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Notions | Vintage Sewing

A Fabric Encyclopedia

June 14, 2013

Hello all,
The fabrics called for on the backs of our vintage patterns are sometimes a complete mystery to us. What the heck is sharkskin? Why on earth am I supposed to sew my bathing suit from it? For a long time now I’ve been consulting all of my vintage sewing books and patterns to put together a comprehensive vintage fabric encyclopedia.

It’s rather large or I would post it here. You can find the complete encyclopedia on my blog A Few Threads Loose.

I hope many of you find it useful for your future vintage sewing projects!

  1. If you have a good resource for dating fabrics, please post it here! I have many old quilt pieces and wish I could accurately tell what decade the prints or colors might be from.

  2. This is great! Thanks so much!! I am an avid collector of Vintage Sewing Terms, and the fabrics listed on the back of Patterns are so very out of left field sometimes!!
    I have recently started a Zine series called ‘Notions’ which is exploring the often forgotten and ”proper” terms/techniques in Vintage publications and patterns. Being a Costume Designer resources to help me figure out what they might be are sometimes a little more readily available however; this Encyclopaedia helps enormously!!
    Thank you xxx

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