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What's that fabric: Tailor's Daughter

May 8, 2013


The Tailor's Daughter by Janice Graham is a novel that takes place in Victorian England in which a young girl deals with disability, death, her place as a woman in 19th century society and her calling as a tailor following in the footsteps of her father. Janice Graham goes into great detail in the backroom goings-on of a tailo,r throwing out jargon like she, herself, grew up a tailor's daughter. 

Superfine wool: (see red coat above) This is a type or degree of Merino wool. The term Superfine is used to describe diameter of each wool strand and not the quality of the wool itself. Superfine is a thin, soft wool fabric typically used in evening or special occasion gowns which is why Veda decided to use it for Mrs. Truelock's mourning gown.


Crape: (also known as Crepe) is a thin, opaque fabric that resembles gauze but is most often made from wool and silk and lately polyester and blends. In the Victorian period crape was most often made into dresses or formal wear for mourning or feast days. Crape has a great deal of body and had some stretch but also wrinkled very easily which was why it was reserved for special days and the wealthy.


Moire: Although typically linked with silk, Moire is a treatment and not a type of silk like Dupioni. Moire gives a water like effect on the surface of a fabric. It can be applied to cotton, linen, silk, taffeta. There are two methods of achieving a moire. The first, changeable, is not a proper moire but gives a good enough imitation to be called moire. It is the process of weaving the warp one color and the weft another color so that the color changes in the light and the watermark effect is more noticeable in the sheen. The second is called Calendaring and is an actual treatment, not a weaving, in which the fabric is folded in a specific pattern and pressed with ribbed rollers to produce the water streaked effect. Moire silk is highly prized because of this expensive treatment. 

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This page contains a single entry by published on May 8, 2013 3:13 PM.

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