Sunday, December 2, 2007

garment district

I went to the garment district yesterday for the first time. It was the first shop I went to, the owners were smoking. Inside. Seriously, is there anything the smell of smoke sticks to more than fabric?? I couldn't belive it. In several other shops people were also smoking, albiet by the open front door -- in 33 degree weather! Priorities, I guess.
Anyway, I found some amazing things. One store was stocked entirely with wool. It was presumably geared towards mens' suiting, as almost all the colors were fairly subdued, but it was incredible. I walked around for a very long time just feeling everything. I'm trying to hone my skills at identifying fiber content of fabric, but right now I'm still practicing identifying "wool" vs. "polyester." Pretty basic. I spent a long time in the cashmere section, especially because there are these vendors all over NYC right now, selling $5 cashmere scarves that they all swear are real cashmere -- I'm sure they're not, but they do feel mighty convincing.... So I spent a long time feeling all the cashmere. Finally I brought a muted plaid up to the front, thinking maybe I could get 1 yard and make an extra luxurious scarf. Hmm.. at $120.00/yd. the potentially faux scarves seem to fit my lifestyle a little better.
There were so many specialty stores. There was one little 1/2 block that was full of spandex fabric stores. Others sold only european fabrics. There were a lot of trim and button stores as well, which are my weakness...I found some big brass military buttons to replace some more generic buttons on a wool melton coat, and drooled over all the glitzy buttons that would make fabulous earrings with a little glue and some post findings...and then I had to leave to protect my already very tiny bank account.
I was originally on a mission to find some plain black cotton for a project I'm about to embark on. I'm making a bag with braided handles. The braids will be made out of tubes of black cotton, stuffed taute with some sort of filling. Hard to describe, but I want it to have an almost down jacket puffyness, while maintaining its shape in your hand. Originally I thought of stuffing the tubes with polar fleece -- light and bulky -- or maybe quilt batting - but that might be hard to pull through the tubes -- if anyone has any suggestions, let me know. As soon as I'm done, I'll post some pictures. (This may be months away...)


denforever said...

somehow this stuff is much more interesting to me in print. when you talk, maybe it is too fast for me.

Carly said...

Instead of trying to stuff it in the tube after you've turned it, try sewing the filling to one end of the tube while its still inside-out. If you reach through the inside-out tube, grab a hold of the tube-filling seam and turn the whole thing inside-out together you should be able to put just about anything inside. You could even try something like a rope wrapped in down coat filling.

hannah said...

brilliant. will report back.