Vintage Brocade Fabric & the Jacquard Loom

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Brocade is a decorative woven fabric with a raised pattern made to mimic embroidery. It was originally made using silk for rich dress making fabric, as in this bustle dress from 1880’s.

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The Jacquard loom was introduced in 1804 , using a series of punched cards it made it easier to weave the complicated patterns needed for brocade, damask and matelassé fabrics. Brocade type fabric began to be made using heavier cotton making it longer lasting, therefore good for upholstery.

 

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A jacquard loom showing punch cards

There is an excellent blog by Leimomi Oakes ‘the dreamstress’ on the history of the jacquard loom and the weaves it creates. 

 

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Cotton brocade with silky threads from the 1930’s or 40’s – for curtains and throws

Check out my ebay shop for this and other vintage brocade fabric

 

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Heavier tapestry weave brocade for upholstery. the stripes on reverse called brocade variant

 

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Typically the pattern and colour of jacquard brocade is reversed on the back,  satin weave giving a silky shine.

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Damask fabric has a finer weave and the pattern is less raised than other brocades, the design is still reversed on the back.

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Wool fabric – for cold weather.

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Clothing made from wool fabric has always been considered the best for wearing in cold weather, it traps heat and will prevent the body from cooling. Wool absorbs moisture, but stays warmer than many other fabrics, it is also inherently flame retardant. So a good choice for clothing when the weather gets colder.

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A lovely soft wool fabric in royal blue and navy blue check with threads of red and yellow.

s-l1600-4aVintage veruna wool fabric in a great abstract design, light weight for dress making or scarves. Rare to find vintage fabric like this without moth holes, as they seem to love this more than anything.

s-l1600-3aA heavier tweed wool fabric, ideal for skirts and jackets

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Vintage wool and cotton mix brocade fabric in a geometric design. Good for interiors or heavier clothing .

 

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Wool fabric bundles for sale in my Etsy shop are very popular for using in crafts, patchwork cushions, clothing etc.

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Vintage Fabric – Updating the Website..

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Time for the annual update of Vintage Fabric’s website..

The site has useful and interesting links for anyone keen on fabric, sewing and interiors.   As well as information about us and our blog, it has links to our ebay shop ‘vintage fabric and curtains’, a page showing all the Sanderson fabric we have in stock ( changed frequently), one dedicated to fabric bundles and a fabric of the month page.

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Fabric bundles useful for patchwork and crafts, the one below is made up of rare and unusual Laura Ashley cotton pieces.

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‘Fabric of the Month’ showcases a favourite or special fabric or textile; the idea is to change the page monthly, though time goes too quickly at times…

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A page showing the Sanderson & William Morris fabric we have in stock..

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Let’s hope that it can be found on Google and other search engines now..

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Grautex. Mid-Century Danish Textiles

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Grautex fabrics were a leading textile company  in the 1950’s through to the 1970’s. They were based in Copenhagen, Denmark and used many well known artists and designers of the time such as  Joan Nicola Wood,  Kirtsen Romer and Ronald Hansen who produced art prints such as pine trees ( below) and beech trees panels.

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Ronald Hansen –  pine trees

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Arne Emil Jacobsen, meadow. 1951

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‘Hyacinth Glasses’ Printed Cotton Panel Designed
by Arne Jacobsen for Grautex Fabrics  1950

 

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‘continental flower squares’ 1951

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Joan Nicola Wood ‘carnival’

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Kirsten Romer ‘skrapper’

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Toile de Jouy Fabric

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Toile prints were originally produced in Ireland in the mid-18th Century and quickly became popular in Britain and France. The name Toile de Jouy originated in France in the late 18th century and means “cloth from Jouy”, a town near Paris.

Christophe-Phillipe Oberkampf set up business in Jouy-en-Josas outside Paris in 1759, where he joined with engraver and designer Jean Baptiste Huet to design idyllic pastoral scenes for their fabrics.

The designs on toile de jouy vary greatly, but they all have detailed scenes scattered over the fabric. Originally the scenes were carved on woodblocks or engraved on copper then printed in only one colour (often red, black, or blue) on to a white or cream background.

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Les Traveaux de la Manufacture (The Activities of the Factory), 1783–84, designed by Jean-Baptiste Huet

 

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Toile fabrics are a fascinating record of the times both past and present, often depicted historical events, such as the pattern above c. 1784 based on two etching made shorly after the Montgolfier brothers successful ascent in hydrogen-filled hot air balloons

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Detail from a more modern toile fabric  by Ashley Wilde.

 

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Even more recently, Mike Diamond from the Beastie Boys designed Brooklyn Toile (above) as a wallpaper. Together with designer Vincent J. Ficarra he created a toile depicting his favorite Brooklyn scenes.

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 Toile has come to be used for interiors, both wallpaper and soft furnishings in this vibrant room.

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Here Toile de Jouy is being used for clothing  in this 1950’s style Bernie Dexter dress.

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Artist Textiles.

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The early 20th century saw the rise of artists having their designs  printed on fabric to be used in the house or as pieces of clothing. This meant that their art was accessible to the masses rather than being owned by galleries or the very rich. After the war a movement called ‘a masterpiece in every home’ became popular and saw many great artists such as Salvador Dali, Joan Miro and John Piper having their designs printed and used widely.

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Rare vintage 1920’s cotton fabric by french textile artist Raoul Dufy who was one of the first to have his designs printed on cotton fabric. This piece was originally used as a pair of curtains.

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This wonderful Picasso print cotton fabric made into 1950’s style dress. By the 1960’s  Picasso was allowing many of his art work to be printed on to dress fabric, he apparently wouldn’t allow his work to be used for sofas or chairs “Picasso may be leaned against, not sat on” the curator of the 2014 exhibition of textile art  was quoted as saying.

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The piece above printed on soft rayon material, originally curtains is now being made into a skirt.

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Northern Cathedral – a 1960’s work  by John Piper screen printed on  cotton fabric.

 

 

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20th Century Rayon Dress Making Fabric

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Considered the oldest manufactured fabric, rayon is made from cellulose ( often wood pulp), and thought of as semi-synthetic. There are several different ways of processing the cellulose each producing slightly different fabrics such as viscose, modal, lyocell and tencel.

Known as artificial silk when it was first introduced in the late 1800’s early 19o0’s, it soon became very popular as a cheaper alternative to cotton and silk.  By the 1950’s the versatility of rayon meant it was being used extensively often printed in a great variety of fashionable designs and colours.

 

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1960’s Walric rayon shown above is a heavier dress fabric which has a stiffish linen feel.

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this lighter silk crepe like rayon is perfect to dresses and blouses

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Cold satin rayon in great 1950’s geometric design

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Rayon brocade fabric which could be used for dress making or interiors

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1960’s 70’s interiors fabric in a rayon and cotton blend

 

Check out the excellent blog  by Emileigh of Flashback Summer – The History of Rayon and how to care for it  Rayon blog

 

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