Wednesday, November 2, 2011

That's What I'm Talking About

Yep, fabrics class. That's what I'm talking about! Who wouldn't love talking about fabrics for two hours? Unfortunately, I'll miss the field trip/class this Saturday since we'll be up in New York, but no fear, I'll be making it up in the spring.

Where do I start with this class? We talked about sampling fabrics, coordinating fabrics, repeats, Wyzenbeek method, natural fibers, man-made fibers, and different types of fabric - it was awesome I tell you. Lots of info packed into two hours but it was awesome.

No homework again, so I'm making up my own and will share it with you now...if you're anything like me, the best way to learn and familiarize yourself with fabrics is to scour different websites and just browse and see what draws your attention. Obviously this isn't as good as being able to view them in person, but you can get a ton of information on most websites - I love it and often find myself browsing some of these at lunch or when I have down time. And because I know how I am, I will be paying even closer attention to the fibers used in the fabrics moving forward.

Let's start with one of my favorite fabric manufacturer's websites, Lee Jofa. This site is so easy to search and to navigate. Once you hit the fabrics tab, you can choose to search and narrow your search by checking off type of fabric, color, fabric line, etc. Really great. I wanted to find a nice linen fabric, so all I did was check off linen and it returned over 70 results for me. Here is the one that got my attention:

Details: 60% linen; 40% viscose; 16"vertical repeat; 17"horizontal repeat
The viscose probably gives a little bit of sheen to the fabric. 
Love linen and love this fabric.

Details: This is a crewel fabric, which is all hand embroidered. My Mom did crewelwork when she was younger and it's really quite intricate in person. This one is 100% cotton. 34"vertical repeat and only for light duty 3,000 double rubs - i.e. you're not going to be watching football all afternoon on this pretty.

Ok, so love navigating Lee Jofa but let's switch gears and try out another one, Schumacher. Again, very easy to navigate. You can limit your search to a certain collection or type of fiber or color. Great, great, fun, fun, and more fun! I simply narrowed my search to Botanical/Foliage and got 85 results.

Details: 55% linen; 45% cotton; 27"horizontal repeat; 35"vertical repeat.
This linen/cotton blend would be good on pillows or cushions as suggested on the information on the website. I think it would be awesome on a headboard.

Oh my this one is beautiful, isn' it? This is a jacquard fabric which means it's woven on a loom. 100% cotton. 9,000 rubs so no football lounging, etc on this one. Perhaps some curtains or a roman shade? 24.5"vertical repeat; 3.25"horizontal repeat.

One last site, Robert Allen. Here is a striped fabric that I came across which is part of the Dwell Studio line. You'll notice that they show the repeat measurements on the sample swatch as well.

Details: 56% rayon, 30% poly, 14% flax; 45,000 rubs (wing chair!); 13.25" horizontal repeat.
This is such a handsome fabric - I would love to see this on a chair in an office or living room.  

There you have it - my take on some fabric research/homework. I've learned so much just by reading lots of fabric manufacturer websites. You'll find that you prefer certain website search set-ups more so than others. Some sites are not very user friendly at all, and some are so easy to use it's wonderful.

What online fabric sites do you navigate often? I'd love to hear about both your online preferences and work experiences in the showroom. Do you find yourself checking the fiber content when searching for fabrics? What types of fabrics have you all giddy these days? Tell, tell, tell!


  1. One of my favorite sites for fabric is Calico Corners. We don't have a store in our general vicinity but I've been in one of their stores and trust the quality-and I can be sure that if I fall in love with a fabric I won't end up finding out that it's a "to the trade" only fabric!

  2. I am a fan of Fabricut and Stout for less costly designer fabrics. I also like and Lewis & Sheron, for great online selections and pricing.
    Have a great trip to New York Holly!

  3. I like, mainly for the prices. I also like to browse the Schumacher website - so many beautiful fabrics. I never noticed the "rub" rating, but it could be very useful in deciding where the fabric could be used. Have fun on your little field trip to New York!

  4. Wow, these are gorgeous. Love the first Lee Jofa sample, and LOVE, LOVE the red jacquard sample. Fabric is so inspirational. I get lost in fabric, but so lost that I have a hard time making a decision!

    Have a great time in New York :-)

  5. Wow, that Lee Jofa fabric is AMAZING. I usually hit to browse. But, really, I have such a hard time looking at fabric online. I would much rather browse through fabric stores. My imagination goes wild there.

  6. Well, you hit on my favorites right there!! I am in love with Suzanne Kasler's new collection for Lee Jofa. I don't even think it is on their website yet? Anyway, I'm calling to place an order tomorrow, and I can't wait!!

  7. I am in love with Lee Jofa fabrics. They have so many selections from modern to traditional...although they are not cheap!

  8. I have that red Schumacher paisley fabric in black and cream on pillows in my living room right now. Great review.