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 It was originally made using silk for rich dress making fabric, as in this bustle dress from 1880’s.



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.



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. 



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



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



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




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.


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


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



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





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What People Make with the Fabric I sell- Gerda Bags

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Unique hand made bags from Gerda Bags, who sell from their Etsy shop and Folksy shop .. As well as unusual bags, Gerda makes bunting, glasses cases, pencil cases and purses, all beautifully finished.


It was a lovely surprise to be browsing her facebook page to find this slouchy tote bag made using cotton fabric she had bought from me earlier this year.

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and this cute children’s pencil case made using Simplicity French cotton fabric with animals.


Further information about Vintage Fabric can be found at the links below.