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Information and tutorials for folks interested in antique Italian lacework, nouveau fashion, sewing techniques and much much more!

The Britex Blog

  • Cotton Shirt and Burnt Orange Jacket - Wanda and Jim

    June 29, 2012 by Avery

    Bay area residents Wanda and Jim were in Britex today wearing clothing made by Wanda. Jim had on a charming cotton shirt – he picked out the fabric, and chipperly informed me that it depicted his hometown of Franklin, Michigan. Wanda says she makes Jim shirts when he is “good”, and that he is good most of the time! Wanda made her burnt orange jacket from Britex home decorating fabric; we love her attention to fabric pattern detail with the matching shoulder and arm seams, cuffs, and tree centerpiece. She also made her earrings from passementerie buttons from Britex. Wanda started sewing when she was five by hand hemming handkerchiefs, and has been visiting Britex since 1962!

  • Get Busy: How to Tastefully Mix Silk Prints, Lace, and Solids

    June 29, 2012 by Britex Fabrics

    As fabric lovers, we cannot help but wonder how very different fabrics can be artfully combined to make the perfect ensemble. Here are a few tips for getting creative without the risk of going overboard: 1. Research. Pick five favorite designers/artists and check their work on a regular basis. Study their use of different fabrics and colors in order to understand your own taste. Remember--after all--fashion is subjective. I found NAHM , New York based designer, to be a huge inspiration on the topic of mixing and matching without being outlandish. 2. Choose a palette. It is easier to start with a print. You can pull colors to match from the print or find a complimentary color that is not in the print at all. Alternatively, try using a painting or photograph with coloring and textures you love.

  • SFGate Article about Britex!

    June 29, 2012 by Britex Fabrics

    It is Britex Fabrics’ 60th anniversary! What a fabulous article and series of photographs of our store in our local online rag, SFGate! We are particularly taken with quotes from our dedicated staff members, many who are first generation immigrants who’ve worked at Britex for decades. Maya says, "I walk down the street and people say, 'That's the button lady!' I love all the buttons, though I particularly love anything with rhinestones. The sparklier, the better." Ana, who landed her first job in America at Britex says, "Twenty-two years here. It has changed a lot, but it is still a family business. It is a Mecca. I look at all of the colors and fabric and feel happy. To me, it is a place where art happens." Opened by Austrians Lucy and Martin Spector, Britex Fabrics is currently run by their daughter Sharman, "My parents came out to San Francisco on vacation and saw this place and my father said, 'We are taking that store.' One of the first things my dad did was to create a 'wall of wool,' which we have today." (Photos by Siana Hristova and article by Julian Guthrie)

  • Imported Italian Swimsuit Fabrics at Britex!

    June 22, 2012 by Britex Fabrics

    Beachcomber alert! Britex Fabrics’ new imported Italian swimsuit fabrics are swimmingly swell. Find them on the 2nd floor. Nylon and lycra blend, 59” wide, and $39.99per yard. Out of town, and can’t make it into our brick and mortar store? Use Britex Fabrics’ Customized Fabric Swatch Shopper Service to order and see swatches of our exclusive new swimsuit fabric.

  • How to Make a Custom Swimsuit Pattern

    June 21, 2012 by Avery

    We love the beach at Britex Fabrics....looking for sand dollars, sipping lemonade, watching the waves roll in, and sultry afternoon naps. To help you enjoy yourself this summer, Britex has a bounteous selection of stunning imported Italian swimwear fabrics on our 2nd floor, and Stuart ‘s fashion design blog, Pattern School: The Original Home Of Stretch-fit Pattern Making offers detailed instructions for drafting swimwear and dancewear for women, men and children. He even has a section called Lazy People's Patterns for folks that don’t have the time to make their own patterns. His patternmaking instructions are sophisticated, detailed, and diverse, including guidelines for maternity swimsuits, micro swimwear, catsuits, men’s thongs and briefs, and toddler’s and children’s swimwear and leggings. His love for swimwear is evident; check out his swimsuit of the week on his home page! Use Britex Fabrics’ Customized Fabric Swatch Shopper Service to see swatches of our exclusive new swimsuit fabric.

  • Selected Silk Sale

    June 20, 2012 by Avery

    Britex Fabrics loves everything about silk and it shows. We now have a selection of silk prints marked to 20% off their regular price in our Online Sale Section! From gleaming charmeuse, to airy China silk, to geometric twills (perfect for a swank ascot.)...silk has it all! It is smooth, soft, strong, and lustrous. Silk is ethereal for a summer frock, and just as smart for a winter waistcoat lining. These fabrics will disappear quickly and cannot be re-ordered, so act quickly and buy what you need!

  • Sale Has Now Ended! Online Sale of Midweight Cotton Fabrics: 6/1/12 to 6/15/12

    June 15, 2012 by Britex Fabrics

    Friday, June 1st to the 15th, enjoy 20% savings on the entire online Midweight Cotton Fabrics category! Piqué, and shirtings, and twills oh my! These woven and printed midweight cotton fabrics travel wonderfully along the fashion highway, from tailored French-cuffed shirts, to crisp summer shifts. Many of these scrumptious fabrics are imported from Italy or Japan, lending them an additional worldliness. (This sale is good for online midweight cotton fabrics only – in-store fabrics are not included in this sale)

  • Unicorns and Clip-On Bow Ties

    June 15, 2012 by Britex Fabrics

    Casual Friday attire at Britex Fabrics means Liberty of London bow ties and gingham shirts. Avery is wearing a dashing clip-on bow tie made of Liberty of London cotton printed with prideful prancing unicorns, hearts, lions and rainbows! And in case you want to make your own, here are easy-peasy clip-on bow tie instructions. Britex Fabrics carries a wide range of Liberty of London fabric on the 2nd floor of their San Francisco store, and clip-on bow tie findings on the 3rd floor. Sadly, this particular classic print is no longer available.

  • Classic Shirting Fabric at Britex Fabrics

    June 15, 2012 by Britex Fabrics

    Britex Fabrics just got a trunk full of classic, high thread count cotton shirting remnants, which are flying off the 4th floor shelves the minute people touch them. These luxurious shirtings are 58” wide, and the yardage ranges from one to two yards – get creative and mix and match! (In-store only)

  • Owl Mere and Bébé Embroidery Patterns

    June 14, 2012 by Britex Fabrics

    Elsita is a Cuban trained artist who occasionally offers stunning hand-drawn free embroidery patterns for her blog readers. We are completely enamored with this crane wreathed by flying fish, and wide-eyed owl mere and bébé. She suggests embroidering one on a bag…and we agree!

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