Sunday, January 29, 2012

1843 designs

Advances in steam style printing which included the development of a single print paste containing the dye and the mordant plus the rapid ageing of the fabric in a steam chamber allowed for complex designs (some overprinted with wood blocks) and colors on this cotton/woolen fabric. Delaines were especially popular for both clothing and decorating and are frequently found in Log Cabin and Pineapple quilts of the late 19th century.

Sunday, January 22, 2012


as the fabrics ( Mousseline de laine) were called in England and America, were popular for clothing and decorating.
In 1836, Jose Hofer of Mulhouse, France began weaving a combination fabric using a strong cotton warp and a very fine wool weft. It was possible to print designs on this 'blend' using the steam style of printing. This involved fixing the mordant ( hanging the mordant-printed fabric in a warm, moist room for several days) to the fabric before dyeing.

Two more designs from my antique sample book.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Mousseline de laine

A very fine French woolen dress fabric, know as muslin of wool, was woven in the Alsace region of France in the early 1830s. Within a few years, several companies in Mulhouse were using the Perrotine printing machine on this luxurious fabric.

This example is from one of my 1863 fabric sample books.

I started my Apparel and Textiles class at Montana State University last Thursday. It is a required class for Family and Consumer Science, teaching option, majors. I also have 3 architecture students in the class. I was reading a section in  a text book...about the famous saying..'All fashions end in excess'. The point was that once a style reaches an extreme it is nearing the end of its cycle and people will be looking for a different look....a new fashion. The example given relates to architecture!

'When 18th century hoop skirts expanded to more than 8 feet in width'.....the image in my mind was a Civil War Era hoop skirt. I had made the mistake I cautioned my students about on Thursday....the 18th century really means the 1700s!! Then I remembered those wide skirts shown in pictures of Versailles.

These garments were so wide it was difficult to maneuver through doorways. The solution was to design doors wider than the skirts....thus the 'French door' which is popular still day.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Celebrating a 65th Birthday!

I think looking at textiles and quilts is a wonderful way to celebrate any birthday! My friend, Peg Juckett and I traveled to Lincoln, Nebraska to the International Quilt Study Center to see 'Elegant Geometry'.

We spent most of Thursday examining the fabric prints in each hexagon! We were captivated.

I did much of my graduate work at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (it transferred nicely into the History Program at Montana State University) but had not been back to see the International Quilt Study Center. It is an amazing facility. I highly recommend a visit. Friday was spent viewing Chintz Center Panel quilts in the Collection. I am working on a new project. It is an octagon appliqued in the center of another mosaic patchwork quilt. The fabrics used in the hexagons were as wonderful as the chintz center panel.

Saturday we were at the Joslyn Art Museum in Omaha to see a Currier and Ives Print Exhibit. I am always intrigued with that romanticized view of the West. Peg and I did also manage to fit in a 'few' Nebraska quilt shops!

Dinner Saturday night was at the very elegant Grey Plume in Omaha. To mark my 65th birthday, the menu was signed by the entire kitchen staff, including the chef, Clayton Chapman.

Now I am back in Bozeman, ready to begin teaching on Thursday and inspired to start work on my next Dargate fabric line.

Monday, January 2, 2012

Delaines 1863

I have 2 Delaines sample books. The one I am using today is dated 1863 and most of the designs are large scale. The fabric to the left is 11" X 17". A Delaine is a cotton warp with a wool weft and usually saturated colorations.

This sample is 12" X 13" and a beautiful green!

These are 9" X 11".

Dressgoods or Furnishing fabrics?

We celebrated my 65th birthday New Years Eve...since I will be at the International Quilt Study Center's Mosaic Exhibit with my friend Peg Juckett for my birthday on January 7. Ron had a very large heavy wrapped package for 11 quart hammered copper jam pan.....WOW. This has been on the top of my list since I took a wonderful jam making class early this fall (See Sept 18th post). So....we left immediately on a fruit run and I have spent the last 3 days working on an 'everyday marmalade'....lemon and pink grapefruit. The jam pan was the right tool for the job and the color, texture and taste of the marmalade is superb.