Sunday, February 26, 2012

Novelty Weaves

I have been discussing novelty yarns and weaves in my Apparel and Textiles class at Montana State University. This example is from my Dargate Book c. 1830.
Note the vertical stripes in the ground cloth. This is achieved by a slightly thicker warp thread on the left hand and right hand edge of each more closely spaced threads within the stripe.

The pink weave at the bottom of the scan used slightly thicker weft threads.

This is a reproduction I did...the background was printed to give the appearance of a woven plaid ground.

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Indigo---Then and Now

 These two indigo prints, often referred to as West Virgina Calico, are from the Stifel Calicoworks in my hometown of Wheeling, WV. The mill operated from 1835 until 1957 producing not only these classic indigo prints but also various weights of indigo dyed drills and twills. The plant shifted to war production during both WWI and WW II.  By the late 1940s, the emphasis was on the new Sanforized process in 'sportswear' fabrics and the dyeing and printing of indigo was discontinued.

These two examples of Indigo prints are from the Amana Mills in Amana Iowa. The Amana Colonies, located in the south east corner of Iowa, were a communal society until 1932, producing everything they stuffs, furniture and fabrics. They had a print mill doing indigo dyed and printed fabrics until WW I.  Afterwards they purchased fabrics from Stifel Calcioworks in Wheeling.

In my class, Apparel and Textiles, at Montana State University, I did a brief history of indigo production, dyeing and printing. The discussion turned to today's use of indigo ( synthetic indigo was discovered in 1897, today's jeans are dyed with synthetic dyestuffs)...mainly blue jeans. Globally there are over 2.5 billion yards of indigo dyed denim produced annually. Sales of jeans in the US are a 450 million dollar market. The fact I found most amazing in preparing my lecture was it take 6,800 litres of water to make a pair of jeans!

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Worth the wait!

Quilts of the Civil War Era...especially the Sanitary Commision quilts are of interest to so many quilters. This new book by Pamela Weeks ( designer of Civil War Album) and Don Beld is clear and concise...great history by Pam and reproduced quilts by Don. Most of the fabrics in his 'new' versions of these quilts are from Thank you Don!

We have the books in stock and will include one of our Sanitary Commission 'stamped images' with each purchase.


Sunday, February 5, 2012

Prussian Blues

one of the inorganic or mineral colorants....Prussian blue is a vibrant blue with a slight undertone of green. Alsatian printer Jean-Michel Haussmann developed methods of fixing Prussian blue accents to cotton cloth late in the 18th century. Early in the 1800s a new printing technique produced rich colors with mineral dyes. 
Prussian blue was especially popular in European and American textiles during the 1830s and seen in quilts through the 1860s. The designs vary from geometrics and ombres to florals.
Examples are from my Delaines sample book.