Thursday, April 14, 2011

Binding Fringe on Tweed or Matka

One way to to achieve the perfect effect as you design your fashions is to create distinctive details. We've featured examples in earlier blog posts where clients of Fine Fabrics have used fabric selvages in unique ways to create trim that is perfectly coordinated, fresh, lively and delightfully apropos.

Tweed or matka fabrics, those that are woven using wide threads, are perfect for fringing. The large fibers of the warp, easily pull loose from their weft, and visa versa. The fabric is so easy to fringe that it is necessary to run stitches to stop the process, or the piece will deconstruct on its own.

It can be fun to use a complementary or contrasting trim to stop or set the fringed edge. However, the complexity of a tweed or matka can make it difficult to find a trim that not only matches, but also does not get lost or overpower the fabric.

The texture of the weave, the colors, and the body of the fabric that Ms. Fine Fabrics is working with here, made it essential that the trim not over power the finished piece, yet at the same time, it needs to have a deliberate presence, one that says "of course, it's perfect."

She chose to  construct a trim by deconstructing the fabric into fringe and bind it with perfectly coordinating strips of the fabric itself. Since the dominant colors in the fabric are dark, she decided to highlight the fringe by using a strip of the color that had the highest contrast, the only light color in the weave, the peach. As high as the contrast, it is subtle because it is the exact same color and texture as repeated throughout the weave iof the fabric.

She created the binding by cutting strips of the peach colored fibers, then laid them over the fabric at the point out where she wanted the fringing to stop.

Then using a zig-zag stitch set as wide as the cut strips, and thread the color of a dominant dark shade in the fabric, she secured the peach strips down to the fabric. 

To maintain a balanced proportion to the effect of the trim on the dress, she varied the fringe detail, a single row along princess and shoulder lines, double rows at the sleeve hem, three rows at the hemline and a collection filling the neckline.

Some tweed and matka with which this effect might be used currently available at, with more to come, are:

Wednesday, April 6, 2011

Searching for Valentino

It is not as easy as one would think to find how Valentino would use the lively and lush wool and cashmere fabrics that just arrived at Sure, you can search Google for Valentino Cashmere images and up pops a reference to 629,000 images, but verifying that they are truly representatve of Valentino's work, that is the challenge.

Then, I made my way over to  where it was easy to pan through runway shows and pick out those that look as if they might be made using our Valentino cashmere blends.

Valentino Red Suit

Valentino Blue Coat
Valentino Blue Suit
The Valentino Blue Jacket reads as if it might be suede, but I think it would work well in cashmere. The drop shoulder line is very flattering for most, and could also be used over a dress made using a coordinating fabric.

For example, consider using the Valentino Red, Mint or Iris for the jacket, worn over a dress made using this paisley wool and silk challis that coordinates with all.


Saturday, April 2, 2011

Valentino Colors in Cashmere

I apologize for having stepped away from our blog to put some things in order at the store and an update and redesign of I also apologize to those of you who had sent comments that have yet to be published. They were temporarily hiding from us, but that is now fixed. We have a number of inspirational and instructional blog posts lined up, starting with..... none other than,.... Valentino!

Now, I would not generally bring a wool and cashmere piece into the store at the start of the Summer sewing season, but when one of my very favorite vendors walked in with these colorful cashmere and wool numbers, complete with Valentino labels,..... I melted into their soft folds... Besides, if we start thinking about how to use these now, we can have the project finished when cold weather returns.

Valentino Red Cashmere
Valentino Blue Cashmere

Valentino Mint Cashmere
Valentino Fuschia Cashmere

Valentino Coral Cashmere
Valentino Iris Cashmere
Arrival of these exclusive fabrics prompted me to ask the question, how does Valentino use these?

Here is a start: Valentino 'Voulant' Wool and Cashmere Coat. 

Details, such as an assymetrical, ruffle front and ruffle collar, can be seen at, where we found this picture. 

Anyone who would care to chime in with more ideas, please let me know. Will have instructions as to where to post your answers later.