Jump to content
Catherine Ronan

Finding Fabrics

Recommended Posts

Catherine Ronan
post-20-0-70524900-1400352738_thumb.jpg

 

I have a terrible time finding fabrics  where I live. I know there are a lot of places you can order small prints specifically for miniatures. Most of those are printed via a computer. I have loved many of the prints on offer but I have been disappointed by the texture and feel of many of those fabrics. Also I have had them change color when I had to iron them. So I have had to resort to some improvising in order to get something I like.

 

For this chair I bought a Metropolitan Museum of Art silk tie. It is William Morris print I bought on eBay. I took the tie apart and used iron on interfacing on the back of the fabric. The silk used for making ties can be really wonderful but it needs support which the interfacing provides.

 

I hope if you have a good resource, you will share some links.

 

post-20-0-12838300-1400353146_thumb.jpg

  • Like 2

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WeekendMiniaturist

Catherine, this tie is perfect for your chair!  and I have also purchased ties over the years for the miniature stash.  I periodically shop for fabric at least twice a year, but unfortunately have no specific links, as I prefer to buy fabrics in person.  It is very difficult / tricky to see the scale of fabric online, even if the seller displays the fabric with a ruler.  I have a lot of fabric.  I buy 100% silk in my favorite colors for drapes, upholstery and costuming... and I buy 100% cotton fabric for miniature quilting, upholstery and costuming.  Although it might sound strange - fabric also has a cycle of fashion, so if you don't buy it when it is "hot" you won't be able to find it, subsequently the reason I shop consistently every year.  William Morris prints are a great example.  It was popular in the quilt shop a few years ago, but now most of the inventory is gone; so if you don't buy it when it is out, you won't find it when you need it.  Now you would have to look for it on eBay or online, (at least here in the US) it might always be in style in the UK.  I generally gravitate to privately owned stores, chain stores all have the same inventory and the same buyer... I love to fabric shop in Boston and NYC, but I haven't been to Philadelphia, but I've fabric shopped in California, Chicago, IL, and here at home, for cottons, I think there is no place like home, as we have a strong quilting community in real life.  If I want to buy silk, I do like to shop in Chicago, IL, Boston, and NYC... I did find silk of course in CA, but nothing really memorable... and I never luck out buying online in real life or mini.

 

The past line of WM fabric was "The Morris Workshop" by Barbara Brackman for Moda - you can google to see the line.  Some of the patterns could work for scale minis.  I don't have problems ordering it online and shopping for a good price, just as long as I have already seen it in real life.

 

Resale shops are good sources of silk and leather... if you don't mind working at it you can cut up old gloves or purses or leather skirts or coats....

 

Of course I do buy fabric at miniature shows, too, but unless it is a solid color, I stay to the discipline of seeing it in real life first - because I know my limitations. 

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Catherine Ronan
Thank you for telling me about your stash of fabrics. I am happy to hear someone else has found ties useful. I would love to shop in big cities for fabrics. I would also like to find a good source for paper thin glove leather. I am always on the look out for old leather gloves.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Wm. R. Robertson

Another source of amazing fabric is a shop in NYC called Cora Ginsberg, this shop specializes in museum quality antique fabrics. They have incredible stuff. Frank & Jeffery of La Chateau miniatures used to shop there. Years ago when Cora was alive they had drawers full of little scraps.... The pieces were not cheap but they were fantastic. I haven't been in the shop in years.

So if you are in NYC check it out,

http://www.coraginsburg.com/antique_textile.htm

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Bill Hudson

Fine leather.  I used to look for old long ladies gloves (Marlin Monroe type) at thrift stores. ladies gloves usually are very thin leather and it can be died. for my buggy tops i used pliver.  It is sheep belly leather and very thin. I find it at a local leather store sometimes.  Not cheap.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
ElgaKoster

Catherine, I am with Tamra when it comes to buying fabrics, nothing beats seeing and feeling it. Also I think the real exclusive fabrics are often not online even if the shops have web stores. You will just have to come to Castine one year and have a shopping spree in NYC on the way. I wish I knew about the store Bill mentioned when I was in NY, oh well...next time. Another place not be missed in NY is Tinsel traders, they specialize in antique trims, I have found a few really nice things here, their stock changes continually and although they have an online store, none of the items I bought ever made it to the website.

http://www.tinseltrading.com/index.php?splashed=1

One thing I found disappointing about the Garment district, most of the shops don't sell less than a yard of fabric, way too much for average miniature use, I don't mind paying a high price but it seems a waste if I know I am only going to use a small piece, one of the reasons I love quilt shops, they understand that you often only need a tiny piece.

One of my favorite pieces in my fabric stash...my husband's old air force shirt from the days before we got married, it has a really small blue and white woven check pattern, perfect for traditional dish towels and servant's clothes. Thrift stores and antique fairs are also places I have found both nice fabric and antique cotton lace.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
WeekendMiniaturist

You can also find fine leathers from bookbinding sources... but they will be more expensive.  I did some shopping for goat skin leather, and once again found shopping in person to be the best experience, as you will be able to feel if the leather is supple and has any elasticity... while we don't want to pull to tight, if it has no give if doesn't upholster well... I really love old leather gloves, and I have a stash of those as well, the kind we used to wear for evening wear, and I bet you have a resource in your city... you can even find them in antiques stores... my husband is well trained, and knows what not to pass up; If I'm not around.

 

I don't know why, but prefer to shop in Boston on my way up to Guild School... and NYC when at the Guild Show.  I would definitely want to go to Loom Fabrics if in Pittsburg, PA, and I haven't made it to Hancocks of Paducah, KY, but I hear this is a quilters heaven, so we would of course want to see fabrics in 100% cotton in KY... stop there when going to Maysville Museum, after all you are in the same state! 

 

But the garment district is wonderful... and I don't remember anyone requiring me to buy a yard... they were being mean to our Elga.    if you pay with cash in NYC you can probably talk them into selling you a smaller qty... the key is to blend in, and look like you are working on broadway... have some swatches and a notebook and cell phone.  It is so easy and convenient to shop in NYC while you are at the Teaneck NJ Guild Show.  I have taken the bus into the city multiple times,  even by myself, and love NYC... we can put together a shopping in NYC when at the Guild Show... but I don't know where to add the suggestions in the forum.  I am sure that Jaime C will also have some tips for you, and hopefully he will log in soon after the Kensington is over.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Catherine Ronan

Thank you all for the great links and tips. I am sure others will find it helpful too. Please keep them coming. :)

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
Debora Beijerbacht

When I just started out I'd trouble finding small print fabric too, but soon discovered the charity shops. Yes, silk ties! Perfect but not always to your designer taste :( I mean, seventies yellow and brown speckles whaha? But i keep an eye out every time i'm in there.

 

Another great source for quilt fabrics too. Worn down, washed too often shirts with fine checkers and stripes have provided me with the perfect thin cotton i needed to make a quilt. I did buy on line once but it was a disappointment so i won't do that no more. You simply need to feel it, to know if it's what you're looking for. 

 

Good luck with sourcing!

 

Your chair is stunning, love you centered the pattern. These little details make it a delight to view. Thank you for sharing it here too!

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
bonni.b

I agree with Debbie that charity shops are a favorite source. Besides neckties and leather, I've found men's shirts with a fine stripe, perfect for pillow ticking and once found a rough wool jacket fabric that was perfect for a customer's Tudor bed covering (peasants). We have excellent Goodwill shops here in Maine, and when I was visiting Norway we shopped textiles at so many Fretex (Salvation Army) shops I was charged $100 for overweight luggage! Well worth it though.

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites
BarbStudebaker

First post....sorry about my profile pic being upside down. It won't load any other way. Even if I turn the original before loading it.

I have great luck at the thrift shops and occasionally flea markets and antique shops. Vintage fabric drapes so much better than new. Always use this for my quilts.

Does anyone know where mini lace can be found? Specifically, not trim, but enough for dress skirts, etc. I have plenty of old lace that will do for curtains and spreads, but the patterns are usually too big for dresses. I have nothing that will do for chianti illy-type lace for example.

  • Like 1

Share this post


Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.


×
×
  • Create New...