Can’t find a fabric!

Take a look at this portrait of Ada Lovelace:

Artist, I get that you were being artistic with your watercolors, but ugh a dress isn’t that many colors.

ada commentary

 

A dramatic interpretation of what the artist painted

(Shower thought – with the purples and black lace, I almost wonder if this was a half-mourning dress? Except gold was definitely not a mourning color, and I can’t find any deaths in her family at the right time to make this a half-mourning dress. But I think I’ll search out a biography to confirm…)

I got swatches from Renaissance Fabrics of all their purple taffetas:

Hydrangea

Lavender

Purple Ice

(Another side note – I am a huge fan of Renaissance fabrics. The customer service is so so good. These are fantastic quality taffetas; no slubs at all. I highly recommend this store!)

Thought the hyndrangea would be the one, but it’s a bit dull in real life. Would not look great with gold.

The lavender is also kinda meh, too gray-ish depending on the light. Would also be rather frightful with gold.

I didn’t think I would like the purple ice, but I actually like it best of the three. The shot silk is good – I think that’s the closest I can get to the million colors in the portrait. It’s also not bad with gold.

But, I’m still not in love with it. Something like a purple and red or purple and pink shot silk might be better, but of course I can only find that in dupionis, and not taffeta.

I actually love the colors in this striped silk:

Purple Mini stripes

And even though the portrait isn’t striped, having 2 colors is evocative of the bazillion portrait colors. Problem is, I can’t find any evidence for tiny striped silk in the 1830s. Plaids galore, and a few wide stripes, but no narrow stripes.

Anyone know of another good source for taffeta, or evidence for tiny striped silk in 1830s?

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7 Responses to Can’t find a fabric!

  1. Nessa says:

    Ohh, so many pretty fabrics. And have you thought about using a changeable taffeta? They have been around, in silk form, since about the 18th century iirc. Perhaps you could look into that option, too, while you are researching. 😉 And I’m so excited to see how this lovely dress will turn out! 🙂

  2. Katie Lovely says:

    Have you tried puresilks.us? They ship from India and it can take a little while, but their stuff is nice quality. Also, Burnley & Trowbridge or Wm. Booth, Draper may have something…I know they’ve had shot/changeables in the past.

    • avantgarbe says:

      I’ll check that out! I hadn’t bought from them before so was leery about the quality, but hey recommendation! They’ve also got the cotton organdy which I wanted for the petticoats for this dress…

  3. Pingback: Dress Fabric Research | Avant Garbe

  4. Pingback: Re-kickstarting Ada Lovelace | Avant Garbe

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