It had been a minute since I had last studied up on textiles. 2009 to be exact. When Rue La La reached out asking if I could teach their stylists a textiles refresher class on fibers, fabric construction, pattern, and color, I immediately said yes because my gut told me to. Five minutes later, I panicked. It had been so long since I had talked or thought about fibers and construction of materials, or so I thought. The truth is, I know sooo much about fabric. I apply it every single day of my life. Whether it's with my clothing at home, wedding linens, tent material, curtain material, selecting rugs, getting stains out of Kit's clothing, or discussing upholstery fabric with interior design clients, I'm thinking and talking about it. And, no matter the industry I've been in (visual merchandising, weddings and now interiors) understanding fibers and fabric construction has always been vital.
*The image below are notes from me writing the class in between finger painting with Kit...
My first project in my very first merchandising class was to put together The Textile Kit. I've referenced in many times since school and am so glad I've kept it all these years! It is a comprehensive guide of every fiber turned fabric you can imagine and such a wealth of knowledge!
*I could have never imaged that I would have written that word 'kit' and it is now my son's name...
We decided to host the textiles class at my studio. I wanted the 12 attendees to be able to experience the space and understand all the different ways I use textiles in my work. I pulled samples from wedding linens, bouquet ribbon, yarn, fabric cuts from JoAnn's and interior design swatches. I labeled each of them so attendees could feel and see the differences between all of the materials.
I made everyone mini textile kits! I love assembling projects like this and it was the very first thing I knew I wanted to do for the class!
First we talked through fibers - what they are and where them come from. After that we discussed how you turn fibers into fabric, aka their construction. For example, taking cotton fibers and turning them into denim woven fabric. There are about a zillion combos you can do like this and it's honestly a bit overwhelming and incredibly fascinating!
Thank you so much to the entire styling team at Rue La La for letting me obsessively talk fabric with you! It was energizing and so much fun!