Fabric Services we do Which May Benefit You…

Lately we’ve been trying to give everyone an insight into what goes on at Fabric UK and how we can help you. You may have seen our recent post: ‘behind the scenes of the samples department’ which gives you an idea into what we do in that area of the company and showed you some of our wonderful fabrics! Now we want to show you other aspects of Fabric UK. As a fabric company we are proud to have depth in all areas of fabric from outdoor clothing and furnishing fabric to fashion, agricultural and upholstery fabric just to state a few. However did you know that we provide other services? Read on below to find out what we did for one client and how this may be useful to you! Continue reading “Fabric Services we do Which May Benefit You…”

Behind the Scenes of our Samples Department

We know that for some people it’s important to have fabric samples so that you can see and feel the fabric before going by the metre. For others they might be useful for quilting, university projects or inspiration and mood boards. With this in mind, we thought it was time to give you a peek into what goes on behind the scenes in the samples department. Having all these samples pretty much gives us our own fabric library; we have a few hundred boxes all numbered, ordered and categorised with a comprehensive range of fabrics.

As an intern, I have spent over a month in the samples department and gained an insight into what really goes on. I found that samples is a busy and often a fast paced environment as orders come in thick and fast. Fabrics have to constantly be cut to make more samples and sometimes samples requested for a new fabric or for other fabrics awaiting stock can take a little more time to be sent out. Continue reading “Behind the Scenes of our Samples Department”

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?

Not only will you be creating a unique and stylish scrapbook that is unique to your own personal tastes, but you will also be ensuring that the spare bits of fabric you have end up finding a use, rather than just being thrown away, so you will end up getting the most bang for your buck.

While any fabric is generally fit for purpose when it comes to matting a photo album or creating borders around your pictures, felt is probably the most versatile and customisable.

This material is ideal for many different reasons. For a start it doesn’t fray when it is cut, meaning that you can make nice clean cuts and not have to worry about the edges starting to a look a little bit jagged. Felt allows for straight edges every time, which ensures that your scrapbook will maintain a neat and tidy look.

Not only that but the fabric is also easy manipulate, allowing for holes to be cut and punched into it without too much trouble. Cutting out letters for page titles or creating the perfect space for a photograph is a doddle and the fabric can also be used easily with most glues and adhesives.

Finally, it can also be written on in most instances, if you have decent chalk or a good quality marker pen, meaning that you can truly express your creativity while working with the fabric. It’s available in many different colours too!

That isn’t to say that other fabrics can’t be used for the idea. In fact, many people even prefer the fraying effect that can be gained from using different types of fabrics, which can be manipulated and customised to the heart’s content if you feel it adds to the design of your particular scrapbook.

Combining fabrics can also have an extremely cool effect, allowing for the creation of multi-layered photo borders.

So how do you get started? Luckily it’s nice and easy, so here’s a step-by-step of how to create a photo border using the fabric of your choice.

Creating a photo border for a scrapbook using fabrics

  • You should start the fabric by measuring the photograph you want to create a border for and cutting out a piece of fabric that is 1cm larger on all sides that the photo itself. Use pinking shears to trim the edges as much as possible. If you want to create something more funky than the average square border be sure to leave yourself a little more than the 1cm so that you can have a play around.
  • If you are using a fabric that frays you may need to use shears to tidy up a little bit. Alternatively, if fraying is your style, why not pull at the threads lightly to create a rougher feel?
  • Finally be sure to use a good leather punching kit to create any holes that you think you may need before applying your adhesive. Be sure not to go too crazy with the glue else it will be visible on the photo edges and the sides of the fabric.

There you have it. Just like that you have a scrapbook that is completely unique to you. Don’t be afraid to experiment, especially if you are able to create multiple copies of the photographs.

A look at zigzag fabrics

Fabric UK has zigzag fabric available at £12.99. The good news is that if you are a photographer, you get the fabrics FOR FREE for a limited time if you promote them on your blog, stating the source where you got it from and like and share our facebook page. As simple as that. Also, if you are creating video content/ tutorials using one of our fabrics, you get them for free.

A zigzag is a pattern made up of small corners at variable angles, though constant within the zigzag, tracing a path between two parallel lines; it can be described as both jagged and fairly regular. From the point of symmetry, a regular zigzag can be generated from a simple motif like a line segment by repeated application of glide reflection.

The history of the zigzag pattern

Zigzag Bag

Zigzag began life as an architectural embellishment used in Islamic, Byzantine, Norman and Romanesque architecture. Eventually it made its way into fashion, where it became a machine stitch in a zigzag pattern.

Lighting is often described with a zigzag design, with long downward strokes and short backward ones. In pottery, zigzags are a basic decorative pattern that is often seen in the cuts which separate pieces of ravioli pasta.

A zigzag can also be the trace of a triangle wave or a sawtooth wave, while pinking shears are designed to cut cloth or paper with a zigzag edge, in order to lessen the fraying.

In short, the zigzag pattern is extremely popular and flexible enough to be useful in a variety of ways, which makes the issue of the fashion house Missoni and its belief that its own zigzag patterns can be trademarked.

Missoni

Two years ago, the Italian design house Missoni debuted a line of clothing making heavy use of zigzags at the US discount retailer Target. It resulted in website crashes, sell-outs and eBay mark-ups. Missoni is a worldwide brand, known for incorporating zigzag patterns into their designs, and even the logo that appears next to their website is a zigzag.

Following the success of their new clothing line, Missoni found that a large number of people were looking to cash in on their success, creating very similar designs. This raised the question – can Missoni truly trademark their own designs when they are using a pattern that has been so well established for so many years?

One thing we know for sure is that not all clothing with zigzag designs belongs to Missoni because they didn’t invent the concept of the zigzag pattern. Thus they can’t claim to be the source of the pattern, which in turn should mean that the company are unable to protect what they may view as their own intellectual property.

After all, Charlie Brown doesn’t send subliminal coded messages trying to promote Missoni by wearing zigzag patterns.

charlie brown

However, individual designs can be protected as trademarks. Thus, if consumers begin to identify the zigzag style of clothing with Missoni, this places those attempting to replicate it in a much more difficult position as Missoni can then claim some form of trademark. The same is true, to various extents, with other patterns.

The case, and others like it, lend credence to a bill currently being considered by the US Congress that could see increased protection provided to fashion designs. If the bill passes, it would only provide protection to exactly identical designs. This legislation can provide some protection to Missoni against other users who have identical patterns, but it won’t give them ownership of the zigzag pattern.

It’s an interesting time for fashion designers and many will appreciate the extra protections should they come into fruition. In short, it is important to be creative with existing concepts rather than using other people’s ideas and replicating them exactly.

Velvet Fabrics

With Christmas not far away, our thoughts turn to luxury and extravagance. This applies to fabrics too and what could be more regal than velvet? The term “velvet” refers to the weave of a fabric rather than to its fibre content. Velvet has a pile weave that is created when loops are formed during the weaving process. The pile weave is on one side of the velvet fabric, whilst the other side is plain. Velvet can be made from many different kinds of fibres, but traditionally silk was used. Velvet made entirely from silk is very costly, so other materials can be used such as cotton, although this often results in a slightly less luxurious fabric. Velvet can also be made from other natural fibres including linen, mohair, and wool. Nowadays, synthetic velvet’s are a lot more common, including polyester, nylon, viscose, acetate, and mixtures of different synthetics, or synthetics and natural fibres (for example viscose mixed with silk).

Continue reading “Velvet Fabrics”

Silk in Lyon

I was recently in Lyon in France, where they make beautiful silk luxury items, and I discovered some interesting facts about silk manufacturing that I’d like to share with you. As early as the 12th century, the Chinese were the first to produce silk. They used it to make winter clothes, bow-strings and fishing-nets since silk was a very cheap product there. It is a natural fibre produced by the caterpillar of the mulberry bombyx butterfly. The breeding of this silkworm is known as sericulture.

Continue reading “Silk in Lyon”

Canvas

Did you know that the derivation of the word ‘canvas’ is from the Latin word cannabis? Modern canvas is usually made of cotton, linen or synthetic materials, but it was originally woven from hemp, which comes from the same plant that has a number of other well-known recreational uses. Cotton crops are produced across the world. China and North and South America produce the majority, followed by India, Pakistan and Egypt – as well as many smaller Asian Republics. Generally, cotton grows well in tropical climates.

Continue reading “Canvas”

History Of Fabric

Ever since Adam & Eve were discharged from the heavens, the shame and effects of the elements have needed man to cover himself in a fabric dress. Early inventions of primitive garment materials were naturally born into the early human instincts as far back as 30,000 BC, with the use of flax as a fine linen mainly used by early Egyptians.

Flax was knotted together, plated, and woven, to create a fabric. As humans developed, so did their requirements for garments. The natural abundant supplies of cotton from plants, wool from animals, jute from trees and silk from insects dictated the fabrics available. Local resources created fabric specialities for each country, dependant on the natural supply.

Continue reading “History Of Fabric”