Dating fabrics by eileen trestain accommodating children with disabilities in the classroom
So, your divy instincts having performed admirably, you know you have something old, but exactly how old and and exactly what is it?
Fabric identification without the aid of selvage markings, provenance or an expert can be tricky. But there are clues to put you somewhere in the ballpark.
Color, designs, patina and fancy weaves are stronger giveaways.
Old catalogs, ads, pattern and fashion magazines like the by Eileen Trestain, 1998, plus your personal knowledge are useful tools for a decade-by-decade comparison of fabrics.
Unwashed old cottons seem to impart a certain glow or patina, mostly due to mellowing and special finishes now outdated.
Novelty and variations on basic weaves can help define fashion trends of the day.
They were used for tea-room, hostess and maid’s aprons; pinafores, children’s dresses, collars and other accessories.
A cheaper grade of lawn organdy was the staple of commercial mama doll dresses from the 1920s through the 40s and advertised as organdy for obvious merchandising reasons.
Swiss muslin is a very fine muslin or lawn with a smooth medium crisp finish, and lawn organdy, sometimes called poorman’s Swiss muslin, is so named because of its soft to soft-medium crisp finish.
Although they have been replaced by the Italian super pimas of today, old percale is highly coveted and a quilter’s dream find.
Organdy, lawn organdy and Swiss muslin are often mistaken for each other.
The separating line for muslin and percale is when thread count reaches 160.
Of all the older fabrics, vintage percales are probably the most recognizable by their colorful floral and print designs and hard, smooth finish.