The woven sample for the cashmere-silk coat came out nice, but not quite heavy enough to produce the warmth I’d like. So I went looking for some nice warm fabric to put between the outer and inner layers to make it warmer. I wanted something fairly drapey (so as not to interfere with the “hand”), warm, and in a natural fiber. But where to find a fine quality wool fabric, since Joann’s and other shops tend towards cheap fabrics in polyester and cotton?
Of course. Off I went to Britex Fabrics. Britex, of course, sells only the creme de la creme of fabrics, generally at astronomical prices (and I do mean ASTRONOMICAL – they think nothing of $75-150/yard, and some of their laces are even more than that!). However, their heavily-discounted remnant bin does occasionally turn up a reasonably-priced find, and the quality (as previously noted) is impeccable.
And, after fending off a vulture-like saleswoman (they must get paid on commission), I spent about twenty minutes browsing around before finding the perfect fabric: a lightweight, loosely woven, soft brushed mohair in an absolutely HIDEOUS pink-black-white plaid. It was light and drapey and very very warm, awful-looking so I wouldn’t mind covering it up, and discounted so heavily from its original $80/yd(!) price tag that it could (in dim light, and squinting a bit) pass for affordable. I bought a total of 5 yards of that and an identical fabric of a different color, figuring I could piece it together in case I ran out of one or the other. I believe I’ll sew it to the coat fabric and treat it as a single piece when constructing the coat – if there are better options, please let me know!
I have also ordered 7 yards of heavy black silk charmeuse to serve as a lining, from Rupert, Gibbon, and Spider. Between that and the mohair from Britex, I’ve now used up my entire craft budget for the month, but fortunately I don’t need anything more this month, unless by a miracle I finish the entire coat in the next twelve days. (Ha!)
I am now impatiently waiting for my dyes to arrive. UPS says they’re out for delivery, and that usually means around 7pm, so they should be arriving at any moment now. Then I can dye the warp yarns, which are already soaking in a big dyepot. I’ve already finished weaving up the rest of the sample warp (not enough for a scarf, alas), so until the dyes arrive, there’s nothing much for me to do except work on muslins. And I’d rather wait for that until I have some fabric woven, so I know how wide it will be.