Thursday, 25 October 2012
Visit to Textile Forum
The Textile Forum happens twice a year in Central London near Bond Street tube station. It's a chance for anyone to see a wide range of fabrics from cotton poplins to leathers and wool tweeds to embroidered modern blends from a number of companies all exhibited in one place as well as the chance to talk to the people who know their fabrics best in a space dedicated to just that.
I went along mainly to help expand my understanding of fabric and knowledge of suppliers for professional purposes but had a fantastic time looking for my own home sewing projects too! The show is a exhibition purely for fashion fabrics so it was great to have all in one room hundreds of samples of fabrics all suitable for dressmaking rather than craft or upholstery.
I did not go with the intention of making a purchase for personal uses as I expected prices to be fairly high as most of the exhibitors were big brand and high end fabric companies offering their latest creations. However after a bit of eavesdropping I was surprised to find some of the prices very reasonable, even as low as £2.50/m for some of the printed polyblends. However as this was predominately a trade show I'm presuming these prices are just for trade customers buying bulk.
There was a great range of good quality fabrics and it was brilliant to see which companies are best to go to for what kind of fabrics, for example Acorn fabrics have a great range of shirtings. As well as beautiful examples of traditional silks, cottons, wools, knits and blends in a rainbow of colours there were some more unusual fabrics on show, including new construction techniques and fantastic examples of decorative treatments and lacework. One company simply specified in textured digital fabric printing which created some really interesting modern effects.
Some stands only offered a fairly large minimum order as, as I mentioned, they generally sell to trade rather than the home seamstress but I was pleasantly surprised at how many simply had a metre minimum, would happily provide samples for no charge and had very reasonable delivery charges.
I'd say it's well worth a visit for a bit of inspiration or if you're on the hunt for something special (there was a great collection of Bridal fabrics and beaded lace appliques available to order). Tickets are free, you just have to sign up beforehand and they'll email you a ticket to take with you on the day. The next event is 6-7th March 2013 and you can sign up here.
I was so inspired to sew when I left that I called in Simply Fabrics in Brixton (which by the way may be my new favourite bargain fabric store, they're lovely in there!) on my way home and picked up a couple of deals! I was supposed to not be buying any new fabric with the exception of a couple of specific things I'm on the hunt for for particular winter sewing projects, but I didn't find anything for these and couldn't help myself. I'm thinking cute skirt and simple blouse combination??