makes for an amazing knitting experience and will yield some of the softest designs.
Ah velour. We all recognize it from the infamous “jumpsuit” trend that was all the rage 10 years ago. It came in all different colors-all bright-and it was appropriate for school wear, gym wear and just plain casual wear. Everybody was wearing velour, especially Miss. Britney Spears.
We can bet that velour became popular because of its soft touch which is a lot like velvet. However, unlike velvet, velour is a stretchy knit that is easy to clean, making it ideal for workout wear. Hence the popularity of the jumpsuit. Besides clothing, velour is also used in upholstery and in drapes. This particular image is of velour embroidery thread.
So keeping sewing! Don’t be intimidated by velour’s infamous past. It can look just as tasteful as velvet and it’s easier to clean too!