Some time ago--like, so long ago that I'm not going to bother dredging up the post--Stephen asked you all to email me if you had any suggestions for what fabric we should offer next besides the Robert Kaufman 100% Kona cotton. Since then, I've gotten maybe three dozen or so emails about what you all would like to see us carry. I've heard a lot of suggestions for heavier weight cottons--"upholstery weight," "medium weight," and "canvas" are the specific terms you've used. I've also gotten a lot of interest in linen and in organic cotton. There have been some other odds and ends, too--rayon, microfiber, sheer silk, cotton lawn, and jersey knit among others. And just this morning, Danielle was trying to sell me on the virtues of bamboo and bamboo blends, though I haven't worked with those myself...
Now it looks like making a decision is going to happen sooner rather than later. Stephen handed me an intriguing little booklet this morning of flappy little fabric samples to evaluate. The plan is to put out another call for your input, order a few different rolls to run test prints on, and then make a final decision on our second fabric.
Okay, so are you ready for some options along with my brief impressions here? Good. One quick bit of shorthand: each fabric option listed below is followed by a set of parentheses containing a number-slash-number, then a decimal number. This refers to the width in inches from selvage to selvage followed by the weight in ounces. So cotton twill (56/57, 5.6) means that the cotton twill is 56-57 inches wide and weighs 5.6 ounces per square yard. (The Kona cotton we're printing on now weighs 4.35 ounces per square yard, by way of comparison.) This is just my own shorthand for what might be some tedious typing here. Hopefully, you won't consider the subject tedious, though!
- 100% cotton twill (56/57, 5.6); has a crisp feel that would be lovely for clothing or perhaps linens.
- 100% cotton canvas (57/58, 8); feels heavy and strong and would work great in handbags, totes, or even some home-dec projects
- a heavy brushed 100% cotton (56/57, 9.5) that seems suitable for hard-wearing home-dec projects
- un-brushed heavy 100% cotton (56/57, 9.7) stiffer than the brushed, that would also be home-dec appropriate
- medium weight 100% cotton, brushed (55/56, 7.2), or un-brushed (55/56, 7.35); another option suitable for home-dec projects as well as bags and accessories
- 100 % organic cotton (44/45, 4/3) that feels a teeny bit crisper than our current Kona, but is, of course, organic
- 55%linen/45% cotton blend (42/43, 5/6); substantial without feeling heavy, my little 2" swatch appears to have a nice drape to it (though it's admittedly hard to tell with such a small piece)
- 55% linen/45% rayon blend (54/55, 6); soft and supple and would work great in clothing
- 100% linen (52/53, 6); downright meaty, less crisp than the linen/cotton blend, and probably what we all think of when we hear the word "linen"
That's a lot of options, I know, but I'd love to hear your thoughts on what sorts of items you want to make and what you'd like to make them up in. Email me, y'all! And thanks in advance for your input.