12 October, 2011

Life and fabric samples and broadcloth.

I'm on Day 2 of my New and Awesome Job (please don't let the honeymoon end!), so reality has unfortunately taken its toll on my frequent blogging and research.  That being said, I'm currently juggling a few things at once in my 18thc. life, most of it revolving around textiles and free fabric swatches and deciding what to tackle next.

Currently, I have 5 swatches of linen from Fabrics-store.com laying on the table next to me. They are in 5 different weights: 3.5 oz, 5.3 oz, 6 oz, 7.1 oz, and 8 oz. All are bleached white. I am looking into linen lining for my yellow silk gown that needs to be made, and instead of going, "Eeny, meeny, miny, mo!" and picking a weight without feeling it or knowing what I'm doing, I decided to order the free samples from this online store and feel them alongside the lining currently in my printed cotton gown. I think with the silk I can go a bit lighter in terms of weight, and probably needed something a bit more substantial in the cotton--for the next cotton gown (chintz, please!), I'll do that. The 3.8 is definitely too light; it has a looser weave with thin threads, probably not the best linen. However, it is soft and feels nice between my fingers. I could see using this for a shift if I couldn't/didn't want to shell out the money for really good linen. Right now, I'm leaning towards the 5.3 or 6 oz, though the 6 is rather slubby, and not as soft. The 7.1 and 8 oz are not even on my radar, they're really heavy and almost canvas-like.

With the help of my more experienced friends, I'm getting closer to making a choice about wool broadcloth for a short cloak. I don't want to do a light or scarlet red; I'm looking toward other colors that aren't as frequently seen on reenactors, though I do have my eye on a claret! The colors I'm looking at are black, light purple, 2 dark greens, and the claret. The black is an 80/20 wool/cashmere, so I'm asking around about that mixture. I need something more on the heavy side as it gets cold up here and I'm planning on doing 2 events during the beginning of winter!

One of the ordered samples, gold-purple.
Third, I have silk samples on the way from Renaissance Fabrics. You can get 4 free samples from them, and I'd like to make a decision on silk sooner rather than later for my dress gown for the ball in January. The taffetas are both shot and not shot, so I'm looking forward to seeing those soon. Renaissance has very affordable prices (taffeta is $17/yard), and some of the colors look really pretty. Including the gold-purple, I ordered samples of copper, peacock blue, and ice blue.

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