Wednesday, January 18, 2012


Fabric is one of those things that when used in the right situation works beautifully.  The above Ball Gown is one of those situations.  I can't even put into words how much I love this dress.  Do I have anywhere to where such an item? NO-  I WISH!!  But it is so inspiring in so many ways.  The combination of the colour is amazing (I will have to design a room around that gown sometime). The use of the Chevron in the fabric is incredible.  But most of all the use of the actual fabric- Silk Taffeta is what sets this gown apart.  Silk Taffeta is the kind of fabric that makes you sit up and take notice of it.  It has inherent structure to it.  Not to mention it glows/shines like nothing else.  This Gown works so well because the use of the structure of silk allows it to take shape.  Yes, yes, I am sure that there is oodles of crinoline and netting underneath, not to mention boning and all sorts of scaffolding and structuring going on under there!!  But the Silk holds its shape because Silk Taffeta does what it does.  If you were to put Tussah Silk here- well lets just say that the skirt would not hold it's shape the same way.  Tussah Silk is way too "soft" to pull off this affect.
My point in all of this is to say- "USE THE RIGHT FABRIC FOR THE RIGHT SITUATION".  As someone with a background in Textiles one of the things that makes me slightly noodles is to see fabric used in the wrong situation- even if it is only for show/vignette/photo shoot.  I especially do not like it when "Professionals" do this.  As a designer/decorator we all have our strengths.  For some it is colour, others it is knowing your fabrics.  Case in point:
Source Unknown

If anyone knows who designed this room let me know so that I can properly site it (I downloaded it years ago).  Now, I am not putting pictures up to "call" anyone out.  What I am trying to do is to educate so that you DIY'ers, Decorators or Designers will think a little more before you go ahead with a project.  We spend a lot of time on projects and you wouldn't want that project ruined by making the wrong choices.
When I first saw this bathroom I fell in love.  It is so serene.  But on closer observation the sink really began to bother me.  Now don't get me wrong- I love Silk Taffeta (in the proper situation).  It makes it look as if the sink is surrounded by a ball gown.  But really would you want a ball gown surrounding something whose main function is hygiene and water??  Again- It is beautiful to look at but NOT very practical.  In addition, and I am only speculating here, the fabric looks as if it is Silk Taffeta.  Why do I say this?  Well, The way the fabric holds its shape and how it has a shimmer to it.  There are some pretty good "fakes" out there made of Polyester.  But you would still run into similar issues as silk.  For one thing, water and Silk DO NOT mix.  There would be watermarks everywhere.  In addition to that, the actual weave of Taffeta adds to this effect.  Oil would be more of an issue instead of water for Polyester.  What about cleaning the thing?  It would have to be dry cleaned.  If it were Polyester you MAY be able to wash it (this all depends on how the skirt was constructed).  Here is another example:

Now, is the above bathroom lovely to look at? Absolutely!  Is it practical? ABSOLUTELY NOT!  Now, in defence of the above designer this bathroom was located in a Show house.  But that being said I feel it is sending the wrong message.  When Designers and Decorators use fabrics in ways that they maybe shouldn't then it kind of sends the wrong info out there.  Someone sees something like the above 2 photos and thinks- "Ahhh....  I love that, I think I'll do that too".  But the problem is it will end in disaster for anyone who tries this in "the real world".  Would you wear a Silk Ball Gown to do the laundry or do the dishes- I don't think so.  But you would wear it to a Gala.
My point in all of this is to make people think before they do.  Think of the function of a room.  Is that textile right for that function?  If you don't know if a textile is right then ask someone who does know- Ask me for instance!!  So the next time you do a project that involves fabric, think about that fabric and how it will work for the function of that room.  You will avoid disaster and maybe even save some money in the long run.
Thanks for stopping by.  Have a great day

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