A creative blog featuring sewing tutorials, free patterns, and other helpful resources.
Thursday, February 13, 2014
Fun Facts about Fabric
Today I thought we could take a break from our busy sewing projects for a minute or two and read some fun facts about fabric that I have gathered just for our enjoyment. Are we ready?
In the early 1700's in England, the upper classes went all out for men's fashion. They determined that to create an appropriate men's suit of three pieces, they needed to buy nine yards of single fold fabric. This is where we get the phrase "the whole nine yards". (Source.)
Paisley was named after a Scottish town that, in the 19th century, produced copies of Indian cashmere shawls with cone motifs that we call paisley today.
Chintz was used as a dress fabric in America as early as colonial days. The fabric was imported from India to England and then to the colonies. By the early 1900s, this popular fabric was often of poor quality that faded and lost much of its shine when washed. Thereafter, anything of inferior quality was referred to as "chintzy."
Corduroy was a name coined during King Louis of France's reign. The king insisted everyone around him be dressed in splendor. Even his servants were instructed to have a polished look, so they traded in their plain cottons and woolens for a new cotton fabric with a more luxurious-looking nap -- dubbed "cord du roi," or, in English, "cords of the king." (Source.)
Silk fabric is made from the natural fibers of silkworm cocoons. Silkworms are actually caterpillars and Chinese legend says that silk was discovered when a woman dropped a silkworm cocoon into hot tea, causing it to unravel. This may or may not be true because silk is one of the oldest known fabrics, estimated to have been first woven into cloth around 2600 B.C.(Source.)
Cotton was originally grown in several different colors, including brown, rust, and light purple. Most of the cotton grown today is white because with our modern processing methods it is easier to maintain a consistent color by using only white-fiber plants. The word "cotton" is an English version of the Arabic word" qutun". (Source.)
That's all for our fun facts today! Did you learn something new?