How to Wash Your Curtains

The curtains are an oft-neglected aspect of the house when cleaning is undertaken. While some may beat them to get rid of dust, it is comparatively rare that people will go to the effort of washing them properly. After all, it’s not like they get covered in dirt on a regular basis.

This means that Curtainsif they do end up getting dirty for whatever reason, many people don’t know where to start when it comes to giving them a good wash. With this article we aim to provide a few tips that can be used should you find yourself in this situation.

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Four Tips to Consider When Buying Any Fabric

While there are plenty of tips floating around the net relating to what you should look for in particular types of fabric and how to take care of them, at times it is nice to just get a general idea of how to purchase a decent fabric, regardless of what that fabric may actually be.

With the following list we aim to share a few tips on how to get the most out of your money, regardless of which fabric your money is going towards. These tips can be applied to practically any purchase you make on this site and are useful to keep in mind as you head towards the checkout. Continue reading “Four Tips to Consider When Buying Any Fabric”

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The Benefits of Buying Fabric Wholesale

The choice between whether or not to buy your fabrics wholesale really just boils down to simply whether or not you need a particular fabric in bulk. If you only require one or two lengths of a fabric then it is likely the best idea so simply purchase what you need in the traditional fashion.

However, if you do require fabric in bulk, whether it be for a large project or because you wish to sell it on in your own store, then buying wholesale works out a lot better for you. Here are a couple of the advantages of buying your fabrics wholesale.

Cheaper prices

The main advantage of buying anything wholesale is the ability to get individual units for a cheaper price than you would by buying them as normal. Buying in bulk is advantageous for the seller because it allows them to move a large amount of product in a single delivery in addition to providing them with a guaranteed large sale.

In most cases the wholesaler will pass on some of the savings made directly to you. If they are saving on delivery costs then this money can be taken off the bulk order, to an extent, leaving you with a cheaper per unit cost even if the main purchase is quite large.

Establishing a business relationship

Most wholesalers are especially keen to establish business relationships with bulk buyers as it will mean that they have a regular source of income from a customer who is guaranteed to order in generally large quantities.

Because of this they will often provide special privileges to those who buy fabrics wholesale, meaning that the prospect of a business relationship can appear. If you have a good relationship with your wholesaler, wherein both parties trusts the other, you may be able to negotiate prices for certain kinds of fabrics and be given more leeway in regards to payment times and deliveries.

Industry knowledge

For a company to be able to offer fabrics wholesale they will need to have knowledge of the industry. This means establishing connections with suppliers and people with the information needed to get the best possible deals.

This expertise is also of benefit to the person who buys in bulk from the wholesaler. Not only do they get the other benefits that come along with the package, they also often get years, perhaps even decades, of knowledge direct from a source that knows the business inside and out.

Furthermore, remember that your wholesaler is looking to make a profit just as any business who buys from them is. As such they will always be making the effort to source cost-effective solutions that can benefit customers in the long run.

Because of all this buying wholesale can certainly prove advantageous, assuming you need to buy in bulk. As with any purchase, always beware of the possibility of over-ordering to ensure you get the most out of the business arrangement.

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What to do with fabric you no longer need

It’s practically inevitable in almost any sewing or creative undertaking you partake in with fabrics that you will be left with bits and bobs left over that you have no idea what to do with. For some the simple solution is just to throw them away, however this is a waste of money and doesn’t consider the possibility that, somewhere down the line, you may end up finding a use for the leftover bits of fabric.

Of course, if you only have tiny slithers left then it is probably best to get rid of them unless you have something very specific in mind that might be able to incorporate them, but in cases where you have a decent amount remaining why not consider the following options instead?

Keep it for later

You never know when you might need a random piece of fabric for another project. For example, you might end up using it for a patchwork quilt or decide that you want to create something like a piece of artwork that will require the use of multiple types and patterns of fabric.

Furthermore, keeping the leftover fabric provides you with a little something to work with should you need to make minor repairs to the piece that you created using the fabric originally. Simply put, keeping your discarded bits and pieces in storage can have unexpected benefits down the line.

Practicing

We all have to start somewhere and, for those of us who don’t, it never hurts to get a little extra practice in using a technique we aren’t familiar with. Your discarded pieces of fabric are ideal for practicing new techniques with or for introducing somebody into the world of fabrics and fashion by giving them something to do where they don’t have to worry about getting things wrong.

Furthermore, having a stock of unwanted fabrics gives you something to play around with when you want to trial a new idea but you aren’t sure exactly how it’s going to go. Rather than wasting money on new fabrics only for the idea to not come out as desired, give it a crack with your leftovers and see what happens. You never know, you might even like the eventual result enough to keep it!

Trade it

If you’re particularly lucky you may have a local fabric exchange in your area where people come to exchange fabrics they no longer need for fabrics that they actually want. Engage with the local community and find out where these trades can be made, whether it be through a physical event or social media.

Furthermore, if you have friends with the same interest you can do the same with them. They will all likely have a little something left over from previous projects that they no longer need so get in touch and see if they would like to have a little something of yours in exchange for theirs. You may even come up with some ideas between you on how to use the spare fabrics in each of your collections.

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Handling Vintage Fabrics

With vintage clothing becoming ever-more popular amongst fashion, it is a good idea to understand exactly how best to handle the various fabrics that can go into making vintage clothing, especially if you have picked up a legitimately old item rather than purchasing something that has been created in a vintage style.

vintage retro shirts

With that in mind here are a couple of tips that should help your new find last longer and ensure that you get plenty of use out of it. Continue reading “Handling Vintage Fabrics”

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Caring for fabrics – Velvet

Velvet has a reputation as being one of the most luxurious fabrics out there and with good reason. It is beautifully soft to the touch and can be used to craft some absolutely beautiful creations.

velvet shell chair

Unfortunately this quality comes at something of a price, as the fabric is also rather difficult to care form, which can lead to some problems when it comes time to clean it or if you need to store it properly.

With that in mind, here are a couple of tips to consider when you are cleaning velvet to make sure you get the absolute most out of the fabric.

Read instructions

It may seem like something of a moot point, but before you do anything with your velvet be sure to read any manufacturer instructions that you have available to you. If it is an item of clothing, most good manufacturers will include a label telling you how best to wash it.

Bear in mind that, whether you are talking about fabrics or full items of clothing, different types of velvet require different cleaning methods. Crushed velvet can be put in the washing machine, but fine velvet needs to be dry cleaned. If you are unsure don’t take the risk and simply ask a professional dry cleaner.

Steam rather than iron

Never, ever iron velvet. The weight of your iron will cause a multitude of problems with the fabric and will generally wind up leaving a mark no matter how lightly you press. Furthermore, as velvet is quite a fine fabric, if you do iron it there is a high probability that you will scorch it and make it completely unusable.

Instead, try to pick up a handheld steamer. It doesn’t take much to get creases out of velvet and a steamer will ensure you are putting no weight on the fabric and there is no risk of burning it. Just be sure to avoid getting it wet wherever possible.

Value your local dry cleaner

If you scorch your velvet then there may be no hope left, but if there are stubborn stains or creases that you simply can’t get out your local dry cleaner may well be able to help. They will have tools at their disposal that aren’t necessarily available to you and will be able to advise if a piece is lost or if something can be done to salvage it.

Shaken, not blotted

Accidents happen so when they do be sure that you handle them correctly. If you happen to spill something on your velvet DO NOT blot the stain. This will simply spread it and potentially cause damage to the fabric. Instead, give it a good shake to get rid of any excess moisture and then take it to a professional to get the stain out.

Storing

Finally, storing velvet properly is important. Don’t fold the fabric, as it will crease easily and, if the crease is especially stubborn, you will run into problems getting those creases out. Wherever possible hang the fabric up and give it plenty of room so that it is in perfect condition when you come to use it.

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Sewing Tips for Beginners

We all have to start somewhere! If you’re reading this post it is probably safe to assume that you are new to the world of sewing and are eager to get stuck in and start working with a whole host of fabrics to create those amazing ideas that you have floating around your head.

Don’t be too hasty though. A lot of fabric can end up getting wasted if you try to jump right in rather than taking it slow and learning properly. Here’s a couple of tips for the budding tailor or seamstress.

Start small

Before you get to the really cool stuff you will want to practice your technique on a few smaller jobs. That way if you mess up it won’t really matter and will most likely be able to fix the problem in short order as your skills continue to increase. Trust us here, there are few things worse when working with fabrics than getting halfway through a big project and making a mistake.

Work on little things, like tears in the pockets of trousers or reattaching buttons, before you really get started. That experience will serve you will once it comes time to move onto something a little more substantial.

Learn the patterns

Sewing isn’t simply a case of putting thread in a needle and poking it through fabric. There are a wide range of sewing patterns and techniques to learn, all of which will become useful to you as your experience builds and you start working on more complex problems.

Don’t be afraid to spend time practicing a particular stitching technique, even if there is no final product. Getting it right is the most important thing and you will be glad for the practice once you are working on something. Any spare piece of fabric will do for the job so save some cutoffs and just experiment with the patterns you know or have just learned. Have a little fun with it and you will have them down in no time at all.

Machines vs Needles

Perhaps the biggest question for any sewer is what equipment should they use for a particular job. Both sewing machines and needles have particular advantages and disadvantages and many people find they work better with one than the other.

It’s becoming something of a laboured point but it still rings true. The best way to find out is to practice on both and see which one sticks. Obviously for those working to a budget a needle and thread approach is much more cost-effective, but if you do have ambitions to move on to larger projects in the future it is certainly worth investing time and money in a sewing machine. In essence it all boils down to just how intensive you are going to get with your new hobby.

That’s what it all boils down to. For many sewing is a hobby so perhaps the most important tip for the novice is to just enjoy it. Don’t pressure yourself or get upset of you get a pattern wrong. Everybody does. Just relax and practice and you will be working the seams in not time at all.

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Caring for fabrics – Linen

 Linen has been popular for hundreds of years thanks to being an extremely strong and versatile fabric. In fact, it can have as much as two times the strength of other popular fabrics, such as cotton, which is why it has been used for tablecloths and suit wear for many years.

This versatility has also helped it to become one of the most popular fabrics for enthusiasts to work with as well. Of course, like any fabric, it is important to take care of your linen items properly.

Washing

Wherever possible linen should be washed by hand, especially if you have worked with it yourself and included dyes or unique patterns. Alternatively you can opt to dry clean it, but this is not as reliably safe as the hand washing method.

Use water with a cool temperature to ensure the material doesn’t get damaged. While some linens are today being developed to be machine washable, we find it’s best not to take the risk. At least with items that hold personal value. Be as gentle as you can while washing and avoid chlorine bleaches when washing white linens, as this may end up dying them.

Like cotton, linen wrinkles and creases quite easily, however it is very easy to iron these creases out of the fabric. It goes without saying that you should be careful with the iron to ensure you don’t end up burning it.

Colours

Happily linen is one of the easier fabrics to add colour to, as it will readily accept most dyes and, assuming you wash it correctly, will maintain the colour for many years afterwards with only minimal fading after repeat washes.

There are a number of guides floating around online, including this handy one from ehow.co.uk, that demonstrate how best to dye your linen. Just be patient and don’t try to rush things and you will have a gorgeously coloured fabric in no time.

Storage

Linen should always be stored away after cleaning and it is inadvisable to store dirty linen. This means that it is always recommended that you clean your linens after use if they are intended to be placed back into storage.

Wherever possible you should avoid folding the fabric. While this isn’t so much of an issue with tablecloths, where the odd fold or crease is expected, it can lead to your fabric developing creases that are very difficult to eradicate. This is especially the case for garments so be sure to hang them up and give them plenty of space. We mentioned before that it is easy to iron linen, however if you put the fabric in a position where a crease or fold becomes ingrained it gets more difficult.

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Choosing the Right Fabric

Before you embark on a sewing project it is important to carefully select which type of fabric you will be using. After all, if you end up using something that isn’t suitable for what you have in mind, your creations may not end up being exactly what you are looking for.

Colour, composition and texture of the fabric are all important aspects and you will need to select something that both matches your aesthetic vision while also being easy enough to manage that you can work with it as you need to. As such, choosing the right fabric is crucial. Continue reading “Choosing the Right Fabric”

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Creating a Fabric Scrapbook

We all know that the many fabrics sold on this website can be used to create a wide variety of different clothing patterns and styles, but that’s not all that they are useful for. With a touch of creativity many of them can also be used to add an extra touch of magic to more mundane everyday items.

Take scrapbooks for example. We all love to keep photographs of our most treasured memories and the classic scrapbook is one of the best ways to keep a track of all the people and places that make our lives great. So why not add an extra little spark to your by using your spare pieces of fabric to decorate and line your photographs?

Continue reading “Creating a Fabric Scrapbook”

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