Jenny La Fleur
matches to fabric - Jenny La Fleur
adventures in costuming
matches to fabric

I just did my very first fabric burn test... ooh, ahh! It confirmed that my suspicions about the fiber content of the pink fabric I bought in NYC was right - it's a wool/rayon. Dude I am good!

So I can't use it for my new stays. Moo. I don't mind making a frock or two out of blends but not stays. I learned that lesson the hard way. So back to square one on the stay fabric. I do have some silk taffeta I could use but I'm concerned about it not holding up well. I tend to stick my stays with lots of pins while I'm toileing patterns, I can't imagine that will work well with taffeta. But I want pretty. Bah!

In happier news sadievale and I worked on the patterns for stays last night. I had some minor tweaks to make to my pattern (which necessitated re doing some of the boning channels - ick) then we had some more major tweaks to make for the same pattern to work for S (which, thanks to lengthening for her long torso, necessitated more boning channel re-drawing *sigh*).

I left my pattern with her (so her mom could trace it off for herself) so I can't work on stays this week. Darn. I'll just have to go back to my current CADD project of a new Regency dress and Spencer. I’m hating that, can you tell? Not that I know what fabric I'm using for the Spencer. I think my stash and I need some quality time this week to work out these supply issues...


13 comments | comment?
vanessa_lynne From: vanessa_lynne Date: February 16th, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC) (link)
Farthingales has some really pretty pink patterned coutil and it's about as sturdy as you can get for a corset.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: February 17th, 2009 07:11 pm (UTC) (link)
Ahh... if only it was in my budget. :
anielmom From: anielmom Date: February 16th, 2009 08:11 pm (UTC) (link)
Too bad about that fabric, it really is pretty. Good luck in the hunt!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: February 17th, 2009 07:11 pm (UTC) (link)
Oh it will be used for something... just not stays.
girliegirl32786 From: girliegirl32786 Date: February 17th, 2009 03:43 am (UTC) (link)
Too bad about that fabric! I still say it needs to be some sort of 18th century traveling outfit.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: February 17th, 2009 07:12 pm (UTC) (link)
I know, I know. That is what I keep picturing in my head too... with a mini tricorn to match.
dawnluck From: dawnluck Date: February 17th, 2009 03:20 pm (UTC) (link)
Jenny, How did you determine the Rayon? Did you pull warp and weft threads for your test and one test wool and one tested Rayon?

I’m really curious, because anytime I’ve done a burn test on blends, the strongest odor overpowers all – so, for example when I test a known, wool/rayon blend, it tests as wool because it strongly smells like wool and the wool self extinguishes the whole deal rather quickly.

I’d agree, that the Rayon is probably not the strongest fibre for stays, but you could certainly use a sturdy cotton interlining to “prop up” the rayon strength.

I’m afraid I’m not shy about using rayon blends in historical clothing at all. (I would never use ANY other fibre like nylon or polyester or anything plastic-y without consulting with a client and warning and discussing the fabric so they understood about flammability and wearing comfort. – And for myself - no. - but Rayon (and the newer rayon similar products are my one man-made exception.) Rayon is a cellulose fibre and it “acts” naturally when worn. It was developed originally as “artificial silk”, which I find interesting and is probably why I love the drape of it. Think of your pink fabric as a wool/natural fibre- artificial silk blend. That doesn’t sound so bad, now, does it?

My current “for me” project is also using a wool/rayon blend in green. I’ll post when I’m done as I’m pitiful at the “as it’s happening” update type posts.
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: February 17th, 2009 08:44 pm (UTC) (link)
I didn't pull threads but burned the whole thing. I already knew it had wool in it, based on the feel, smell and drape of the fabric itself so I was really trying to figure out what the second fiber was. Based on the shine and handle of the fabric I narrowed it down to either linen or rayon. The burn test was a process of elimination really.

I went more by the quality/color of the flame and ash than the odor. According to my chart rayon has a fast orange flame, little-to-no ash and the ember will continue to glow after flame source was removed. All of which my test did, without a "chemical" smell that would have indicated another fiber. The slight ash that was produced matched the description of the wool best so I’m still confident it’s got wool in it.

I know many people except rayon, which I think is totally fine, but to me it still doesn't breathe the way natural fibers do so I shy away from wearing it in our blazing Virginia summers. My first pair of stays had a slight amount of man-made fiber in it's cotton blend. After nearly passing out from heat exhaustion two 4th of Julys in a row (until I made new silk/cotton stays) I'm a little gun shy in the stay fabric department.
From: ext_169253 Date: February 20th, 2009 01:17 pm (UTC) (link)

Hope this fits...

I hope this is OK to post here, but I wanted to let you know that I've nominated your journal for an Excessively Diverting Blog Award. More details can be found in my blog. Thank you for all your great work!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: February 21st, 2009 02:03 am (UTC) (link)

Re: Hope this fits...

Wow - thank you so very much! I'm truely honored. I'll have to give some thought to my own nominees... *wink*
baroquemaiden From: baroquemaiden Date: February 21st, 2009 01:44 am (UTC) (link)
OO Yummy stripe fabric! That's too bad though. I was wondering why you are going to make new stays? I saw the green ones on your site and they look really nice!
jennylafleur From: jennylafleur Date: February 21st, 2009 02:06 am (UTC) (link)
Yes I love the pink wool/rayon - it will be used for something special... just not stays. :> Sadly my old stays are starting to show some wear (I'm really hard on my stays!).Plus they are too now a bit big and are starting to get rather uncomfortable because of that. Losing weight is such a two-edged sword! :P
baroquemaiden From: baroquemaiden Date: February 21st, 2009 02:22 am (UTC) (link)
aaww that sucks. I'm in the process of making myself a new pair. Debating weather or not to use coutil in it or just go out and get some twill. But I have a feeling that the coutil will hold up better.

Just to let you know I found a source for some less expensive coutil and it is really nice!! I've used it for two corsets so far. Here is the link:

Can't wait to see the new stays!
13 comments | comment?