Ahimsa Silk Knit Jersey – VINTAGE MEMORIES Palette

Ahimsa Silk Knit Jersey is beautiful inside out. Silk yarn for this fabric is produced through a patented process which does not harm silk worms. Ahimsa Silk Knit Jersey is made only from cocoons discarded after the silk moth has naturally emerged. Yarn is spun from these cocoons and thereafter machine knitted into this lovely fabric. Silk retrieved through this process is not as lustruous as the traditionally made ones, but it more than compensates with its alternative style appeal. With a smooth texture and wonderful drape, this fabric is suitable for fine fashions.

Discover Ahimsa Silk Jersey Knits in VINTAGE MEMORIES palette at FabricTreasury. Ahimsa Silk Knit Jersey fabrics at FabricTreasury is 100% silk. It does not contain viscose or other fibers.


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Menchijimi or Cotton Crepe

Menchijimi or cotton crepe is a divine fabric for summer fashions and decor. The shibos (crinkled effect) in cotton crepe is created by weaving high twist yarns in 20s – 100s. As the thread count goes higher, shibos get finer. At thread counts of 80 – 100s, shibos are so fine and the fabric so soft, they are suitable for making lovely summer dresses and nightwear. The puckered construction of cotton crepe helps skin breathe and keep cool during hot summers,  much similar to seersucker fabrics.

Menchijimi in 60s count.

Cotton Crepe in 60s count.

FabricTreasury stocks a fine selection of cotton crepes in counts of 20s – 100s.

An example of Menchijimi 20s.

An example of Menchijimi or Cotton Crepe 20s.

Cotton crepe curtains are quite useful in keeping summer’s heat out and letting light through. Team it up with bamboo blinds for instant summer glamour.

Summer Curtains at Anne George's home in Bangalore.

Cotton Crepe Summer Curtains

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The Enchanted Grotto collection

Yesterday, my new silks arrived from Don’s dye shop.  Quite a bit of uncharted waters for me here with batiked silks and understandably, there has been much nail biting and excitement. With colors, there’s always that slip between intended and achievable. Holy molly! I am in love! These colors just pop right out at me. My personal favorites are Rosso and Aqua.

The Enchanted Grotto

The Enchanted Grotto collection is now featured at FabricTreasury.

The Enchanted Grotto
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Block Printed Collar Dress

Over here is a beautiful block printed collar dress by Katie of SCHWURLIE. She takes you through each step of making this dress. So easy to follow through and sew one for yourself. Head on over to her blog for construction details.

Collar Dress by schwurlie

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KSIC Mysore Silks – The best crepe silks in India

Armed with google maps, iPad and car, I ventured out of the hotel at 12:30 PM with a somewhat vague itinerary. Visit to KSIC factory and outlet shop was definitely on the cards, but beyond that my day was open. I’d take it as it comes.

Reaching KSIC was easy enough and I pulled into their tree lined green campus by around 12:45 PM. The friendly gate keeper sent me off to their factory entrance. I signed in and after the customary questions – where am I from, do I have a camera etc, I was inside the gates and walking up the path to start my factory tour.

I discover that I am pretty much left on my own to explore. This is a positive thing, I say to myself while I walk into the first room where they are soaking silk yarn by the hanks and hanging them up to dry. There’s no bright lights and a sole worker goes about hanging newly soaked silk yarn hanks. I believe this is some sort of softening process that is happening here. And it is about now I understand that the process at this place starts with silk yarn. Spinning happens elsewhere and I intent to go there on my next visit to Mysore. But for now, let’s get back to our story.

Beyond this room, I can hear machinery at work and went along to the door at the back to see what’s happening. Rows upon rows of machines are busy winding silk hanks on to bobbins. I see people assigned to each of these machines and now I am beginning to think that I need to find a guide to help me around. Well, how much can a muddle head pretending to be a fabric connoisseur make out of this obviously technical process…hmm…

I managed to find a kind soul who walked me around and explained what the busy machines were doing. Step 1 – wind yarn into bobbins. Step 2 – Twist yarns from 2 bobbins together at 1400rpm to make a 2-ply thread. Step 3 – Twist the yarn again at 2400rpm to make the 2-ply thread, well, more tightly 2-plied. And this is happening over rows and rows of machines with their individual little bobbin twisters. Busy little bodies just whirring away!

Next, I step into a corner where these bobbins are steamed to smoothen the 2-ply yarn. When they come out of the steamer, the yarn is visibly smoother and lies straight. Before steaming, they’d just curl up due to the tension created by twisting. After their steam bath, the yarns looked quite happy and relaxed to move on into their glorious life as a GI marked Mysore Silk saree.

KSIC Mysore silk is not a yarn dyed fabric. Dyeing comes much later, after the weaving is complete. I saw a floor full of automated weaving machines busy making gold zari brocade edged saree lengths. Gold zari bobbins are fixed at either ends of the warp and each machine is set to weave in a different brocade design on the selvedges. Gold zari brocade, the ancient weaving  technique is the only decoration that a KSIC Mysore Silk saree gets. No embroidery, no crystals, no over the top nothing. Just pure gold zari brocade, it is such a refined, regal garment.

Woven saree lengths are sent to the dyeing room where a 4 hour automated dyeing process gets colors into the fabric. Dye vats have a roller mechanism which helps turn the fabric through the dye mix at an even pace. Temperature in the vat is electronically set to gradually increase from 0 to 95 degree centigrade during this 4 hour long activity. After a  quick drying process and steam press, individual 6 yard sarees are cut from the rolls. Each saree is uniquely numbered, stamped with the authenticity seal, hand tagged with a product details card and sent off to the inspection folks. Here’s where they ensure that only the very perfect ones reach company owned showrooms all over India.

Try as I may, my feet did prove it had a say when there’s possibilities for shopping. I pass on the blame to my feet for walking me into the factory shop and for the damages I incurred on my wallet. Here’s the shop, it is sheer eye candy!


GI 11 – KSIC Silks has been awarded Geographical Indication (GI) Registration for Mysore silk and is considered the best crepe silk in India. It uses pure zari that has 0.65 percent of gold content and about 65 percent of silver content. This establishment was founded in 1912 by His Highness Krishnaraja Wadiyar Bahadur, Maharaja of Mysore. Factory was designed and built by Sir Mokshagundam Visvesvaraya. This factory is currently run by Karnataka State Industries Corporation, owned by Government of Karnataka. Happy employees, well looked after by the management helps run this heritage establishment at a profit year on year.

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Out of the Blue – The Story of Indigo

A wonderful story by Linzee McCray on Etsy Blog featuring Fabric Treasury‘s indigo cake and other beautiful works with indigo by talented fabric artists.

The Story of Indigo

Read more here – https://www.etsy.com/blog/en/2013/indigo/

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Screen Printing in India

A video by Daniel Jacobs with an improvised musical score playing in the background. Watch beautiful Peacocks come to life in vivid colors in this amazing video.

I love videos showcasing artisan talent. I believe a cinematographer’s eye is essential to make a good video about anything at all. I appreciate the way this video is made, with a soft background score, the printers moving the screen along and swiping inks on to the base cloth with an easy rhythm which comes from years of practice.

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Chanderi – A sheer luxurious handwoven fabric.

I go weak in the knees for all kinds of gossamer thin and sheer natural fabrics. Today, I get to ramble on about one of my personal favorites – Chanderi. Born in its namesake town of historical importance and royal patronage, this gossamer thin natural fabric is made with cotton, silk and also in a more attractive silk-cotton blend. I personally like the silk-cotton blend, it has that wee bit of luster from silk and a mildly crisp hand of cotton. Luxurious!

The weavers of Chanderi are known to make 35 meter long turbans which would weigh just about 60 grams. In this video below, master weaver Sri. Chotelal reminiscences of a royal past when his hand woven turbans were worn by the Gaekwads, Maharajas of Baroda.

Chanderi is mostly woven in traditional saree designs, with borders and pallu. Authentic silk cotton Chanderi fabric yardage is rare to find and is available only through special commissioning. The Blush Collection, released in 2013  is an authentic silk cotton Chanderi fabric yardage,  commissioned for Anne George Design and is available for purchase at Fabric Treasury. This collection is dyed with natural dye stuff Madder to achieve various shades of blush pinks and hand block printed with black or red traditional Indian folk designs.

The Blush Collection

The Blush Collection is an exciting project for me. The idea came through early in 2012 and it took some time to develop into a collection. Initially shades of indigos, reds and creams were planned in a broader range of designs. After careful consideration, the blush palette was finalized. I love the ethereal feel that blush pinks bring to this sheer fabric. This palette starts from a Pale Blush, moves a bit to the peachy side with the Cheeky Blush and then settles down  with a robust Bridal Blush. As with all naturally colored fabrics, the colors are not exactly 100% reproducable batch after batch, but works well with its original palette design and intent.

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The New Fabrics from India

I thought it was incredibly kind of Matisse (http://bvisayc556.wordpress.com) to write about my fabrics in such detail…grateful!

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Handwoven Linen Collection. Fall/Winter 2012

Fine handwoven 100% flax linen fabrics are rare and hardly available in retail anywhere. A chance encounter with this amazing fabric set me off on a search which took me to an old weaving facility. They have perfectly working vintage hand operated looms and a bunch of artisan weavers who could hand weave gossamer thin muslins and these fine linens. Fall/Winter 2012 collection of handwoven linens from this artisans is a sight to behold. Colors in the current collection is inspired by the now discontinued DMC linen floss series. Flax for producing the yarn for this fabric comes all the way from Belgium and is water spun in India by a nearly 100 year old heritage spinning facility.

Inspired by the DMC Linen Floss Series.
Fall / Winter 2012. AnneGeorgeDesign for FabricTreasury.

Master Weaver Setting the Loom

Master Weaver Setting the Loom
100% HAND MADE! Handwoven on Vintage Looms. Made in very limited quantities and rarely in this color and weight suitable for dresses and tops. Perfect for sewing a heirloom piece…

Weavers trusted with weaving this precious linen fabric are traditional artisans who have been into this craft for generations. A good idea too, since hand weaving a fine fabric with linen yarn is no mean job! The ease with which they turn the tough linen yarn into this beautiful fabric is wonderful to watch.  A master weaver helps set the loom with new yarn and then hovers around, always at hand to help when the threads break or if the younger generation weavers needed any help setting the warp right.  This fabric collection now on sale exclusively at Fabrictreasury is in  a very fine dress weight with a good drape.

That is Old Rose in the making.
AnneGeorgeDesign Fall/Winter 2012.

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