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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A look at zigzag fabrics

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.

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.


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Looking at Crepe de Chine Fabric

When using crepe fabric it is important to note that that there are multiple variations of the fabric, all of which have their own specific uses. Amongst them are canton, crepe-back satin, crepe de Chine, Georgette, marocain, faille, lingerie, mossy, romaine, and rough.

Generally speaking the fabric is usually woven with crepe yarn, which is a hard-twist yarn produced either with a higher number of twists per inch than ordinary yarn or with alternate “S” and “Z” twists. It can be made from many different types of fibre, whether natural or man-made, making it an extremely versatile and flexible type of fabric.

Continue reading “Looking at Crepe de Chine Fabric”


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Polka Dots On Chiffon

The love affair with polka dot began in 1926, when Miss America was photographed in a polka dot swimsuit. In 1928, Disney introduced the cartoon Minnie Mouse wearing that red polka dot and matching bow dress. Continue reading “Polka Dots On Chiffon”


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Evenings and Mornings – You Need Awnings

Even though temperatures are falling, it is never too early to start thinking about the warmer days ahead and turn our thoughts to awnings. Not only do they provide shade to decks or patios, they can also be used for a number of ways outside the home as well as on the High Street.

Continue reading “Evenings and Mornings – You Need Awnings”


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Non Iron Fabric

Who hasn’t dreamed of being able to grab their clothes out of the wardrobe wrinkle free and pop them on, without the drudgery of ironing? The invention of non iron shirts meant that ironing became a thing of the past, especially since ironing can sometimes cause clothes more harm than good. Regular shirts can be notoriously difficult to iron and many people have ended up with brand new creases after attempting to iron a shirt – very frustrating! The idea of crease-free or wrinkle-resistant cotton strikes a chord with those who hate ironing those shirts all the time. After all, if cotton shirts can be made to resist those unwanted creases and wrinkles then why even bother with regular cotton? This is the very idea that early researchers and garment manufacturers were toying with when synthetic fabrics such as nylon were beginning to replace cotton.

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Fabrics May Soon be Smarter than You

When you find out more about smart fabrics, they may start to sound like something out of a sci-fi movie. As technology develops we will be able to use smart fabrics sooner than you might think. Although the academics who have pioneered it claim that they won’t be available commercially for at least twenty years yet the technology behind smart fabrics could be developed tomorrow if a company thinks there is a market for it.

Continue reading “Fabrics May Soon be Smarter than You”


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Cotton Duck Fabric

Cotton Duck Fabric

Origins

Cotton duck is a plain-woven fabric, which may also be referred to as canvas.

“Duck” comes from the Dutch word “doek,” meaning linen cloth. Cotton duck distinguishes the fabric from other types of ducks, most notably the traditional linen. It can also be made from other materials, such as flax. However, cotton duck is not related to the bird of the same name. Continue reading “Cotton Duck Fabric”


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Calico Fabric History

Calico Fabric

Calico Fabric hails from India, specifically the city of Calicut, Kerala, India, after which the fabric is named. It is one of the oldest cottons in the world and is recognized for its durability.

calico fabric

Origins

Calico dates back to India, as far back as before the Common Era. As early as 1630, cotton calico prints were being exported to England where they were praised for their beautiful patterns. Originally dubbed as “calicuts,” the name calico evolved as first referring to Indian cottons with an equal weft and warp, then to any plain-weave cotton. Continue reading “Calico Fabric History”


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What to Think About When Buying Fabrics

Ordering fabrics can be a confusing process for those who aren’t quite sure where to begin. Here’s a guide to ordering the right fabrics and getting the best prices, regardless of whether you need a single metre or thousands of metres. Continue reading “What to Think About When Buying Fabrics”


For help and advice please call us on Tel: 0121 359 2349