Cloth Stories - Lightness is a great tool..
Lightness, Weightlessness, Transparency, Softness... these are the qualities that I love most about thin cloth. It's nature makes layering and stitching so much easier. And Thin-ness itself is part of my Spirit Cloth Language system. I love thin cloth and I want to share my favorites.
Inspired by the spider's web, early on, I realized thin-ness is not always weakness.
It's important to know that Fabric Names are not always a way to know exactly what kind of cloth is actually being described, many names are used loosely especially in the fashion field. Usually it is a very broad category and actual nature of the cloth can vary widely especially in terms of weight and feel. Theses days most purchases are made through the internet. It is so sad that there are so few little fabric shops to visit these days. I miss them. Maybe when I move, I will open one.
I am reviewing this product even though it is no longer available. I used it a lot as a basic thin cloth and it has been mentioned in almost all my classes. Just wanted to put more information here as to it's nature. I think you might find something similar under another name if you have a sense of what it is. I have some dyed bits that might end up in the shop but these days, who knows...
I have done a bit more research into cheesecloth and have found that, as usual, the name is not always consistent with product. I did the video so you could get a sense of the cloth quality I love. When I began online I ran across Dijanne Cevaal, maybe you know her. She was hand dyeing cloth and I ordered some and I fell in love with the gauzy lightweight cloth as well as her dye work. In relocating she cleaned her studio and sold me the remainder of undyed cloth she had hanging around. Not much but it was my introduction to this thin style cloth. There is a lot of thin cloth out there that is suitable as a stabilizing layer. This one has a history for me, I ran into it by accident. I am currently doing some research to find similar product. One advantage was the price. I do not need to buy any cloth at this point, but in case you do, I will share my results.
A very fine cotton cloth, woven from very fine combed cotton. The cloth is perfectly weightless and soft, but pricey.
Voile on the left compared to harem cloth on the right. The cloths are about the same weight believe it or not, the thread size if way finer in the voile.
Voile is a women's blouse and dress fabric. Because I work with small pieces, I rarely buy yardage, if anything at all. I often purchase samples of cloth just for research. It is really easy to find this cloth in garments in thrift shops or maybe even your own discarded clothing. Sometimes it is used in curtains as well. Voile is often used to describe non cotton cloth, like polyester sheers so always be careful to read labels. Cotton blends can be tricky to identify by touch.
Whenever you purchase cloth online, you usually have an opportunity to ask for a sample swatch first, if you are unsure.
Silk cloth comes in many weights and qualities. Some are very hard to handle. I avoid the hard shiny kind,
My favorite silks are the thin ones, the kind you might remember from your grandma's scarves. Do you? I can even remember how they smelled. Old silk scarves are a treasure. Thin, often sheer and crepey in texture, the prints are really fun to cut from, and well, I've kept grandma's and found great ones here and there for pennies in thrift stores and yard sales. Silk gauze and silk organza are a great addition to a thin cloth palette. Silk can be layered and blended like watercolors. I love to use it for " painting" with cloth.
Thin gauzy silk is not hard to handle wen stitching. It can snag a bit though in a quilt or something like that. But the old silk carves can be quite smooth and hardy. Silk is not as fragile as it seems. Silk . the spider shows us, can be thin, but strong.