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Re: [TheCostumersManifesto] Re: Robe Fabric Selections...

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  • Wade MacMorrighan
    Now, I did not know tat satin was a finish rather than a fabric. Fascinating! Now, when searching for rayon/poly fabric for robes that will be intended to
    Message 1 of 8 , Jan 19, 2012
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      Now, I did not know tat satin was a "finish" rather than a fabric. Fascinating! Now, when searching for rayon/poly fabric for robes that will be intended to "flow" and be weighty enough, would it behoove me to look for "stretch" rayon/ poly, or would it matter?


      Re: machine-washible satin: That is very interesting! How can I tell if silk can be machine-washed even if the bolt explicitly says "dry clean only"? And, yes, re: the robes I intend to sew, I shall only be wearing and washing them irregularly.....once every six weeks or so at a minimum. Now, if a bolt of fabric has acetate in it, it *should* be labeled as such, correct?! And, re: lining fabrics, I've never seen those before so I'm hoping I can find them in just as beautiful an assortment as I would a satin! Unfortunately, I can never seem to find any satin monochromatic patters and prints, such as filigree-designs in Des Moines, IA. unfortunately.


      Like you, I am also very tactile and visual.....I prefer being able to see the fabric (photos often don't do it justice) and to be able to feel the texture of it. As always, though, I am a bit concerned about shopping at JoAnne's....in the past they have treated us very rudely!!! Making us wait for a VERY long time as they chit chat with each other at the check out before helping us at the cutting counter, and one time while we were waiting they helped another man who barged in front of us afar we had been waiting for several minutes!





      For the first question...no. Not all poly/rayon blends stretch. We've had several costume pieces of the stuff, most specifically an assortment of tie-dyed shirts of various cuts, that were all rayon blends and none of them were stretchy (kinda wish they had been, it would have saved me a lot of patching them back together when the dancers ripped them...) Most stretch blends also have some lycra or nylon in them...neither polyester nor rayon are inherently stretchy, so I don't know how they'd make a 'stretch' blend of them without adding something else.

      Second question--it depends. 'Satin' is a finish, not a specific material. You can get polyester satin, silk satin, even (on rare occasion) satin-finished cotton...

      Also, a lot of fabrics that are marked as 'dry-clean only' CAN, actually, be washed, especially if you use a machine with a delicate cycle and don't wash them on a constant (ie, once a week) basis...and even that isn't a hard-and-fast rule (because we end up with several 'dry clean' items that we wash once a week for three months each summer during our shows).

      If the fabric has ANY acetate content at all, DO NOT machine-wash it (I'd recommend staying away from acetates, period, as it's really temperamental stuff that tears easily, fades quickly with exposure to darn near anything, and doesn't stand up to wear and tear very well at all...the only thing it has going for it is it's cheap.) Without actually seeing what, specifically, you're looking at, I can't advise you in any more detail than that.

      Third question--I'm not sure what, specifically, you're asking about lining fabrics. If you're wondering if they're machine washable, some of them are, yes. Again, stay away from acetates...polyesters and nylons would probably handle it okay. You could even potentially line it with a lightweight, smooth-finish cotton, which should also be okay to wash. Where this is going to be a ceremonial robe, I'm assuming it's only going to be worn on special occasions, only a few times a year...I'm not sure how paranoid you are about hygiene, but something like that I'd say could be washed quarterly...or even bi-annually, unless you sweat a lot while you're wearing it.

      Fourth question--If the local store doesn't have what you're after, you might try JoAnn's online service (although I get very frustrated looking for fabric that way, because I tend to be a very visual and tactile shopper, in that I'm first drawn to what catches my eye for a project, and then whether or not it feels 'right' will seal the deal...) I've had okay experiences with buying fabric online, so have most of the people I know, although one friend got sent some REALLY poor-quality wool gabardine for a project last winter...

      If you do end up resorting to shopping online, there are a lot of places that have better selections AND better prices than JoAnn's (unless you've got one of the 50% off coupons out of their mailers...) I've usually either found what I'm looking for there, not found it and gone somewhere else (like Hancock's) and found it, or compromised and bought something that was not what I was after, specifically, but it was something I could make work. Or, I gave up in disgust and left...but that wouldn't be much help to you. It's rare that I go the internet route, just because I like to actually see what I'm getting, and not a thumbnail picture of a couple of square inches of the fabric.

      If they don't have what you need in the store, ask them about it. They may have it at another store in the area. They may (unlikely, but not totally impossible) have it in the store room, waiting to be put on the shelf. They might be able to special order it. Or they might be able to tell you another store in the area (that is, NOT another JoAnn's) that could help you out.

      Good luck with it!





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    • Tess
      Wade, I used to make vestments for a living (now retired) and I used poly/rayon blends almost exclusively for those robes that needed to be worn and used a
      Message 2 of 8 , Jan 19, 2012
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        Wade,
        I used to make vestments for a living (now retired) and I used poly/rayon blends almost exclusively for those robes that needed to be worn and used a lot. Try either a poly/rayon linen or twill...aka gabardine also called "suit" or "sport" weight fabric. Stay away from stretch fabrics unless you're doing something that needs to be form fitting and you need the stretch... like a unitard or whatever. You won't be able to line a stretch fabric with a satin or lining fabric because most of those are NOT stretchable.. they're what's called a plain weave. But there are stretch satin fabrics to use with other stretch poly fabrics... it's just that these are harder for a beginner to sew on (use need to use a special knit/stretch needle in the machine or you'll have skipped stitches all over the place) and stretch fabrics "grow" on you... they droop! And they're usually hot and heavy to wear.
        The linen look poly/rayon blend is totally machine washable... as are poly satins. And they work well together... I've used them together for over 30 years. Just look for the colors you need... poly/rayon blacks are not always that "black". Poly satin on the other hand comes in good true blacks, reds, whites... whatever you need. And both those fabrics are usually 58 to 60" wide, so good for any wide flowing vestment type robes. And they're not all that expensive... the poly/rayon "linen" look at Hancock's is about $7 to $10 yd and the twill/sport/gabardine fabric is $8 yd. Darn stuff keeps going up... I remember both at $7 and $5 yd just a couple years ago. Their poly satins are gorgeous to work with and wash like a dream... there are several types, my favorite is Monese satin... like a medium weight bridal satin... not too thin and not too heavy. It's about $8 yd. But there are costume satins, dull satins (very nice for linings, too) and even a stretch satin.... all from $5 to $10 yd. And currently all satins are on sale (it's getting to be prom season, don't ya know).
        Hey, I don't work for Hancocks... I just live in a small hick town and they're the only game in town where I can actually "look" and "touch", so you may have to look and see what you can find locally, too. Joann's used to carry the same goods as Hancock, but now.... they're more into the "craft" crap. You can buy online from some places like fabric.com and denverfabrics.com with confidence, and my favorite... voguefabricsstore.com in Chicago...(note the 2 ss) nice for vestment type stuff. And I have a favorite "renaissancefabrics" place on ebay. They have the real thing in vestment fabrics and well as a good supply of satins.
        You sound like a newbie, so I'd stick to the woven fabrics and stay away from stretch for your first robe, unless you can control your anger really well. One more thing... stretch and satin fabrics do not like to be "unstitched"... they're nearly impossible to "undo" (sewing into satin leaves "holes" that may not "heal"), so go slow and "baste".... that means stitch seams up by hand first before machine stitching them if you don't want to have to "rip" them open again. Good luck!!
        Tess.



        --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, Wade MacMorrighan <Wade@...> wrote:
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        > Hey guys, do you recall the robe pattern that I wanted to modify slightly for some ritual robes? Here it is: http://sewing.patternreview.com/Patterns/21481 I'd basically sew it closed, omit the hood, and drop the sleeves a LOT! :o) Well, I just got a hold with a priestess from Mass. who told me what their ritual robes are made of (as I am attempting to intimate them) and she said they were made from black poly/rayon blends of fabric because they are heavy in weight and flow nicely, as well because it can be machine-washed. The bell-sleeves are lined with heavy red satin or lining fabric. I have a question re: poly-rayon blends: Is it *all* "stretch"? I have seen it listed, frequently, as "stretch" rayon poly blends. And, is satin machine-washible? What of lining fabric? How should I approach my local Jo Anne's Fabrics if they don't have the fabric in the colors that I require? There are also thousands of different shades of "red" or every color, really. Do they have a way that I can choose a precise color for them to special order when I need to? And, do they--as other stores do--may me buy the whole bulk-item?
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        > Take Care,
        > Wade
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      • GCKidd
        That s funny, to me...here, it s going the opposite direction. The one Hancocks in easy driving distance from where I live has about half the store dedicated
        Message 3 of 8 , Jan 20, 2012
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          That's funny, to me...here, it's going the opposite direction. The one Hancocks in easy driving distance from where I live has about half the store dedicated to quilting and fleece products, another third of what's left to interior decorating...I'm currently working on several costumes for a friend's event (a masquerade, but every costumes is supposed to be predominantly white). I went to Hancocks because they're more conveniently located, but they had absolutely NOTHING in stock that was even remotely useful to me.

          I've had the 'waiting in line' problem at JoAnn's before, but since they've instituted a 'take a number' policy, I haven't had that problem (just the frustration of realizing that there are, in fact, fifteen people who really ARE ahead of me in line, even if they're off browsing the store, waiting for their number to be called...)

          Wade, if you want something with a kind of satiny finish but with a design woven into it, you might also look at the brocades and jacquards. The selection was pretty limited, when I was in earlier tonight, around here...but that limited selection had some really nice alternatives.

          As for which silks can be washed...well, actually, I'm not sure. I know you're not supposed to wash dupioni silk...but I'm also pretty sure you don't want to use that, since it's $25/yd or so (although it is beautiful stuff). However, I'm skeptical of just how definite that 'don't wash' guideline is, since the people who told me about basically told me that getting dupioni wet would ruin it (I've had opportunity to learn, first-hand, that isn't the case). I've had several china silk shirts over the years that I washed with my regular laundry, and they held up fine. The problem, I believe, is that a lot of silks have a very distinct finish--very smooth, almost glossy (not quite a full-on satin shine, but in that direction.) Rough treatment of the fabric (like heavy agitation in a washing machine) can raise a nap on the material--and once that happens, there's no way to get it to look quite normal again. What's worse, because those patches will reflect light a little differently, they end up looking like they're discolored or faded, even when they aren't (learned this one the hard way, one of our performers dropped her silk gown on top of an aerosol bottle of hair spray during a quick change, didn't notice it, and hung the dress up after the show...by the time we saw it, the hair spray had completely set up. The process of getting it back out again messed up the dress...gorgeous sapphire blue silk, with a very blatant 'faded' spot on the right hip.) So, if you're only washing once every other month or so, I think you'll be okay (especially if you have one of the new front-loading washers that tumbles the wash, rather than a top-loader with an agitator in it). Just make sure you ALWAYS wash on the gentlest setting your machine has, and I would strongly advise line-drying for longevity of the fabric. If the silk is actually your lining (which would be an expensive way to go, but nothing I've found feels quite as luxuriant as silk next to the skin, so...*shrug*), you wouldn't need to worry as much, as it wouldn't be seen.
        • Wade MacMorrighan
          Hey guys, something I have been after, but have t (yet) seen before is satin with a monochromatic pattern at all! I was browsing some beautiful satin on-line
          Message 4 of 8 , Jan 20, 2012
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            Hey guys, something I have been after, but have't (yet) seen before is satin with a monochromatic pattern at all! I was browsing some beautiful satin on-line when I came upon this fabulous sage-colored satin; and I thought to myself, if only it had a monochromatic filigrees motif (my fav. motif) it would be perfect to line my bell-sleeves with if, for example, I wanted to coordinate my wardrobe with an activity, such as speaking on or giving a workshop about herbalism! :o) Even something that resembled beautiful Victorian-style wallpaper would be right up my aesthetic alley. :o)







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          • francesgrimble
            ... I think the fabric you may be looking for is damask. Damask is a woven pattern, often though not always in one color or two colors with low contrast.
            Message 5 of 8 , Jan 21, 2012
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              --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, Wade MacMorrighan <Wade@...> wrote:
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              > Hey guys, something I have been after, but have't (yet) seen before is satin with a monochromatic pattern at all!

              I think the fabric you may be looking for is damask. Damask is a woven pattern, often though not always in one color or two colors with low contrast. Damasks can be woven with any fiber. Silk and faux silk damasks are very popular for home-dec/drapery, and also for historic costumes for various eras. White cotton and linen damask tablecloths are available all over eBay (often for low prices) and can be dyed any color you like with Procion MX dyes.

              Hope this helps.

              Fran
              Lavolta Press
              Books on making historic clothing
              www.lavoltapress.com
            • PlaidCrafter
              Over at this post http://craftside.typepad.com/craftside/2012/02/indygo-junction-pattern-giveaway-and-how-to-mark-a-button-location-before-stitching.html and
              Message 6 of 8 , Feb 14, 2012
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                Over at this post http://craftside.typepad.com/craftside/2012/02/indygo-junction-pattern-giveaway-and-how-to-mark-a-button-location-before-stitching.html
                and this post
                http://recycledcrafts.craftgossip.com/giveaway-indygo-junction-patterns/2012/02/14/
                there are chances to win your choice of any Indygo Junction pattern!
                Stef
                http://thecardalbum.blogspot.com/
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                http://craftside.typepad.com/
                http://recycledcrafts.craftgossip.com/
                Facebook facebook.com/StefanieL.Girard
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