Thursday, 15 March 2012

Fabric choice

I researched the fabric colour choices for this period and common cloths were: satin, crepe and chiffon. My aim originally was to find a heavy double-backed crepe at Shepherd's Bush, and I made a round of all the shops to find the cloth. Surprisingly it was difficult to find the fabric in a shade which I liked and was suitable to the period. Also the cloth was extremely expensive and I felt uneasy regarding the cost. Unexpectedly, I was offered a ream of thin silk crepe by one shop owner whom I am friendly with for an incredibly cheap price (£20 for 5.5m!), and in a lovely colour which really did suggest and sum-up the period: this nile green.

Although the weight of the cloth itself is not perfect for the project, I have decided to use it regardless. The cloth is slightly see-through due to the thinness so I first thought that I would line it with itself. However upon thought I have instead decided to back it with silk habutai. This cloth is thin but has a shiny not a rough surface. Backing the dress with this instead of with another layer of crepe will counteract the 'tooth' of the cloth; it will cling, slip and slide across the contours of the body, as is required by the dress style. Even with the price of the backing fabric, the cost of the dress is still only a fraction of what it would have been had I bought double-backed crepe.

In an ideal world I would have of course used the more suitable, and more expensive, fabric. However in the professional world it is likely that I might indeed be using a thinner or not so ideal fabric due to price as well, or else because it was of a required colour or pattern. Although backing the dress will give me more work, it also gives me experience of making a lesser-suitable work for the purpose. I feel that this will be an invaluable exercise as it's a situation likely to occur when working in industry.

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