Chanderi – A sheer luxurious handwoven fabric.

I go weak in the knees for all kinds of gossamer thin and sheer natural fabrics. Today, I get to ramble on about one of my personal favorites – Chanderi. Born in its namesake town of historical importance and royal patronage, this gossamer thin natural fabric is made with cotton, silk and also in a more attractive silk-cotton blend. I personally like the silk-cotton blend, it has that wee bit of luster from silk and a mildly crisp hand of cotton. Luxurious!

The weavers of Chanderi are known to make 35 meter long turbans which would weigh just about 60 grams. In this video below, master weaver Sri. Chotelal reminiscences of a royal past when his hand woven turbans were worn by the Gaekwads, Maharajas of Baroda.

Chanderi is mostly woven in traditional saree designs, with borders and pallu. Authentic silk cotton Chanderi fabric yardage is rare to find and is available only through special commissioning. The Blush Collection, released in 2013  is an authentic silk cotton Chanderi fabric yardage,  commissioned for Anne George Design and is available for purchase at Fabric Treasury. This collection is dyed with natural dye stuff Madder to achieve various shades of blush pinks and hand block printed with black or red traditional Indian folk designs.

The Blush Collection

The Blush Collection is an exciting project for me. The idea came through early in 2012 and it took some time to develop into a collection. Initially shades of indigos, reds and creams were planned in a broader range of designs. After careful consideration, the blush palette was finalized. I love the ethereal feel that blush pinks bring to this sheer fabric. This palette starts from a Pale Blush, moves a bit to the peachy side with the Cheeky Blush and then settles down  with a robust Bridal Blush. As with all naturally colored fabrics, the colors are not exactly 100% reproducable batch after batch, but works well with its original palette design and intent.

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The New Fabrics from India

I thought it was incredibly kind of Matisse (http://bvisayc556.wordpress.com) to write about my fabrics in such detail…grateful!

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Handwoven Linen Collection. Fall/Winter 2012

Fine handwoven 100% flax linen fabrics are rare and hardly available in retail anywhere. A chance encounter with this amazing fabric set me off on a search which took me to an old weaving facility. They have perfectly working vintage hand operated looms and a bunch of artisan weavers who could hand weave gossamer thin muslins and these fine linens. Fall/Winter 2012 collection of handwoven linens from this artisans is a sight to behold. Colors in the current collection is inspired by the now discontinued DMC linen floss series. Flax for producing the yarn for this fabric comes all the way from Belgium and is water spun in India by a nearly 100 year old heritage spinning facility.

Inspired by the DMC Linen Floss Series.
Fall / Winter 2012. AnneGeorgeDesign for FabricTreasury.

Master Weaver Setting the Loom

Master Weaver Setting the Loom
100% HAND MADE! Handwoven on Vintage Looms. Made in very limited quantities and rarely in this color and weight suitable for dresses and tops. Perfect for sewing a heirloom piece…

Weavers trusted with weaving this precious linen fabric are traditional artisans who have been into this craft for generations. A good idea too, since hand weaving a fine fabric with linen yarn is no mean job! The ease with which they turn the tough linen yarn into this beautiful fabric is wonderful to watch.  A master weaver helps set the loom with new yarn and then hovers around, always at hand to help when the threads break or if the younger generation weavers needed any help setting the warp right.  This fabric collection now on sale exclusively at Fabrictreasury is in  a very fine dress weight with a good drape.

That is Old Rose in the making.
AnneGeorgeDesign Fall/Winter 2012.

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Interview with Cheryl Hetherington

Cheryl has a preference for natural summer light cottons and often drops by FabricTreasury. So one day, I thought it might be a good idea to see what she makes with all those fabrics. And it turned out be an endearing story. As soon as she receives a package of fabrics from me, she sets about cutting and sewing them into cute tunics and tops for her friends to beat the summer heat in Iowa. Here’s an interview with Cheryl Hetherington of Art of Cheryl Hetherington

Green Tunic

Cheryl Hetherington in her new shirt, that her friend Loretta made fancy with some fine hand work. And oh, she loves this fabric. This is taken in her garden in Iowa City.

What is your earliest memory about sewing or making something with fabrics?
Treadle MachineAt age 12, in the early 1960’s, in Shawnee Mission, Kansas, I began to sew on my mom’s foot treadle machine. Looked a lot like the one in the picture. I first made a pencil skirt from a Simplicity pattern.

What originally gave you the idea about making summer clothes with natural fabrics?And how do you make them?
I have always admired the beautiful flowing, light Indian fabrics that I have seen in my travels, especially in Thailand and Mexico. When my friend said she wanted a tunic that was thin and cool to go over her yoga capris… the search for fabrics began and I discovered FabricTreasury! This time I found a pattern I liked.  Sometimes I use a piece of clothing that I bought during my travels.

How often do you turn to home sewn surprises for your family and friends?
Rarely really, since I have interest in so many kinds of artwork.  Right now, I am really enjoying this meditative sewing time when the beastly heat keeps me inside.

Do you often see something nice in the dress shop and wish if it was in a different material or fabric?
Often yes, and I wear mostly natural fabrics and loose clothing.

Do you stitch from patterns?
Sometimes.

Which are your favorite patterns?
I like Vogue patterns quite a bit.

Do you buy fabrics and stash it away for a future project?
Very often!  We bought many yards of silk fabric in Thailand in 2006, and I just used the last of it this summer.

Which are your most favorite fabrics and what do you see yourself making with them?
Natural fabrics, cotton, linen, silk.   I make lots of blouses!

Yellow Tunic

Cheryl says that these soft cotton fabrics are perfect for hot, humid summer days in Iowa. She has been making tunics for all her dear women friends. They wear them with leggings and a camisole all the time to stay cool and look elegant. Very Easy Vogue Patterns, #V8734

Do you shop online for fabrics? What do you like most about online fabric shops?
Actually, I just started looking online in the last few months.  Though I have sewn most of my life, I have never enjoyed American fabric shops…so online shopping is very appealing, especially since you responded so quickly, clearly and honestly about the fabrics.

What is your next project?
My friends so love the tunics that I am making more and more, probably up to 9 so far.  This week, two of us will go to a local fabric store in Iowa City, Iowa and get some quilting fabrics for tunics.  Though not a wonderful as your fabrics, it will have to do, until the next batch of your light cotton fabrics arrive! 🙂  Hurry please!

Brown Tunic

Cheryl Hetherington writes from Iowa: My friend Nancy is leaving soon to teach in Hong Kong and then tour in China. She wanted a light shirt that packs small and looks beautiful. So here she is in a shirt I made her from the fabric that I got from you. Nice, eh!

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Mint Memories for Silkstone Barbie and similar size dolls on Etsy now

I just love the construction of this ensemble. The minty color is like a cool breeze on a hot summer evening. Though Summer of 2012 has faded away and Fall is upon us, this is still a stunning dress to gift your precious one!

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Winter Wonderland Wedding by Aenne-et-Linum

Rosemary – a new dress by the talented Aenne Thiel-António.

“Rosemary” is the dress for your winter wonderland wedding. A tight-fitting natural colored uppers of ahimsa silk jersey with slightly flared Tropetenärmeln goes into a double-layered ruffled skirt over from hand-woven natural brown Ahimsa silk. The underskirt is made ​​of fine satin cream organic cotton. The dress closes with a side zipper.

See more of Aenne’s work at http://en.dawanda.com/shop/Aenne-et-Linum

All rights reserved. Aenne Thiel-Antonio.
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Peace Silk Ensembles by Matisse Fashions

Peace Silk Ensembles by Matisse of Matisse Fashions

Peace Silk Ensembles by Matisse of Matisse Fashions

Five ensembles in delicious icecream colors with eyecatching silk belt, and trendy jewels by doll couturier Matisse of  Matisse Fashions.

The wrap style blouses are cut from amazing peace silk, full lined in china silk, and features a collar, three-quarter length sleeves with cavalier cuffs and tie at the back. The bottoms are various styles, cut from creamy fine twill, with finished seams, three styles have working pockets, and button over snap back closure. The belts are gorgeous ombre silk with two gold-tone hoop buckle. The jewels included a chunky chain necklace, pair of hoop earrings and set of three bangles.

Each set comes with the following item,
wrap blouse
bottom skirt or trousers
silk belt
set of jewels

Read more about Matisse’s work here – Matisse Fashions

All rights reserved. Matisse Fashions.

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FABRICARTISTRY is born today, on a beautiful Monday October 1, 2012.

I have been mulling over a blog idea for some time now. I started off with thinking that this would be a place to publish about my research into Indian Textiles, then thought about just keeping it simple and stick to all natural fabrics. Somewhere along the way I started talking to my fellow fabric artists and thought showcasing their works and thoughts would be delightful. So here I am, finally trying to grapple with the theme design and all at WordPress.com.

Let it be recorded in history that FABRICARTISTRY the blog is born today, on a beautiful Monday October 1, 2012 and will reside here – https://fabricartistry.wordpress.com .

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