20 September, 2011

The makings of a stash.

Miss Hallie has been clearing out some of her fabric stash, and I couldn't help but jump headfirst into it. What better way to get some great fabrics that have already been vetted for accuracy and authenticity? I love looking at the fabrics when she posts them, even if I don't buy any of it, because it gives me an image to compare when I'm browsing around fabric sites (especially printed/painted and embroidered/brocade/damask textiles). I've not yet made the leap into purchasing something exquisitely expensive (like a $35/yd damask), and I would sure as anything have Hallie look at it first, but it's nice to have something from her to start my stash.

What did I end up with? A beautiful, golden yellow silk taffeta. It's not shot, but it almost seems to change from a yellow to a deeper, golden yellow. It's absolutely lovely. There was only 5.5 yards, so it will be a practice silk gown that I will use for a runaway impression. It will also double as a simple silk undress/informal/day dress. I plan on quilting a petticoat for it, as well as using other colors of silk for plain petticoats. Every time I walk by it, I have to reach out and touch it (I also do this when I'm shopping for modern clothes). Good thing I'm getting into fabrics, eh?

And since we're talking about silk, I came across an interesting article courtesy of the Tufts Museum Studies blog: conservation scientists at the Smithsonian Institution have developed a technique to date silk items! It's a very interesting article, and the technique only uses one millimeter of silk to give a range of 50-100 years. If the textile has been stored in museum-quality environments, it is even more accurate. Well-dated and documented textiles and garments were used in the study, including a 1740s man's coat from the Museum of the City of New York. Yay science!

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