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Tag Archives: wool fabric

The Britex Blog

  • Peacoat Fashion: Then & Now

    September 9, 2016 by Britex Fabrics

    GETTY IMAGES CREDITPhoto Credit Getty Images

      The origin of the word peacoat is from the Dutch word pije, which in Dutch describes a coat made from coarse wool fabric.  (The Great Wall of Wool inside Britex Fabrics is over 110 feet long) While it was originally the Dutch who first created the peacoat, it was the British Navy who popularized it. The British version was created as a uniform for petty officers, and was also known as a pettycoat for this reason. After the British began wearing peacoats, the design eventually made its way across the Atlantic to the U.S. The United States Navy had sailors known as reefers, who were the people responsible for climbing up the rigging of the sailing ships.

    US NAVY 1884Reefers 1884

  • For Immediate Release - Britex Fabrics Presents: PROJKT Maiden Lane

    July 25, 2016 by Britex Fabrics







    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                            July 25, 2016


    Press contacts: Joie Rey Cohen / 415.392.2910 /

                            Dina Fayer / 415.392.2910 /


    Britex Fabrics presents: PROJKT Maiden Lane

    A Runway Showcase Featuring Four Designers
    from Project Runway and Under the Gunn


    Friday, Sept. 23 2016 / 7:00– 9:30pm  / Union Square, SF / Historic Maiden Lane is about to be transformed into a runway, as Britex Fabrics presents PROJKT Maiden Lane–featuring new fall designs from Emily Payne, Kini Zamora and Richard Hallmarq (All Three From Project Runway) and Rey Ortiz (From Under the Gunn), along with new work and collaborations with local artists Michael Covington and L.V.M.

    Local designer/Britex Fabrics alum/Project Runway All Stars favorite Emily Payne explains, "I realized how many pieces in my collections have always been made with fabrics from Britex, and that it just makes sense to collaborate on a show. Both Richard and I have done draping workshops at Britex before, but this event is just huge." Britex Fabrics has a long history of supporting local designers, showcasing their work in window displays and on social media, and even sponsoring the Academy of Art's Britex Fabrics Project collection in 2009 (which previewed at Mercedes-Benz NY Fashion Week). "Fabrics make fashion–literally," says Britex Fabrics owner Sharman Spector, "You can't have one without the other. It's wonderful to see what designers like Emily do with our fabrics, and we think it's incredibly important to support that kind of creativity."

    Attendees of PROJKT Maiden Lane will enjoy free giveaways and pop-up shops with Britex Fabrics, Leathertongue & Devon Rose designed by Emily Payne, Goorin Brothers Hats, Threads Magazine, Myla’Cor Martinis, Caffe’ Central and more.

    Doors for the Myla’Cor Martini Bar inside Britex Fabrics to open at 6:15pm. Runway show at 7:00pm.

    Britex Fabrics offers a variety of workshops, online tutorials, community partnerships and store tours. A San Francisco landmark since 1952, Britex is four floors of fabulousfeaturing high quality fashion and furnishing fabrics along with notions, trims and 22,000 styles of buttons.


    Please contact Joie Cohen or Dina Fayer for further information about Britex Fabrics or press inquiries about PROJKT Maiden Lane.


  • THE Outlander Dress--from Britex Fabrics!

    April 8, 2016 by Britex Fabrics

    Season 2 of Outlander premiers on Saturday evening, and one of the most iconic new costumes--featured prominently in the Starz official trailer and all over the Internet--is this stunning dress made of fabric from Britex! We were thrilled to work with Outlander costume designer Terry Dresbach, who spent several days here choosing fabrics, trims and buttons for both seasons. Most of the fabrics that she selected were plaids and woolens for Season 1 (set in chilly Scotland), but this particular fabric is such a unique, spectacular combination of color and pattern that we are not surprised to see it emerge in Season 2, set in 18th century Paris. brown dress outlander This dress is made of a heavy, luxurious furnishing fabric produced in Turkey by one of our favorite sources. Unusually, the floral pattern does not run up the roll, but was designed in panels. Each panel was 27" square: which meant that there were two panels in each 3/4 yard. We are generally wary of carrying panels like this in the store, because the square design tends to limit application to pillows, ottomans and the like--but we absolutely fell in love with the colors and were confident that our customers would feel the same!
    Terry is an incredibly savvy designer, so she turned the panels to her advantage, placing the flowers strategically around the skirt and bodice...and we can't imagine a more beautiful usage for for one of our favorite fabrics. We're also proud to mention that Outlander creator Ronald Moore (who happens to be Terry's husband) says in the Starz trailer that this is his favorite dress!
    We no longer have this particular piece in the store (because it took a LOT to make this dress), but we carry other fabrics of similar quality and design from the same source--so come in and take a look!
    Expect to hear more from us about Outlander as the season progresses!

  • Online Wool Sale 20% Off (Coming Soon)

    February 25, 2016 by Britex Fabrics


  • We Love Our Customers

    February 22, 2016 by Britex Fabrics

    Sue Manuel 3
    Sue Manuel who is a loyal Britex Fabrics customer stopped in looking for some fabric for a new creation that her dress maker back in Canberra, Australia will be making for her. Our staff immediately noticed the fabulous jacket she was wearing was crafted from our French wool, silk lining, and shiny buttons. Her jacket was designed and made by Gloria Grady, her dress maker in Australia.

    Sue Emanuel 4

  • Partaking Patrons Vol. IX

    July 8, 2015 by Britex Fabrics

    Welcome to Partaking Patrons volume 9! This is a bi-monthly post where Britex will be celebrating our customers and the gorgeous items they create with our materials. Interested in participating? Email us at [] for further information.   3   Today we are honoring the cuddly and warm goodies some of our customers have made. It has been a glum and rainy day here in San Francisco, and what better way to overcome that than with gorgeous coats? Our first entry comes from the lovely Peggy Allen (all the way in Alaska!) and her gorgeous winter wear.

  • Tutorial: Reinforcing a Kimono Sleeve Like an Expert

    February 17, 2015 by Lilacs & Lace

    Hello everyone! Today I have a few tricks to help you reinforce the curved edge of a kimono sleeve using this wool and mohair boucle. 01 I love a kimono sleeve. The design feature is classic, easy to wear, and very easy to construct. As a fan of vintage silhouettes, I have made quite a few dresses and blouses with this design feature over the years. But I have never liked the fact that it requires clipping into a seam that sees a lot of movement and potential wear.

  • Perfectly Fall Pleated Dress + Tips for Ironing Wool

    September 10, 2014 by Jamie Lau Designs


    In anticipation for fall, I designed a pleated dress with a little bit of sleeve coverage using a designer midweight wool in beautiful teal. I thought the subtle blue and green coloration would work great with the season change. This fabric has a nice drape to it and was very easy to cut and sew. The generous width (59” wide) is perfect for a pleated skirt design - or even a circle skirt!

  • Wool Cashmere Winter White Coat - Laura

    April 3, 2013 by Britex Fabrics

    Laura made this amazing winter white coat in an Italian cashmere wool coating fabrics from Britex. She used Simplicity Project Runway pattern #2508; we love the dramatically wide cuffs, double-breasted front, asymmetrical collar, and back shaping details…..and are in awe with the meticulous job Laura did with tailoring this beautiful garment! Laura gave a special thank you to Douglas, on Britex Fabrics’ first floor, for assisting her with her fabric choice. Psst....we carry a selection of our coatings online!

  • Black & White Wool Houndstooth Shirt by Scissors & Cloth

    October 31, 2012 by Britex Fabrics

    We’re so fortunate to have such talented and sweet-natured tailors in San Francisco! Carlos is from Scissors & Cloth; they build couture collared dress shirts, each hand-draped, hand-cut and handcrafted through various classic and modern shirt-making techniques. My goal is to provide exceptional customer service through one on one appointments in my downtown, underground shirt-making workshop. Each client is personally hand-draped with muslin to find that perfect fit.  Once the fabric is smoothed over all shapes of the upper torso, all seams are then drawn in using chalk, including the yoke, neckhole, armhole, side seams and hem.  This gives me an accurate pattern to work from. The muslin is then transferred over to paper and the patternmaking process begins.  I build as many samples that I need to until the client is happy with the fit. Once the fit is deemed perfect, I go to work on the final piece. Patterns are then filed away for future use. Britex Fabrics and Scissors & Cloth collaborated over a length of classic black and white houndstooth wool fabric to come up with this warm and spiffy shirt. Contributing designer Carlos says, “I chose to work with a wool hounds-tooth because of its sheer classic beauty.  However, any fabrics with patterns can be more time consuming to work with.   As far as working with patterns goes, I typically cut each piece one at time, even if there are multiples of the same pattern. Take the yoke for instance, I start by placing my yoke pattern on one piece of fabric, trace around it, then cut out the piece.  I then take that cut piece and lay that down on more fabric while matching up all the patterns on the fabric to the first yoke.  If done precisely, the first yoke blends into the fabric pattern so beautifully that you cannot tell that there are two pieces.  This can be very time consuming but your guaranteed identical pattern pieces, which makes the end product that much nicer. Another issue I came across were raw edges that were fraying.  To better deal with this, any time I cut a pattern piece, I always ran a 1/4 stitch line around my fabric pattern pieces so that the fraying would not run over my 3/8" seam allowance. “

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