|beach cover up pattern from Scientific Seamstress, fabric by Lotta Jansdotter|
But, and this is an important but, the fabric itself--the cotton--was simply not as nice as what I am used to from the textile mill near me. Nothing is. I have worked with plenty of fancy designer fabrics (Marimekko, Moda, now Jansdotter) and they just don't hold a candle to the luscious stuff the mill produces.
This made me think that perhaps you'd like a tour of the mill to see where the cotton comes from, their printing process, meet some nice people who work there, etc. etc. Well, me too! So I've asked the mill's manager if I could come and take a tour. Very, very sadly, he said no. There are apparently safety/insurance issues. I am also not permitted to tell you the name or exact location of the mill, because the fabric designers do not like it to be widely known that their fabrics can be purchased directly from there. So I can't send you to their website.
I can, however, repost some of the photos from their website, paraphrase some of the content of their blog and some videos they have, and try to summarize what Jack the manager has told me about the place. Below is the mill's building. The little red add-on building at the bottom is where they have their retail shop.
The mill has been a family company since 1937. It is one of a very, very few handscreening mills in the United States. They work with both established and emerging textile artists. They have low minimum yardage requirements, which means people who are new to textile design can have small amounts printed there and then go off and do whatever they want with their few yards of printed fabric--sell it, sew things themselves, whatever. They silkscreen all the fabrics by hand. They work mostly with cotton, linen, and cotton/linen blends. The linen all comes from Belgium and the cotton comes from a variety of places. Some of it is grown in the USA, but not all. Occasionally they do something in silk or even acrylic. You'd use acrylic for an outdoor application like patio furniture pillows.
|The prewashing stage.|
|The silkscreening stage.|
|Here is some Lulu DK fabric going up to the next step in the printing process.|
|The inspection stage, maybe? I am not sure.|
I love, love going over there and taking a browse. The people are extremely nice and helpful, the fabrics are usually way too gorgeous to pass up, and even when I'm ironing it I'm happy. Sorry Lotta. Love your patterns, but there's no fabric like mill fabric!!