Posts Tagged ‘New York’


Hello My name is Kevin Fine. I was hoping that you might be able to give me a little bit of information in regards to a piece of fabric I have and what it might be worth. I was given a fairly large bed spread by my mother some years ago I think its a bed spread approx 7ft by 7ft . The fabric was purchased in the late 60’s to early 70’s from a place called american needlecrafts with a address of 979 third ave NY New York in the garment district. on the tag that accompanied the fabric it states MEDALLION CUT VELVET. The fabric is black with light blueish turqouise and gold medallions. It is extremeley heavy and absolutly perfect in condition all the edges are sewn and the bottom has a curved edgeing. Any help would be much appreciated as it is nice but not really my wifes thing so was intrested in possibly selling on .   Thanks Kevin  By: KEVIN FINE

Memorable Stitches, A Review of Nineteenth Century American Quilt Styles

Origins:   American quilts have their origin in Europe and, not surprisingly, the quilt traditions of England greatly influenced her North American colonies.  Other early settlers contributed their quilt traditions also. To understand the general development of American quilts in the nineteenth century, a look at their English roots provides insights into popular American quilt designs. The earliest quilts in England and the European continent were wholecloth quilts, made of one fabric.  Looms were not wide enough to weave fabric of sufficient width to cover a bed, so long lengths and, sometimes, smaller pieces were seamed together.  Fabric is subject to damage from use and from the environment.  As a result most of the textiles created before 1800 have not survived; however there are a few examples of quilts dating from the late 1300s, including one from Sicily. Recently an even older European quilt has been discovered.     Wholecloth quilts:   Many wholecloth quilts were made of solid colored fabrics.  The act of quilting holds the two layers of cloth and the middle batting layer together while creating designs in the fabric that can be geometric or figural.  These designs are shown to best advantage on a quilt of one solid color. Whole cloth quilts are a long-lasting trend in quilts with a few examples still being made by today’s quilters.   Traditionally England produced fabric for clothing and room furnishings using wool and linen produced on the island.  The introduction of silk from Asia into Europe created a luxury product used in personal fashion and for quilts, available only to the wealthy classes among the British.  These silk quilts, many imported from India, were wholecloth ones.     Whitework quilts, a type of wholecloth quilt:   France, particularly its city of Marseilles, was well known for its white wholecloth quilts, called broderie Marseilles.  These quilts, often called whitework today, were stuffed and corded to give emphasis to the quilting design, which often had a central focus.  They were exported in great numbers, particularly in the 1700s. Today this type of stuffed work is often called trapunto and is practiced by skilled quilters. The addition of a cord below the top layer of the quilt is rarely seen in modern quilts.   These elegant quilts were exported from Marseilles to many countries, including England and America.  American quilters produced whitework quilts, with stuffing and cording, in imitation of the French quilts.  These were particularly popular during the Federal period of furnishings in theUnited States and remained popular…
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It’s time to brag on one of our Gabardine customers!

We just have to admire and brag on one of our customers, Faith.  When Faith called to ask about which of our wool fabrics that would be light enough in weight to use for a Communion dress, I suggested my favorite Wool Satin Gabardine.   Faith ordered a swatch set, decided on the white Wool Satin Gabardine and made a beautiful Communion dress for her granddaughter.  When she finished the dress, she entered the it into the New York State Make It Yourself With Wool.  Faith won the New York State category “Made for Others” and as you can see, she is very talented!  The bodice is hand smocked and hand embroidered flowers using silk ribbon add the finishing touch to this very special dress.

What’s in A Fashion show?

There are several different kinds of fashion shows.  Formal fashion shows, Department fashion shows, Trunk shows, and informal fashion shows.  All of which are designed to preview to the public, or almost public, what a designers new look is for spring, summer, winter, fall, holidays, or special occasions like a wedding or proms.  Knowing the difference between these different types of fashion shows can help a designer best preview their line to their target markets and save a little money in the process.  Fashion shows are expensive, so save some time and money by deciding which one will best suite your needs. A Formal fashion show is one where models are booked (and paid), lighting, and sound are arranged to music and theme of clothing.  The stage and scenery are designed and constructed by crews.  This all takes a tremendous amount of advance planning.  It used to be the norm that these shows were reserved for charity events and while they are still done for this purpose, fashion has taken front-row, center-stage in the world today.  Formal fashion shows are put on by-yearly to a captive audience of buyers and the who’s who in the celebrity circle’s.  New York Fashion week is one of these event’s that lasts a week long.  Where high end designers from all over, premier their latest lines to buyers in the hopes that this seasons collections will be purchased on whole or in part to be sold in department stores all over the world. Department fashion shows generate interest ‘in store’ to the general consumer.  Put on by the department stores themselves, these shows used to be the norm to advertise to the public the new season and the different combinations of looks that could be achieved.  These types of shows are becoming non-existent.  They are too expensive to put on and a wider audience can be reached through television rather than an in house fashion show. Trunk shows are named just that because they consist of the designer traveling from the department store to department store showing the entirety of their collection, unedited by a buyer, to the general public.  To stimulate interest, invitations are sent out to customers via records kept by sales associates.  Customers can then order from the samples in their sizes.  These shows are also fairly non-existent anymore.  It is very rare to see a collection in it’s entirety any where except on the big runway.  It’s very expensive to travel from location to location and present a…
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The Flying Costume of Harriet Quimby

 (b. 1875 d. 1912) Americas first licensed female pilot (1911) The first woman to solo across the English Channel (1912) From the forthcoming book “Birdwoman The Incredible Life of Harriet Quimby” by Giacinta Bradley Koontz INTRODUCTION BY JOAN KIPLINGER “Fashion flies high,” perhaps best sums up this month’s fascinating column by guest, Giacinta Bradley Koontz. Founder and Director of the Harriet Quimby Research Conference, Giacinta is a biographer of the life of flamboyant Harriet Quimby, America’s first licensed female pilot. And what has all this to do with vintage fabric? Well, for starters, Quimby designed the first safe costume for women fliers, made with the very latest “wool-backed satin,” of 1911. For more information on both Harriet Quimby and Giacinta Bradley Koontz see her web site: www.HarrietQuimby.org. Giacinta Bradley Koontz On December 17, 1903 the Wright Brothers made history with the world’s first powered controlled flight at Kitty Hawk . On August 1, 1911, Harriet Quimby, passed tests administered by the Aero Club of America becoming the first woman licensed to fly in the U.S. Wilbur and Orville Wright set the fashion for men fliers by wearing suits with vests and ties during exhibition flights. But no one was prepared for what Harriet Quimby chose to wear when she took to the air. Harriet Quimby – U.S. Air Mail Stamp “If a woman wants to fly, first of all she must, of course, abandon skirts…” Harriet Quimby, May 25, 1911 Leslie’s Illustrated Weekly Early one spring morning in 1911, a reporter from the Boston Daily Eagle watched students make their first attempts at flying aeroplanes on the flat fields of Long Island. These fledglings were no ordinary mortals sitting beside a veteran instructor pilot as they must do today on first flights. These early birds were expected to learn by example – which boiled down to trial and error. Supplemented with classroom instruction and hands-on experience assembling an aircraft nose to tail, the student next entered the first of three phases “driving” an aeroplane. Alone in their aircraft, students first taxied, then “hopped” or “trimmed the daisies,” then soared above. As horse drawn carts shared roads with early motorcars, it is not surprising that climbing into the fuselage (now termed “cockpit”) was referred to as “mounting” the machine, and pilots knocked about in turbulent air described their machine as “bucking.” Little was known then about air pockets, wind shear or even such an elemental factor as the center of gravity. There were many frightening unknowns as aviators trusted…
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Vintage Hankies – More Than Sneeze Catchers

Known as the Hanky Lady, Betty Wilson’s first most treasured childhood personal possession was a hanky. As a little girl she would carry them to church, give them as gifts to teachers and learned how to iron them. Now that she is all grown up, she still finds hankies fascinating. Her research to learn more about their history, varieties and current where-a-bouts led to a vast collection of thousands of hankies and reams of interesting information. She was even more impressed at how these pretty pieces of fabric were active participates in American politics, commerce and society. There was only one thing to do, write a book! Printed and Lace Handkerchiefs: Interpreting A Popular 20th Century Collectible will be available by late summer this year. But in the meantime, a few sweet morsels about appliqué vintage hankies not in the book are revealed here by this month’s guest columnist. (click on pictures for a larger view) There is nothing more delightful, on a dreary winter day, than to bring out your hankie collection, and sort them every which way! The French word appliqué means applied, so I include any hankies with additionally applied threads, fabrics, or laces within this very large category. Some of the prettiest hankies will use a combination of all the appliqué styles. So, I divide these hankies into more manageable groups according to their most prominent decoration technique. Embroidered Appliqué My favorite hand-embroidered hankies are from the 1920 and 30s era. They are made using one or two strands of light to medium weight embroidery floss. Combinations of lock, chain, cross-stitch, zigzag or twisted stitches form floral designs, as shown in the close-up pictures of three different embroidered hankies. In the 1920s, hankies were available in decorative gift boxes. These would often-contained three hankies with lace corner insets and simple embroidered flower wreaths. They were small linen or cotton hankies. Photo 3 shows a nice hankie example from a boxed hankie set. Many embroidered hankies are decorated with a variety of satin stitches. Short and long filling stitches are applied systematically to create color variations for flower petals and the threads do not overlap each other. The color areas flow into each other. Chinese filling stitches are distinguished by well-defined borders between colors. It looks like tiny paint by number flowers. A three dimensional look can be achieved by using a padded satin stitch. Satin stitching layers on top of each other in opposite directions make this. This was a popular method used on…
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A Celebration of Joan Kiplinger 1933 – 2009

This is the evolution of our Vintage Fabric Expert. Joan Carol Reed Kiplinger was a 1955 graduate of Kent State University with a Bachelor of Arts degree in journalism and history. She first worked in corporate communications with Blue Cross of Northeast Ohio then was the office manager for the Lake County Soil and Water Conservation District, retiring in 1998. But above all, Joan loved fabrics and research. As her own bio states on her Vintage Fabric column, “Joan Kiplinger is an antique doll costumer and vintage fabric addict who learned to sew on her grandmother’s treadle and has been peddling fabrications ever since.” She was a collector and professional costumer of antique dolls and helped develop a national doll newsletter, NOMAD, by mail for persons who had no access to local doll guide. Joan first contacted our Ask Andy columnist, Andy Weinstock, in September of 1999 with the following question: Is there a fabric reference book available which describes all or most of the following: names of and dates when various fabrics appeared; which fabrics are no longer being made and what would they have most closely resembled to today’s fabrics; what fabrics are known by a different name today; charts of the various fabric family trees– i.e. muslin is the parent of voile, batiste, lawn, organdy, nainsnook; a list of trademarks and did they denote a single fabric or a collection of fabrics–i.e., quadriga cloth, cloth of gold, Indian Head, Trevira; which fabrics dominated each decade; illustrations of various fabric weaves. I have a small collection of fabric books which don’t begin to answer these questions and have searched the internet without success. Perhaps a college textbook(s) may furnish the answers. Would appreciate any help you can give me. Joan Andy’s reply: Dear Joan: I don’t have a lot of experience with books. I will call some of my friends in the fabric business that are more into books than I to see if they can recommend something to me. When I’m at the fabric show in New York in October, there is a magazine/book seller that always exhibits there. Will show him your request. If what you are looking for doesn’t exist, you might want to think about writing the book yourself. Will keep you advised. Andy Judith’s answer on Fabrics.net: Hi Joan, There are several books that I would recommend; one in particular is “Fairchild’s Dictionary of Textiles”. However, the type of book that you are looking for in a “fabric tree”, I haven’t seen….
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