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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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New Workshops Coming Soon: Hand Sewing 101 & Hand Sewing For Mending and Repair

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Hand Sewing 101 (coming soon)

Learn basic hand sewing techniques to banish your fears of stitching by hand. This beginner-level class will cover the essentials, from tools and materials to all the most common sewing stitches. No previous sewing experience required.

Hand Sewing for Mending & Repair (coming soon)
Rescue worn clothing with simple hand mending techniques. This class will cover basic hand-sewn repairs for tears, holes, and frayed fabrics. Students are expected to know basic hand-sewing techniques.before taking this class.

Keep up with our upcoming events to reserve your space in our workshops.

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Draping With Emily Payne from Project Runway All Stars!

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Workshop Alert December 19 – Fashion Design w/ Jamie Lau

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Calling all fashionistas and fashion enthusiasts! Have you ever wanted to learn real world fashion skills from a full-time designer? Well, now is your chance. Jamie Lau, of Jamie Lau Designs, will be here on December 19th to show you the basics for beginning a successful move into the world of fashion. She will cover starter fashion drawing techniques, creating mood boards for color selection, and will help with fabric awareness. Students will have access to croquis (fashion figure templates), colored pencils, and markers for sketching. In addition, you will also create inspirational mood boards using magazine tears, fabric swatches, and collage.

 

Because space is limited, we encourage you to sign-up right away! See our events page for information on reserving your spot.

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New Workshop — Drafting Collars with Jamie Lau

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One of our lovely guest bloggers, Jamie Lau of Jamie Lau Designs, is traveling from the East Coast next month and will be hosting a workshop while she is here. We are so excited to have her in the store, and we hope that you will join us for her demo. Jamie will be here on May 21st to show us how to draft our own collars, including Peter Pan and Mandarin collars, and also how to alter pre-exisiting pattern pieces. Make sure you sign-up soon to reserve your spot!

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Loop Scarf Workshop on 11/1

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It’s not too late to register for the Knit a Loop Scarf Using Fabric workshop on Saturday, November 1—yes, that is the day after Halloween. Local Designer, Kika Knaup, will walk us through the steps of making this simple art scarf. Click here to read more »

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Make Your Own Fabulous Mask

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We just couldn’t help it. A photo shoot was surely bound to happen since we just haven’t been able to keep our hands off the samples Natalie made for the Mask-Making workshop this Saturday. Natalie is the manager and buyer for the Notions Department, and is also an avid seamstress, specializing in hand-crafted reproductions of historical costumes and accessories ranging from the Renaissance to the Roaring ‘20s. For several years we’ve all had the pleasure of seeing her amazing costumes—often winning the annual Costume Contest—but learning from her is a rare opportunity. Follow her sewing adventures on her blog Frolicking Frocks, and of course, join us on 10/25! Click here to read more »

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Oct. 25 Halloween Workshops + Contest

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Halloween is a big deal at Britex! That’s why we’re supplying you with so much more than just materials this year. The mask-making workshops on October 25 are guaranteed to inspire and transform. A mask is perfect for those that want to keep it simple, but still want to play. It can also be an impressive finishing touch on an already elaborate costume. The workshops are back-to-back on Saturday morning starting at 10:30 and 11:30 and the cost is $15 per person. Get the details and register HERE.

If you are a long-time customer than you probably already know about our fabulous Halloween staff costume contest that takes place every year. Take a look at last years costumes and see for yourself how committed to a good costume Britex staff can be! Join us on October 25 to vote for the winner and enter for a chance to win a $100 Britex Fabrics gift certificate.

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Winners of 2013 Britex Fabrics Halloween staff costume contest

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A Studio Visit w/ Lisa Solomon

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Welcome to Lisa Solomon’s studio. Lisa, who is teaching the Hand Appliqué workshop on August 16, welcomed Britex to her studio in Oakland.

We have been searching and researching local designers and makers to teach at Britex. Many weeks ago, we set out to find visual artists working with fibers and textiles who would be interested in sharing their ‘outside the box’ approach to making. Lisa was an obvious perfect match. She is a mixed media artist with lots of teaching experience. She exhibits her work both nationally and internationally and is the author of Knot Thread Stitch – exploring creativity through embroidery and mixed media [Quarry]. Click here to read more »

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Britex & SFMade Week

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SFMade presents a week-long celebration of San Francisco’s vibrant manufacturing sector: discover locally made products, the people who make them, and where to buy them. SFMade Week is seven days of education, exploration, and innovation, designed to celebrate and heighten local awareness and understanding of the local manufacturing sector and the companies and people who bring locally made products to fruition.

Tour some of the City’s best known and emerging artisan manufacturers’ factories. Take classes and pick up a new craft with your favorite manufacturers across the city. Taste, tour, and toast during these special events with independent wineries and breweries. Wednesday, May 7, build a vibrant manufacturing sector with us, and come to SFMade’s Annual Fundraiser, Ramp It Up!

As SFMade members and SFMade Week sponsors, Britex is adding to the celebration with a Warp x Weft: Textile 101 (May 6) and an After-Hours Textile Tour (May 8).

Register here >

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SFMade Week Warp x Weft: Textile 101

 

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SFMade Week After-Hours Textile Tour

So much more in happening during SFMade Week.
Learn More >

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