Wednesday, January 30, 2013

Fabric of the week: Toile de Jouy

Although toile de Jouy is most often used for decorating, I have seen a number of vintage clothing items, usually from the 1950s to early 60s, featuring this style print.

Toile de Jouy 

Toile de Jouy is a fabric print style in imitation of mid- to late- 18th century prints made by Christophe Philippe Oberkampf, a German, in the town of Jouy, near Paris. Toile is a French word for cloth; the fabric features late 18th century bucolic scenes, usually with people, trees and flowers. 
Typically the print is in fairly large scale, using one dark shade on white or off-white. It is printed on plain weave cotton or cotton blends of a substantial weight, although the style of print can be found on silk, linen or manufactured fibers. 
Uses: Household decorating, not so commonly for accessories and apparel

©Vintage Fashion Guild - Text by Margaret Wilds/denisebrain,  photo by Hoyt Carter 
Vintage Jonathan Logan toile de Jouy-print dress in my Etsy shop
 I see there is a recent fascination again with this style print for clothing. Here is a toile de Jouy dress by Vivienne Westwood, worn by Dita von Teese.

Courtesy of thatdamngreendress

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Fabric of the week: Butcher cloth

Have you seen a fabric that seems much like linen, but you’re pretty sure it isn’t? If you are interested in vintage clothing you will see this fabric regularly. From the VFG Fabric Resource:
Butcher cloth 
Butcher cloth is rayon or rayon/cotton, spun and woven to resemble linen with linen-like slubs. Butcher cloth used to be called butcher linen, but that is no longer correct according to the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. 
Uses: Dresses, suits, skirts 
See also:
 Butcher linen, Linen

Machine-embroidered butcher cloth
©Vintage Fashion Guild - Text by Margaret Wilds/denisebrain,  photo by Hoyt Carter 

Robin's egg blue butcher linen dress currently in my Etsy shop

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Fabric of the week: Satin

I dedicated one weekly fabric post to the basic weaves, including satin. Today, satin the fabric.

One mistake that is sometimes made is calling satin ‘silk.’ It certainly could be made of silk, and it has a silky feel, but all satin is not silk. (By the way, silk is relatively easy to distinguish in a burn test. There’s a burn test how-to in the VFG Fabric Resource.)

Another small issue with satin is the spelling: Satan does not get its spelling corrected, and pretty vintage ‘satan’ dresses show up regularly on eBay and Etsy!

Satin is the name of one of the basic weaves, and also a fabric made in this weave. Owing to its silk or manufactured filament yarns and its uninterrupted warp yarn face, satin is very lustrous. Satin originated in China, and takes its name from Zaytoun, now Guangzhou, in southern China. 
Uses: Apparel (particularly evening wear), lingerie, lining 
See also: Satin weave, 
Duchesse satin

Silk satin, shown close enough to see the weave
©Vintage Fashion Guild - Text by Margaret Wilds/denisebrain,  photos by Hoyt Carter 
Good examples of satin’s formality are in my shops right now, including:
50s silk satin gown by Helga
50s rayon satin strapless dress

Sunday, January 13, 2013

You in your vintage clothing

If you follow my Facebook goings on, you probably have seen when I post photos sent to me by customers. I think this is the best thing you can do for those of us offering vintage online: We love seeing the clothes in action, and so do other customers. If you have such a photo you don’t mind sharing, please let me/us know...there’s always room for you!

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

Fabric term of the week: Crepe

It is a little pet peeve of mine that people describe a fabric as crepe, not indicating the fiber or any other aspect of it. Crepe—the word alone—is not actually a fabric, but a texture which is made in a number of ways. The name is applied to many fabrics, as you can see.

As always, this comes from the VFG Fabric Resource:
Crepe is a texture, which is probably best described as grainy, puckered or crinkled. The texture can be achieved by the type of fiber (especially hard or crepe twist yarns, textured yarns), chemical treatment, textured weave, or embossing. It may be made of any fiber and may be woven or knit. The name comes from the French word for crimped, crêpe. 
A wide range of fabrics are crepes.
See also:
Crepe de chine
Crepe-back satin

Rayon crepe
Worsted wool crepe 
Woven nylon with embossed crepe texture
©Vintage Fashion Guild - Text by Margaret Wilds/denisebrain,  photos by Hoyt Carter
This 1940s rayon crepe dress is currently in my Etsy store. Those who have experience with it really appreciate the natural give and drape of the fabric. Just be sure not to wash (it shrinks) or iron (it shines) rayon crepe. 

Saturday, January 5, 2013

We made it!

Hooray! With my wonderful customers’ help, I was able to donate $500 to Conservation Northwest, a donation that was matched.

$455 was the grand total of my proceeds, a figure I didn’t think was possible most of the way through the month, with December a little slower than usual for me. I was really touched that customers who had just purchased items went back and added to their orders to help the cause. Thank you so much for caring! I had only a little ways to go to round this up to my goal of $500.

In an email from CNW, I was told that the contribution, “matched by another generous donor—will help gain a conservation easement for 201 acres on the Gotham Ranch near Republic, WA. Getting this prime wildlife habitat under permanent protection from mining and development is essential for the future of lynx, wolverine, wolves, elk, and other iconic Northwest wildlife and vital for linking the Cascades to the Rockies.”

Dancing bears by amberalexander on Etsy

I feel like dancing!

I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again: Denisebrain has the best customers!!

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Fabric term of the week: Lamé

Happy New Year! If your party dress sparkled recently, it might have been thanks to lamé, the fabric term of the week. 

This is from the VFG Fabric Resource:

A general term for a metallic effect, lamé is usually created using yarns made of aluminum laminated between layers of film. Lurex, which became a household name in the 1980s, is the name trademarked by The Lurex Company for plastic-coated aluminum yarn. Lamé is most often gold or silver in color (with the color added to the film or adhesive) but can be any color. 
A more traditional method of adding the gleam of metal to a fiber is by winding flattened metal wire around a thread. The metal may be gold (as in the expensive Indian jari thread), silver or aluminum. Actual gold and silver fiber, made of fine wire or flattened ribbons of metal, has been used in weaving the finest and costliest cloth since ancient times. 
Uses: Lamé threads may be used in any type of fabric, woven or knit. It is often light and can be used for anything from a sweater to evening wear. Heavier fabrics can be used for interior decorating. Metallic fibers are also used for their conductivity and ability to insulate.

 ©Vintage Fashion Guild - Text by Margaret Wilds/denisebrain,  photos by Hoyt Carter

60s silver lamé damask dress 
60s gold lamé cocktail dress
50s iridescent taffeta with gold metallic threads

Tuesday, January 1, 2013

Back to the future

Happy 2013, and welcome to a new year of monthly themes!

This time: Want a small trip to the future by way of the past?
{Click to view - sound up}
 P.S. The super mod white sunglasses I'm wearing are going to be for sale very soon!