For the most part, we use polyester blends. That is, unless a fabric is specifially called "cotton", "linen", or something else, it's made of a natural fiber/polyester blend. We find that these blends provide the best value and the best wearing options. They're machine washable, too.
If you absolutely must have pure natural fibers, let us know. We'd be happy to make a natural garment for you. Just be prepared to pay a bit more - 100% cotton velvet and 100% silk are a lot more expensive than blends.
This is where we get a bit pickier. Due to the methods of production around in the Middle Ages and during the Renaissance, certain fabric types didn't exist - and the ones that did were a bit different than they are today. We try to stay true to the spirit of the Renaissance in our fabric choices.
Heavier Fabrics: Our heavier fabrics are Cotton Twill, Pinwale Corduroy, Brocade and Jaquard, and Velvet. These fabrics will give the most body to your garment. As explained above, most of these fabrics (with the exception of the Cotton Twill and some of the Pinwale Corduroy) are polyester blends, which makes them machine washable.
Middleweight Fabrics: Our middleweight fabrics include Sateen, Faux Suede, Velveteen, Embossed Velveteen, Crepe, Taffeta, and Satin. These fabrics have a bit less body to them, but tend to drape and flow nicely. They can all be interfaced to be stiffer. As with our other fabrics, these are machine-washable polyester blends.
Lightweight Fabrics: Our lightweight fabrics include Cotton Broadcloth, Crinkle Gauze, and China Silk. The Cotton Broadcloth and Crinkle Gauze are 100% cotton and machine washable. The China Silk is a synthetic silk made from polyester. It looks and feels like silk for a fraction of the cost - and is machine washable!
The majority of our fabrics are acceptable for faires and some Kingdoms/guilds. Anything with a 100% cotton content, such as Cotton Twill, is likely to be acceptable, though Crinkle Gauze is questionable.
Our most "questionable" fabrics are Crepe, Faux Suede, Crinkle Gauze, our Velveteens, and China Silk. If judged on the basis of appearance and not manufacture/content, however, our Velveteens and China Silk are acceptable, since they approximate cotton velvets and pure silk.
Satin is a generally questionable fabric for period use. However, we typically use duller satins than the standard "Baroque" or bridal satins many costumers rely upon. These less-shiny satins are much more period.
We use a very simple color-matching system. Just go get a box of Crayola crayons - that's right, crayons! We've found that different computer screen settings and the inaccuracy of scanners makes it very difficult to express colors effectively. The simplest solution to this problem is to just match all of our colors to the standard colors found in a 64-crayon Crayola box.
Certain fabrics are only available in a few colors, while we can obtain other fabrics in almost any color you desire.
For instance, Cotton Muslin and Crinkle Gauze are only available in White and Natural. They can, however, be dyed upon request.
If there is a particular color you'd like, just tell us the Crayola name of that color and we'll find the perfect fabric for you!
The colors we make available are based on rank-appropriate colors from period examples. Keep these colors in mind when ordering.
For instance, colors appropriate to peasant garb are browns, beiges, greens, russets, deep oranges, saffrons, and medium to dark blues. Peasants could never afford pure whites or deep blacks. Instead, they wore natural, oatmeal tones and dark browns.
Middle class individuals wore all the colors worn by peasants, as well as jewel tones such as scarlet, ruby, sapphire, emerald green, and bright saffron yellow. They could also wear brighter whites and tiny amounts of black.
Nobles wore all the colors of the underclasses with the exception of blues. Noblemen and ladies only wore deep navy blues, since duller blues were reserved for the peasant classes. Colors exclusive to the noble classes were shades of pink, pure whites and blacks, and metallics like gold and silver. Nobles could also wear pale lavenders, but only royalty could wear true purple!
Most of our fabrics are available all the time. We can obtain many colors and types of fabric that are not listed, as well.
Our Brocades and Jaquards are available in random patterns. We list these fabrics by their primary color and will choose a pattern for you based on period acceptability. If you would like a particular pattern or would like to see the pattern we have chosen before construction on your garment, let us know. We can provide you with an e-Swatch of fabric.