After analysing, researching and discussing fabrics with my designer, I went to my most reliable fabric shop in Kidlington, Oxford shire which is town close to where I live. I have previously bought fabrics from there before and I was impressed with the quality, variety and customer service.
I bought a few metres of cream dupion silk for my kimono, as I wanted to use a plain colour for the base fabric and add embellishment such as shibori, air brush and batik to decorate. I think that the weave of the silk will be a more interesting surface to work on in comparison to habotai silk, which is traditionally used for kimonos. The rougher and unrefined quality will work really well with my ideas of concentrating on textures from Christopher Dresser’s works. As well as being an interesting combination with the techniques I plan to use to recreate this.
I was originally going to use a cotton drill or 100% cotton for the base, however cotton is traditionally used for Yukata’s and I wanted a fabric with a raw fibre quality.
After choosing my kimono fabrics, I moved onto the Victorian costume. I needed materials for the sleeves, bodice, skirt and collar. My designer has instructions that the whole costume must be aged and distressed, the bodice must be tight fitting with purple and black fabrics, the collar must have lace and the skirt must be gathered, full length and grey.
I didn’t think these colours would work at first but after exploring the different fabrics, I found a pale purple upholstery fabric and black cotton drill that looked great together. I also found a dark grey polyester wool mix that would look really good for the skirt, the dark colours would work a lot better against the bodice fabrics and the cause textures will impress the designer.
For the sleeves, I purchased a few metres of 100% pure white cotton, which I found the soft flexible quality of the fabric drapes. As for the colour, the Victorian’s would typically have white sleeves, but over time it would become worn, so I shall age and distress it to make it look more authentic and accustomed to the character’s age and status.
For the collar, I have chosen a few yards of wide lace which can be sewn onto a piece of fabric, which could be either attached to the bodice or not.
I believe this trip has been very positive and successful for my course. I have learnt a lot more about fabrics and their qualities and I hope that the end results for each costume will be good.