The Textile Forum

How amazingly gorgeous and classy is this outfit? I spotted the wearer at the Textile Forum and immediately went over to ask if she’d made the skirt herself. She had – swoon. Sadly, not from a commercial pattern – sob. She drafted this beaut herself!

I was at the Textile Forum to nose around. It’s a trade fair, where manufacturers, designers and suppliers meet. I’m not really the target audience, but they don’t mind home sewists dipping in to see what’s hot.

I loved these mood boards and swatches from The Wool Lab:

There were some, ahem, animal prints in evidence too:

But it was that lady’s skirt that really interested me. The fabric, from Graham Smith Fabrics, was so gorgeous to handle and she whipped out swatches to show me:

Not a bad colour among them. My new best friend had worn her skirt on the train down from Manchester and she gave me a twirl to prove that there wasn’t a single crease. There really wasn’t. It got better. Turns out, this fabric retails at £5.95 a metre. It’s a polyester mix, believe it or not, with stretch.

The only down side is that it retails with a 10-metre minimum order. That’s trade terms, for you. But I’m seriously tempted! I can see so many items that would be perfect in this fabric. I’m sure I’d get through it. I’m sure I wouldn’t get fed up before I used up 10 metres. Maybe…

I’d recommend popping into the next Textile Forum. They’re held fairly regularly, and the venue is just off Bond Street – perfect for window shopping.

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26 Responses to The Textile Forum

  1. Sounds like it was fun! Does everyone sell at a 10m minimum? I suppose if you went with a sewing friend (or 2) with the same taste in fabric you could all split a 10m length between you.

  2. LLADYBIRD says:

    You just need to find a friend to split the minimum order with you 🙂 I mean, those colors are amazing – it’d be a crying shame to back out just because of a measly 10 yard minimum, amrite? 🙂

  3. Elizabeth says:

    I would split the order with you!!!! I would!!!

  4. Anne W says:

    ooo, jealous! Giraffe print is soo cute, and 10m fabric order, why not? You could share with someone…

  5. Fay says:

    I would also split an order with you – it looks simply gorgeous. Shout if you would like to : )

  6. Vicki Kate says:

    I want a Giraffe skirt! In the grey and teal colours… Maybes you could go halves with someone on a 10m order? It’d be easier to use 5m, I could see a dress, skirt and top out of that sort of length…

  7. Kat says:

    Take what you want and eBay the rest.

  8. Lena Merrin says:

    I LOVE browsing fabric! I am on self-imposed fabric buying strike until I reduce my stash though 🙂

  9. MrsC says:

    At the risk of being a wet squib, there is a bigger picture down side to buying wholesale. It takes business away from the retailers, and we need them badly, because they give us access to what is available, let us buy how much we need, and good ones bring their expertise, advice and customer service to the equation too. The internet is clobbering physical retail, and wholesale will too. 🙁 So sorry to introduce a sombre note! But I’ve seen so many shops closing down and we will never get that back. And I think that fabric is delicious too!

    • Oh no, don’t apologise – healthy debate is what it’s all about and it’s very interesting to hear this perspective. I will say, though, that after two years of pouring money into fabric buying I won’t feel too guilty if for once I buy direct from suppliers. I’ve more than done my bit to support the sewing retail community!

      • MrsC says:

        Absolutely, it’s more about the habit than the occasional, like so many things. And I too would cut someone to get me some of that giraffe fabric, especially if no sensible retailer in the area stocked it! 🙂

  10. symondezyn says:

    I have a tendency to poo-poo polyester but when it’s used in a blend it has its merits, for sure 🙂
    Wish I could go! That would be a fun way to spend an afternoon 🙂

  11. Felicity from Down Under says:

    share the fabric would be my advice, too, because 10 metres is quite a lot

  12. You need to make a vintagey full-skirted dress. That’ll take five metres right away! Gorgeous fabrics 🙂

  13. Montana says:

    oh how fun! wish I could just pop on by, but I’m pretty sure I can’t afford the airline ticket at the moment 😉

  14. LinB says:

    You could always ask a local retailer to order the fabric for you, whether or not you take the whole 10 meters. A small mark-up from them would probably be less than shipping charges direct to you. Any you don’t buy would surely sell for them, with the recommendation you have given in this posting. Also, 10 meters of the same fabric would give you a core wardrobe for mixing and matching: trousers, skirt, jacket, blouse/tunic, vest, dress … perhaps not all of them, but many of them. No worries about slight differences in color, since it would all have come from the same dye lot.

  15. Tasha says:

    Ooh! I totally made a skirt out of one of those Michael Miller animal prints, I just…never…hemmed it. You’re reminding me to do so. 🙂

  16. how we haven’t seen each other?? I was there too.. it was great !

  17. Sophia says:

    What a nice way to spend a few hours and get some great inspiration!

    I’m usually an anti-poly snob, but the last time I bought some it was so soft and supple, I’m a believer now. The swatches you were looking at look like great quality (and those colors!).

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