Re: Robe Fabric Selections...
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!!
--- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, Wade MacMorrighan <Wade@...> wrote:
> 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?
> Take Care,
> [Non-text portions of this message have been removed]
- 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.
- 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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- --- In TheCostumersManifesto@yahoogroups.com, Wade MacMorrighan <Wade@...> wrote:
>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.
> Hey guys, something I have been after, but have't (yet) seen before is satin with a monochromatic pattern at all!
Hope this helps.
Books on making historic clothing
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and this post
there are chances to win your choice of any Indygo Junction pattern!
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