Posts Tagged ‘US’

Are You Allergic To Wool?

Image via Flickr   Does wool feel scratchy on your skin?  This may not be a true wool allergy but what is termed the Prickle effect.  A prickle is a mechanical effect that has a stinging sensation caused by coarse hairs in the wool fabric.  In fact hair with a diameter larger than 30 microns is the usual culprit and these hairs are also so known as guard hairs on animals.  This hair is also stiffer so when spun into yarn, may stick out of the yarn especially when woven and bent into a fabric.  The prickle effect will disappear when the wool fabric is removed.   One story I found when I was researching wool allergies is that several states in the US have tried to raise Cashmere (Kashmir) goats but were unsuccessful.  In the regions of China, Mongolia and Tibet the goats graze but in the US the goats were fed too well and developed coarser hair.  However, since the cashmere fabric comes from the undercoat of the cashmere goat, this story doesn’t ring true although it is entertaining. Cashmere Goat Farm Inner Mongolia A small family cashmere goat farm. These goats only thrive in Inner Mongolia which is what makes it so rare and expensive.       If wearing wool gives you a rash, check with the Mayo Clinic’s gallery of rash photos at http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/skin-rash/SN00016  to identify the rash and seek further help.  Allergists can test for wool allergies by using protein extracted from wool fibers.   A true wool allergy is very rare.  Some people say that they are allergic to the lanolin in the wool but wool producers remove lanolin before the wool is spun into yarn and woven or knit into garments.  A person with a true allergy to lanolin have to be very careful about the lotions, deodorants, sunscreen, dog shampoo, hair spray, shoe polish, leather that they purchase.   Respiratory allergies from wool are not caused by the wool but from allergens on or in the wool.  When dry cleaning wool items it is important to remove the plastic covering used by dry cleaners.  Airing the garments for 24 hours is recommended to allow the dry cleaning solution odors to dissipate.

Assuming Correct Thread Count?

In 2008, as I’m sure you’re aware, there was a very important legal judgement against a large bed and linen outlet with stores in many states of the US. They were claiming thread counts (TC) on their cotton fabrics of over 1,200. It was judged that TCs this high are physically impossible and what they were doing was counting the invididual staples of cotton that make up one thread.  In spite of this, I fiind many online cotton bed and bath outlets claiming similar TCs. Is it fair to assume that these online stores are simply not trustworthy on any level as a result of this? By: Christopher Swift

Finding pearlized sheer satin fabric?

Hi could you tell me where I could purchase some “pearlized”sheers satin fabric, I have found a store in the US who stock it but they do not ship to the UK.    Do you know where I could purchase any of this from, the store I found is called ‘Joannes’s Fabrics’ Iowa   cheers

Vintage Sweatshops and Fraud Meet the Law

Fast Times at Textile High –Vintage Sweatshops and Fraud Meet the Law: “She sat by the streamside plaiting sinew and intestines from skinned animals her mate had discarded to make body coverings for her family. Nearby, her sister was weaving lighter coverings from wild grasses. Neither could fathom progress beyond that moment, not even that life in the stone age would get better. They knew no other life but as captives and making cloth for their pharaoh from dawn to dusk.“ What they were weaving would have no equal in modern times, linen 540 threads to the inch. There was no pay; their limbs were misshapen from squatting before a loom. Of course this was 2640 B.C Egypt. But man progresses and things will get better, right? Wattling –thought to be the most primitive form of weaving. Reeds used for clothing and utensils; sticks and twigs for housing. – Textiles, 1926 An old print of ancient Egyptians spinning and weaving. – Story of Textiles, 1912 ¨The six year old cried silently but continued spinning her linen as the guild matron high in her pulpit rang a bell to signal a whipping for the young friend beside her who was charged with being neglectful. Of course this was 1677 Germany. But man progresses and things will get better, right?” The street smelled continuously as it was the only place for refuse of any kind. In shoddy factory town housing, families were packed together in unhealthy, filthy living conditions, forced to eat from one plate and sleep in the same bed, work long hours spinning for almost no pay. Of course this was 1788 England. But man progresses and things will get better, right? ¨Across the sea at a mill young girls with flax fastened to their waists spun with both hands as younger children turned the wheels for them 10 hours every day but Sunday. Of course this was 1789 New England. But man progresses and things will get better, right? ¨She screamed but to no avail as she was stampeded to death by the onrush of several hundred seamstresses racing to escape the engulfing flames. Of course this was 1911 New York City’s lower east, the great Triangle Shirtwaist Co. fire, a tragedy where 150 lives were lost due to burning or jumping out of windows, all because exits on the upper floors of the loft building had been locked to prevent “loss of materials.” But man progress and things will get better, right? ¨And of modern times?…
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The Indian Head Connection – Springs Industries

There is a saying in the textile world that to know the history of one mill is to know them all. Mergers, acquisitions, buyouts and joint ventures have all contributed to the close interrelationships which have existed among textile mills and affiliates since their beginning in this country. Springs Industries is an example of a survivor which rather than being absorbed by Indian Head Inc. instead purchased part of that company when Indian Head became a conglomerate and changed the course of its business operations. One of the most famous and recognizable logos in the world, the Springmaid. – Courtesy The Springs Story Traveling the same diversified route, Springs has gone from a weaver of quality fabrics to a supplier for leading retailers with a complete line of coordinated home furnishings designed to simplify home decorating for every consumer ranging sheets and pillowcases, comforters and comforter accessories, bedspreads, blankets, bed skirts, quilts, duvet covers, pillow shams, decorative and bed pillows, mattress pads., towels, bath accent rugs, shower curtains, ceramic and other bath accessories, window hardware, decorative rods, horizontal blinds in a range of widths and materials, motorized blinds, pleated and cellular shades, soft window treatments such as drapes, valances and balloon shades to bed and bath products for institutional and hospitality customers, home sewing fabrics, and baby bedding and apparel products. Licensing agreements include kitchen and table linen items, decorative napkin rings, flannel and knit sheets, toilet seat covers, blankets and throws, and fabric covered lampshades. What is remarkable is that Springs is still headed by a member of the founding family since the company’s founding 117 years ago. More remarkable is that even with the textile woes this country has faced over the past 40 years, Springs continues to maintain a heavy domestic production output. Springmaid, Wamsutta, Bali, Regal and Daisy Kingdom are some of its popular household names. Like Stifel and Skinner, Springs has quite a story to tell, one that is probably the most varied and interesting of any mill in American history. As you will note, Springs like Indian Head Inc. branches into the ready-made market, buying, consolidating, investing and selling as a means of economic survival and staying abreast of modern business methods to be competitive. The Springs Story 1876 – Wamsutta Mills begins operation; 109 years later will become part of Springs Industries. 1886 – Leroy Springs [often referred to as Col. Springs] establishes a cotton shipping company, Leroy Springs & Co., for buying and shipping of cotton in Fort Mill SC….
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Starting Up Clothing Business

Hi Andy! I have been in the fabric and clothing business myself for a little while and then stopped. I now have a big inventory that I would like to sell as well as selling fabrics to small boutiques in the US where they quilt or make crafts or still make clothing. I am right now writing my business plan and need to get it done by December 1st and I am struggling…! The market seems to be hard in clothing, but I get the sense that there is something to be done. Could you please help me with your professional advices? Thanks in advance Josee Josee: Sorry we missed your Dec.1 deadline. There are many ways to start, but I think that opening a Web site, would be a great beginning. You have all of the exposure, but none of the expense of opening a brick and mortar retail store. Google the fabrics you want to sell and see where the market is. You want to be competitive, but don’t want to give it away either. Use eBay for a few items, and see how that goes. Good Luck. Andy

Looking For Jersey Fabric

Hi Andy, I’ve been having trouble finding patterned cotton jersey fabric. Am I using incorrect terminology for this fabric often used in sleep wear? Can you recommend a good source for patterned cotton jersey fabric? And, lastly, what terminology is used for the varying thicknesses of this fabric? Many thanks!! These types of fabrics, are custom made, by the fabric mills. Put a small classified ad in Women’s Wear Daily, (www.wwd.com) under Fabrics Wanted. In the “old” days, there were hundreds of mills, here in the USA that could make anything you wanted. Now, most of these types of fabrics, have gone off shore. You may also want to consider attending a wholesale fabric show. Visit http://www.apparel-graphic-design.com/fabric-trade-shows.html to see the shows in the US. The thickness of a fabric can either be described by the weight or denier of the yarn. Another way, is the “yield” weight, or ounces per square yard or lineal yard. Good Luck, Andy