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

WARP X WEFT: Textile 101

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At Britex Fabrics we believe it is important to know your fabrics. Knowledge of how fabric came into being is equally as important, and can be an endlessly fascinating topic. Enter Geana Seaburger, with her workshop Warp X Weft: Textile 101. Geana, a former Britex assistant buyer and marketing whiz, is an Oakland-based maker with a design studio,and owner of GDS Clothgoods. Although she is currently making aprons to order-and quite successfully-her passion seems to be textiles from the ground up, literally.

Attend her workshop Warp X Weft: Textile 101 at Britex Fabrics and you will hear, touch, smell, and see cotton, linen, wool, and silk in their most natural form. These natural fibers each have very different characteristics, which becomes evident the more you handle them.

In the classroom, she encourages students to touch, poke, prod, and pull apart a cotton ball, flax (linen fiber), wool fibers, and silk. Each fiber has differences in length, texture, strength, and beauty.

“Typically with fibers, length corresponds with quality… ”

 

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As she talks, students rip or pull pieces of the natural fibers and cut swatches from the corresponding finished fabrics, then glue them on sheets of paper, labeling them and taking notes. This exercise helps to illustrate the process that these fibers must go through to become fabrics. Students swatch different examples of fabric weaves, and learn that the sheen of a fabric is controlled by the type of weave it is woven into/from.

 

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Terms such as hand, sheen, drape, resilience, wicking properties, protein vs. animal fibers, plain weaves, and matte vs. reflection, are thrown around the room as the students handle and catalog examples of each of these. Synthetics and man made fibers are also discussed.

“If we’re  interested in textiles, it’s good to know the whole story.”

It is a given that Seaberger is very passionate about her subject matter. She touches on environmental matters as a part of her discussion, at one point saying “conventional cotton is terrible for the environment” in the way that it is produced. She praised polyester for its ability to “imitate so many natural fibers,” and described one of the fabric swatches she used as an example of a synthetic blend as a “coarse wool and yucky acrylic.”

Her workshop is given practically every month  and tickets sell out weeks, sometimes months ahead of time.

 

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Upcoming Workshop Dates
Saturday, September 10th 10:30am – 12:30pm
Saturday, October 1st 10:30am – 12:30pm

 

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Online Sale: 20% Off All Online Wool Category Fabrics 8/9 – 8/22

WOOL FABRIC SALE ONLINE August 9 August 22

Wool fabric from Britex Fabrics is perfect for every season. Summer-weight wools make elegant pleated slacks, wind-resistant boiled wools are perfect for snow-angel expeditions, tricotine is retro-glamorous for a 1950’s gored skirt, and everyone craves a snappy bespoke double-breasted pin-striped jacket for year-round urban flair.
Quantities are limited, so order your swatches now! This sale good for online wool category purchases* only 8/9 – 8/22. *This online sale does not apply to in-store, email, phone, or Customized Swatch purchases.

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I Love Britex Fabrics

NEW BUTTONS

Announcing free Britex buttons with purchase in our brick and mortar store! A new staff favorite is the new houndstooth one. Collect all six of these awesome buttons. Come in and make a purchase and any one of them can be yours!

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Wool Crepes and Gabardines in Our Brick-and-mortar Store

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Lovely blues and greens abound in our signature wool wall on the first floor. We love the cool blues, crisp greens, and the mix of textures and color. Really, once you start browsing the wool wall, touching the fabrics and dreaming of what to sew, you become lost in the possibilities.

Worth the stop in to our brick-and-mortar store, or use our customized swatch service online to pick out fabulous fabrics to make your next coat, suit, or autumn skirt.

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Unique Wool Crepes, Double Crepes, Cashmere and Other Exquisite Wool!

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Come in and say hello to Douglas on the first floor and check out our recent gorgeous unique acquisitions from Italy that just arrived. Douglas is rearranging our wool wall, in colors from all across the rainbow and every shade in between. These all wool crepes, double crepes, cashmere and other exquisite wools are to die for. Our Britex store owner says this is a “very special” group of goods from Italy, only available in our brick-and-mortar store. Worth the trip in! Not local? No worries, check out our amazing online wool selection.

 

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Novelty Wool Challis Print Robe & Hem Facing Tutorial

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You can never have too many robes! That was my first thought when I saw this amazing wool challis fabric from Britex. Wool challis is such an amazing fabric to work with and this Etro-like paisley print is exactly what I was looking for!

Since I wanted a luxurious robe with a shawl collar and did not have one drafted, I decided to use Vogue Patterns 8888, View A.

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Given the pattern repeat on this fabric (an uneven plaid), I ended up having to shorten the robe length by 1 ½” to get it to fit within my yardage. The amount I needed to shorten the robe by was just over the pattern specified hem allowance and I really wanted to stay as close as possible to original length. I thought a narrow hem would look out of place on such a luxe robe so I decided to make a hem facing!

 

Luckily I had decided to forgo pockets and had just enough fabric left to allow me cut hem facings. To calculate the dimensions of the hem facing, I first determined the size hem that I wanted. Keeping with the luxe theme, I decided to go with a generous 2” hem.

 

The hem of the robe is curved so to draft the hem facing, I first traced off the front and back pattern pieces along the line where I had cut the length. Next, I marked up from that line ¼” for the seam allowance to attach the facing to the robe, plus the 2” hem that I wanted to end up and finally another ½” to turn under the raw edge of the fabric and be able to topstitch the hem at 2”. Total width of the hem facing was 2 ¾” (¼” + 2” + ½”). I then traced the side seams of the garment to get the side seams of the hem facing so the facing so it would fit perfectly inside garment.

 

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Once the robe was sewn up, I applied the facings. First I sewed the front and back hem facings together and pressed under the 3/8” that I had allowed to turn under the raw edge (the extra 1/8” would ensure I would be able to topstitch the hem at 2” and capture the facing).

 

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Warm Wool Camden Cape: Made with Novelty Wool Coating

It may or not be nearing the end of winter here in California and it may or may not have been the best idea to make a lined wool cape, but how could I say “no” when this beautiful fabric was begging to be sewn into an awesome cape?!? Seriously guys, I don’t even care that the weather is going to warm up shortly, this cape is going to get a lot of use. I’m going to be wearing it in the middle of summer, dripping sweat, and it’s going to have to be pried off my body. Ok, I’m being dramatic, but I am really really in love with what I made!

 

 

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Online Wool Sale 20% Off (Coming Soon)

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We Love Our Customers

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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.

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Wool Fiber Art

Oh the Glory of Wool!

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Jeff Root is a Local San Francisco Artist who creates beautiful Fiber Art using various Woolens

(Mostly found at here Britex!)

Our Main Floor is a playground for Wool Fabric which you will see here on these beautiful pieces of Art!

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It doesn’t stop there, he also creates Plush toys, Cartoons & Paintings! Jeff learned how to use a sewing machine at a very young age!

His mother taught sewing classes in their home when Jeff was a kid.  When Jeff and his brother were bored (during snowstorms, etc), they would sew beanbags, which evolved slowly into Plush toys.

Click here to read more »

Posted: Britex Fabric Store, Hand-Crafted Items, Hand-Made with Britex Materials
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