We do not sell fabrics.
We use these fabrics only
for customers who are purchasing finished clothing from us. These
are their fabric options.
To make sure these fabric are available from our suppliers, please email with requests before ordering. Our suppliers sometimes run out of certain fabrics. If you are confused about the different types of fabrics or materials used, please scroll down for some descriptions and definitions of different types of fabrics, and their practical uses, courtesy all-about-fabrics.
Fabrics other than what are listed here: We can get just about anything you need, but below are the 'standard' fabric we offer. These are the materials that we use to price the packages listed on our website. If none of these fabrics appeal to you, we would be happy to work with you to find exactly what you're looking for, but by using fabrics other than those listed on the pages below may affect the final price of your garment.
Linen, Wool and Silk- for those who require historical accuracy, we will be delighted to work with you to find appropriate materials for your ensemble. Because there are so many weights, colors and types of these fabrics, we're not able to list a page of available options. However, if you would like your clothing made from any of these fabrics, just let us know and we'll work with you to find exactly what you're looking for.
We purchase our dupioni silks from Silk Baron. We've found his silks to be the highest quality. You may contact him directly to order samples.
We purchase our silk velvets from Sy Fabrics. You may contact him directly to order samples.
All silks tend to cost more than the allotted $10 budget, so you may be responsible for an upgrade fee unless noted in a specific package price. If you're not sure, please email and we'll be happy to help.
We purchase our velvets and satins from Sy Fabrics. You may contact him directly to order samples. We are not responsible for color variations in photos or for fabric care instructions.
All cotton velvets tend to cost more than the allotted $10 budget, so you may be responsible for an upgrade fee unless noted in a specific package price. If you're not sure, please email and we'll be happy to help.
Click on the links below and browse through the offerings of our fabric suppliers. Prices on our website and through our custom estimate form are set to allow for a per-yard budget up to $10 per yard for fabrics. If you find something you like that's more than $10/yard, that's perfectly okay - you will just need to cover the price difference over your per-yard budget allotment for the number of yards required to make your outfit. Most gowns require between 10-15 yards of fabric). If you need help, please feel free to email us with your questions.
If the color or texture is important to you, be sure to order a swatch from the fabric supplier. When you submit your order form, be sure to include a direct link to the specific fabric you would like me to order, since many of the fabrics have similar names.
Tips: Select woven, not printed fabrics and avoid outdoor fabrics. Damask, brocade, matellasse, chenille, velvet and jacquard are excellent options for Tudor and Elizabethan gowns. If you need advice, please ask - we're very happy to offer advice.
Click on the links below for more fabric options:
Warehouse fabrics - your budget typically up to $10/yard for fabrics. if the cost is more than $10/yard, we'll be happy to invoice you for the price difference.
Fabric Guru - your budget is up to $10/yard for fabrics. if the cost is more than $10/yard, we'll be happy to invoice you for the price difference.
Fabrics & Findings: Definitions & Descriptions
Acetate: One of the first manufactured fibers. It has a crisp feel. It has a nice lustre and excellent appearance when draped. It is not a strong fiber, as its resistance to abrasion is poor. Resists shrinkage, moths, and mildew and does not absorb moisture readily. Its yarns are pliable and supple and will always spring back to their original shape. It is fast drying and when heated becomes more pliable. Acetone and alcohol dissolve acetate fibers. This is the base for many modern brocades and is not historically accurate, since it is a man-made fiber. Authenticity note: If you're on a budget, or wearing a garment to a Renaissance faire where authenticity is not important, this is a very affordable alternative to silk brocades. If historical accuracy is more important than affordability, use silk brocades instead of acetate brocades.
Batiste: Lightweight, fine, sometimes even sheer. Perfect for finer undergarments - more expensive than muslin.
Broadcloth: Cotton, Plain weave and in most cotton broadcloths made with a very fine crosswise rib weave. Characteristics: Originally indicated a cloth woven on a wide loom. Very closely woven and in cotton, made from either carded or combed yarns. The filling is heavier and has less twist. Has a smooth finish. May be bleached, dyed, or printed. Wears very well, but wrinkles (remember, wrinkles are historically accurate). Authenticity note: This is an extremely accepted fabric for Renaissance faire peasant garb, where "looking scruffy" and harsh wear is expected. It's cool, comfortable, functional and very, very affordable, so if you play rough, this cloth won't break the bank. If you're looking for SCA garb, cotton is not acceptable in most areas. Substitute linen for cotton in almost every situation. Linen is absolutely much more historically accurate than cotton, but nowhere near as affordable. So you need to decide which is more important: Authenticity or affordability? If you want to be authentic, use linen. If you want to stay within a budget, use cotton.
Brocade: Silk, rayon, cotton, and all others. Characteristics: Rich, heavy, elaborate design effect. Sometimes with colored or metallic threads making the design usually against a satin weave background. This makes the figures stand out. the figures in brocade are rather loose, while in damask the figure threads are actually bound into the material. The pattern may be satin on a twill ground or twill on a satin ground. Often reversible. The motifs may be of flowers, foliage, scrollwork, pastoral scenes, or otherdesigns. The price range is wide. Works very well for underskirt foreparts on Elizabethan gowns. Authenticity note: Brocade is available in all sorts of fiber blends - most affordable brocades can be found made from synthetic blends, which in some organizations is *not* acceptable. If authenticity is important, use silk brocades.
Calico: Cotton Weave: Plain - usually a low count. Characteristics: Originated in Calicut, India, and is one of the oldest cottons. Rather coarse and light in weight, printed cotton cloth superior to percale. Pattern is printed on one side by discharge or resist printing. It is not always fast in color. Sized for crispness but washes out and requires starch each time. Inexpensive. Similar to percale. The designs are still in use on other fabrics and sold as "calico print". Cotton wasn't around much during the Renaissance (for lack of the cotton gin), but calico was very well used during other eras of historical costuming.
Chenille: Name comes from the French word meaning "caterpillar." Soft yarn with pile protrudings on all sides - generally made from wool blends.
Chiffon: rayon synthetics oir silks. Weave: Plain Characteristics: A light diaphanous fabric nylon, Lightweight, sheer, transparent. Made with very fine, tightly twisted yarns. The tightly twisted yarns could be either in the filling or the warp or both. It is very strong, despite filmy look. Wears very well. It has slightly bumpy look. It is best suited to shirring, draping, gathering, tucking, etc., because it is so limp. If made in a straight sheath style, it should be underlined with very firm fabric. Nice for formal and bridal wear and common during the Edwardian era.
Corduroy: Cotton, rayon, and other textile fibers. Characteristics: Made with an extra filling yarn. In the velvet family of fabrics. Has narrow medium and wide wales. Wales have different widths and depths. Most of it is washable and wears very well. Has a soft luster. This fabric was available during the Renaissance and was made by shaving thin lines from velvet yardage.
Cotton: A natural vegetable fiber of great economic importance as a raw material for cloth. Its widespread use is largely due to the ease with which its fibers are spun into yarns. Cotton's strength, absorbency, and capacity to be washed and dyed also make it adaptable to a considerable variety of textile products. It is one of the world's major textile fibers. Very strong, even when wet. Dyes well. Machine wash , iron while damp. Authenticity note: Cotton is not used in some guilds where historically accurate fabrics are required for clothing. Remember, the cotton gin was NOT around during the Renaissance, and even if cotton is acceptable to use for peasant garb - especially at Renaissance faires (although, rarely in the SCA), you would *never* use basic cotton for higher status clothing, such as nobility/court gowns.
Crepe: Comes in a variety of textures and finishes Crepe satin: Satin, shiny weave on the face and a Crêpe effect on the back obtained with twisted Crêpe yarns in the filling - 2 or 3 times as many ends as picks per inch. It is a soft fabric which is reversible. It is usually piece dyed. Very interesting effects can be obtained in a garment by using both sides, in different parts. e.g. the Crêpe side for the body and trim or binding with the satin part up. Synthetic (poly-crepe) is also available - no sheen but a nice drape.
Crepe, Wool: Woolen, worsted cotton, silk, man-made synthetics. Weave: Mostly plain, but various weaves. Characteristics: A fine often gauzelike fabric with a wrinkled surface. Has a crinkled, puckered surface or soft mossy finish. Comes in different weights and degrees of sheerness. Dull with a harsh dry feel. Woolen Crêpes are softer than worsted. If it is fine, it drapes well. Has very good wearing qualities. - be cautious of wool allergies
Damask: Weave: Figured on Jacquard loom. Characteristics: Originally made of silk, that came to us from China via Damascus. In the XIII Century, Marco Polo gave an interesting tale about it. It is one of the oldest and most popular cloths to be found today. Very elaborate designs are possible. Cloth is beetled, calendared and the better qualities are gross-bleached. Very durable. reversible fabric. Sheds dirt. The firmer the texture, the better the quality. Launders well and holds a high luster - particularly in linen. - Price range varies a great deal.
Dupioni: Silk yarns made from the cocoon of two silk worms that have nested together. In spinning, the double strand is not separated so the yarn is uneven and irregular with a large diameter in places. Fabric is of silk made in a plain weave. The fabric is very irregular and shows many slubs - seems to be made in a hit and miss manner. It is imitated in rayon and some synthetics, and one such fabric is called "Cupioni". Dupion yarns also used in shantung, pongee. Authenticity note: ForSCA folks: Dupioni is historically a PEASANT fiber, not a nobility fiber, (known as "slub" silk). You should not use Dupioni for high court gowns if you are required to adhere to strict sumptuary laws. It was considered a peasant fiber because of the slubbed imperfections found in the weave, making it affordable to the lower classes. However, is authenticity is NOT a requirement, dupioni is a great alternative to more costly silks..
Duck: Duck and Canvas are pretty uch the same thing. A heavy canvas in cotton.
Flax: This fiber is taken from the stalk of the Linum usitaatissimum plant. It is a long, smooth fiber and is cylindrical in shape. its length varies from 6 to 40 inches but on average is between 15 and 25 inches. its color is usually off-white or tan and due to its natural wax content, flax has excellent luster. It is considered to be the strongest of the vegetable fibers and is highly absorbent, allowing moisture to evaporate with speed. It conducts heat well and can be readily boiled. It's washability is great, however, it has poor elasticity and does not easily return to its original shape after creasing.
Georgette: A heavier version of chiffon. Dull texture. Prices vary, depending on the content.
Jacquard: A woven design made with the aid of a jacquard head (this constitutes a jacquard loom) and may vary from simple, self-colored, spot effects to elaborate, multicolored all-over effects. The loom operates a bit like the roller on a player piano. But instead of notes, it gives instructions to the machine on how to create the design.
Linen: Cloth woven from flax. Comes as two varieties: Pure linen and "Linen Look." Linen look is NOT the same as linen, but Various rayons, cottons, synthetics, and blends are woven with threads of uneven thickness to simulate linen. They lack the cool, firm, yet soft feel of linen. Their irregularities are too even when seen beside real linen. Drycleaning recommended to reatin crispness. Machine wash for a softer feel. Authenticity note: If you're looking for SCA garb, cotton is not acceptable in most areas. Substitute linen for cotton in almost every situation. Linen is absolutely much more historically accurate than cotton, but nowhere near as affordable. So you need to decide which is more important: Authenticity or affordability. If you want to be authentic, use linen. If you want to stay within a budget, use cotton.
Moire: Weave: Plain or crosswise rib. Characteristics: Has a watermarked finish. Fairly stiff with body in most cases. It is produced by passing the fabric between engraved cylinders which press the design into the material, causing the crushed and uncrushed parts to reflect the light differently, giving it a "watery" effect.
Muslin: A smooth delicately woven cotton fabric, used for dresses and curtains. In the USA coarser cotton fabrics used for shirts and sheeting are also called muslins. Perfect for re-enactment undergarments. Authenticity note: Wears very well, but wrinkles (remember, wrinkles are historically accurate). This is an extremely accepted fabric for Renaissance faire peasant garb, where "looking scruffy" is expected. It's cool, comfortable, functional and very, very affordable, so if you play rough, this cloth won't break the bank. If you're looking for SCA garb, cotton is not acceptable in most areas. Substitute linen for cotton in almost every situation. Linen is absolutely much more historically accurate than cotton, but nowhere near as affordable. So you need to decide which is more important: Authenticity or affordability. If you want to be authentic, use linen. If you want to stay within a budget, use cotton.
Organdy: A fine, semisheer loose weave of cotton or artificial fibers. Perfect for blouses or evening wear.
Organza: A finer version of organdy with a nice sheen and very fine weave. Popular choice of fabric for bridal wear - very expensive.
Satin: Very supple, shiny, good for formal wear, high court gowns and wedding dresses. various man-made fibers, with a glossy surface on one side produced by a twill weave with the weft-threads almost hidden. Characteristics: Originated in China (Zaytoun, China - now Canton - a port from which satins were exported during the Middle Ages). Became known in Europe during the 12th, and 13th Centuries in Italy. Became known in England by the 14th Century. It became a favorite of all court life because of its exquisite qualities and feel. Usually has a lustrous surface and a dull back. The luster is produced by running it between hot cylinders. Made in many colors, weights, varieties, qualities, and degrees of stiffness. Available in silks and synthetics - prices will vary depdning on content. Authenticity note: If authenticity is a consideration, use silk satin, not synthetic. If price is the biggest concern, use synthetic satin instead of silk satin.
Silk: Expensive, but historically accurate for most historical clothing. Traps body heat. Usually drycleaned, but may be hand washed. Iron on cool setting.
Taffeta: Similar look as satin, but more stiff - available in silks and synthetics. Weave: Usually plain with a fine cross rib. Characteristics: Lustrous silk or rayon fabric of plain weave. A cloth supposed to have originated in Iran (Persia) ad was called "taftah" (a fine silk fabric) - (in 16th century, became a luxury for women's wear). It is made in plain colors, fancy prints, watered designs, and changeable effects. It is smooth with a sheen on its surface. The textures and prices vary considerably. They have a crispness and stiffness. Taffeta in silk will not wear, as long as other high quality silks, since weighting is given the fabric to make it stiff. If it is overweighted, the goods will split or crack. Uses: All kinds of after 5 wear, dressy evening wear: suits and coats, slips, ribbons, blouses, umbrella fabric. It is quite a dressy fabric.
Tapestry: A fabric - usually multicolored. Warps and filling very tightly woven or loosely woven, frays easily. The designs vary from traditional to contemporary - usually a cotton, silk or synthetic blend. Prices vcary, depending on content.
Twill - sturdy fabric with natural fibers, good for bodices - proveds ample stiffness to hold shape.
cotton velvet or cotton velveteen: both fabrics are very durable, low pile, never get"shiny" spots, more expensive than rayon velvet, but better performance overall. Can be washed and ironed (unless grommets or beoning are used on the garment), where plush (rayon) velvet may not. Authenticity note: If you want to be completely authentic and historically accurate for the Elizabethan era, nothing less than silk velvet is acceptable. However, silk velvet is *rarely* affordable. If you want something relatively acceptable and much more affordable, use cotton velvet or velveteen. If you don't care about authenticity, use plush velvet.
velvet - rayon: very plush, thick pile, can NOT be ironed or washed, gets "shiny" spots on well-worn areas (like elbows) more affordable than cotton velvet. Very warm. Other types of rayon-based velvets are available, such as panne or crushed. We prefer to work with only non-stretch panne or crushed velvets.
Wool: This fiber is made from the hair of various animals such as sheep, llamas, camels and goats. It is very resilient and resistant to wrinkling. It is renewed by moisture and well known for its warmth. Very absorbent. Dryclean only.
Garment Closures: what's acceptable, what's not:
Grommets: What we typically use to lace up garments in most historical bodices. They are, for the most part, what people "expect" for Renaissance Faire garments. However, they are not historically accurate. Grommets weren't invented until much later. Instead, most laced garments were made with lacing holes (like a button hole) or hook and eye closures. Most people prefer grommets because this is what they see at Renaissance faires. We automatically install grommets on most garments, and if you want to make them "authentic," you should stitch embroidery floss around each grommet to cover them (or you can pay us to do it, or you can pay us to hand-sewn eyelets for you). This will make your garment much more historically accurate. We can make your bodices with any type of closures, with the exception of zippers - (we won't ever install a zipper in your bodice).
Please note: just because we install grommets on most gowns, doesn't mean we don't offer historically-accurate closures. We only use grommets because the majority of our customers request them and expect them - however, we're perfectly happy to use historically-accurate closures if you prefer them.
Hooks and Eyes: One (historically accurate) alternative to grommets - just let us know if you prefer them
Lacing rings: Another (historically accurate) alternative to grommets. Concealed rings hand-stitched to the inside of your garment, and laced on the inside. This is usually done with a spiral method, and makes your lacings invisible from the outside. Very good form higher ranking nobility gowns. Again, if you want this treatment, you have to let us know.
Zippers: We don't put them in historical garments. We WILL put them in clothing which requires it - such as some of our movie reproductions, modern clothing, and any garment on our website which notes that we use a zipper for it. We can also add a zipper if you specifically request one for select movie repro gowns, or for select modern garments. But we're never going to sneak a zipper into you garment without noting it on the website, or without you specifically requesting one.