A wolfish fabric
A few nights ago one of those absolutely huge spiders that only ever usually appears inside in our house in September scuttled across our bedroom floor, and it felt like an indication that Autumn is on its way, even though we're only half way through August. However, as England recently had two weeks of glorious sunshine I feel satisfied that we have had 'a proper summer' and so I'm ready to welcome Autumn without the sadness of having had my hopes for a summer cruelly stolen away by a large, drizzly raincloud.
Which is perhaps why when I saw a photo of some beautiful wools that Frances (owner of the lovely Etsy fabric shop Miss Matatabi) had posted on Instagram, I felt instantly excited by them, for embracing Autumn, also means an onset of sewing with a different season in mind. But these wools are in fact wolves in sheep's clothing! Only with none of the nasty wolfiness...just goodness! Because they're not wool at all. They're actually a 100% brushed cotton double gauze fabric that looks like knitted wool, but feels like flannel. Now try and untangle your brain.
The jacket above is a sample made up by the fabric manufacturer, Home Craft. Yes, it looks totally like a knitted jacket, doesn't it! I asked Frances if they'd interlined it, as even the thickness of it looks realistic and she told me that she thought they'd used something akin to quilt batting that made it thick and very soft. For some reason this curious fabric completely fascinates me (I think it's doubly appealing for a seamstress that can't knit!). And I love the idea of being able to have the look of knitted wool, but none of the scratchy, bobbling that can sometimes accompany it or having to cope with its stretchiness while sewing. I can imagine this as tops, dresses, skirts, and actually, I think it would also make an amazing quilt. I love the idea of how soft and snuggly the flannel-feel would make it, but how visually fascinating the wool-look would be.
If you'd like to snaffle some up for yourself, you can find them here.
Returning to spiders, apparently the reason we see so many spiders in September is because it's breeding season so the males are frantically looking for a mate. Yes, spider sex...in our houses. If you want to see a really beautifully shot photo sequence of a spider's seduction routine and a very brief explanation of the mating ritual written below it, you can go here - it's not pornographic, doesn't feel voyeuristic and I don't think the spiders shown would scare someone with arachnophobia - my son tells me they're 'just garden spiders'.
Oddly, I used to be arachnophobic, but have somehow become more able to cope with spiders in the last five or six years. I think in part it is watching my little boy with them - I've witnessed him squeal with laughter as he's willingly placed an enormous spider on his own arm and then allowed it to scuttle over his body and inside his clothes. Just like polyester football shirts, when something you've previously found vile bring enormous amounts of joy to your child, an unfathomable maternal instinct overpowers all previous judgements and manages to transform the object into something at least tolerable (although not to such an extent where one entirely takes leave of one's senses: polyester does not come out for meals, go shopping with us, or on days out, but it does sometimes come to the park with us. Nor are spiders cuddled or welcomed into our home by me...but both are now viewed without excessive amounts of fear).
What do you think about reality fabrics? Love them or loathe them? Have you made anything with one?
There's poisonous spiders around here, so unfortunately I had to bring my kids up to be wary of spiders. I'm not too keen on them (spiders, not the kids), but I'm polite enough to let one crawl over my leg at someone else's house and not screech...ReplyDelete
I'm not convinced by impostor fabrics. It just seems that they would look fake, especially up close.
I hadn't even thought about the implications of that if you live in a country where spiders can be poisonous! I think I'd feel completely differently if that was the case here.Delete
My personal take is that impostor fabrics, despite doing their best impression of a secret agent, are intended to look like a reinterpretation of the original in a slightly kitsch way...but maybe not. I guess it depends how you initially view their purpose - I'd been assuming it would look like a fabric pretending to be a knit and therefore curious, but in a rather fabulous way...but I guess it would be less appealing if you wanted your jacket to genuinely look like a knit.
My husband had an infestation of wolf spiders just before we met. I like spiders but that would finish even me off! I think I need some of that blue fabric for a cowl neck Renfrew.ReplyDelete
I had no idea that there was such a thing as a 'wolf spider'! I can't actually bring myself to look it up in case it's the big and hairy type - I'm not overly keen on looking at still life photographs of them!Delete
I've not seen the reality fabrics before, I do love the faux knit - so many possibilities!ReplyDelete
Neither had I!Delete
I have never come across something like that before, or at least can't remember it! But it really intrigues me, too. It's clever though, I really thought that it was folded up knitted blankets at first!ReplyDelete
I know - I felt completely fascinated by them as I'd never seen anything like it before!Delete
I've been looking for jumper knits in yardage to no avail (unless I ever won the lottery - unlikely because I don't play) so these fabrics intrigue me. I might order a small amount to have a good look at. Thank you!ReplyDelete
Let me know what you think - mine will be arriving in a few weeks so we can compare notes.Delete
What?!?! How interesting!ReplyDelete
Oh I so totally agree with everything you say about polyester football shirts, you have put it so beautifully. And thank you for explaining why there are suddenly spiders everywhere at this time of year, yikes!ReplyDelete
I am a fully paid up member of AA (Arachnophobics Anonymous), so even reading your lovely post had me screaming inwardly. We have funnel web spiders in our part of Sydney and you really don't want to have one of those critters crawling over you. For the past two years we have been living in an apartment and have not seen one spider, so it does have its advantages! Oh, and I love the fabric.ReplyDelete
I would feel totally different about it if living in Australia - here it really is a mind over matter 'they can't hurt you' thing. But when we lived in Australia there was none of that!Delete
Spiders don't seem to really worry us until the warmer months here. I am absolutely fascinated by the wool look fabric...a wonderful idea!ReplyDelete
Yes, it's bizarre, but hopefully wonderful. I'm looking forward to seeing it in person.Delete
I love your observation about the power of maternal instinct to transform the disgusting into the tolerable. I'm thinking of those hideously brightly colored, loud cartoons that once gave me an instant headache, but now make my baby (and me) giggle.ReplyDelete
Exactly - it's such an odd thing, isn't it.Delete
I'm not sacred of spiders but I can't say I would like one on me. That's really cool fabric, it would be interesting to see other types of reality fabric such as fake velvet or something :)ReplyDelete
I've seen some fake leather and that doesn't quite work for me, but I hadn't though of the softer things. I think there are quite a few faux cross-stitch quilt-weight fabrics appearing on the market.Delete
'AAArrggghhh' (acompanied by an involuntary lifting of my feet) and 'oooooo'. That was me reading your post just now. I hate HATE wolf spiders. Hilariously I'm just trying to master the 'dont scream, its only a spider' thing as I dont want to pass my freakiness onto my little boy. He, like yours, couldnt care less! I too feel happy to start thinking about autumnal clothing. I was almost dissapointed when they said we might have another mini heat wave this week! lol! I'm intrigued by the fake knit. How much easier would it be to make a cardigan or something out of that than sitting for weeks manageing two lines of knit a night (I'm a SLOW knitter)!?!ReplyDelete
Yes, I read there was a mini heatwave on the way and thought 'oh, I don't know if I'm going to embrace that'...but actually until the children go back to school it's probably a good thing for me. Once they're back I will welcome some cooler days though :)Delete