Friday, 18 October 2013

Surprises in Immanuel Fabrics

Lovely surprises!

Of course, there are always surprises to be found in Immanuels, even if it's only the Elephant fabric back in again, but this time in shades of delightful powder blue. Not just baby elephants with their mamas on the savannah - but boy baby elephants. Awwwwww what a lovely surprise that was!

There's another surprise, though - one that some people just don't ever discover. The stock at Immanuels goes far, far beyond curtains, cottons, upholstery and the pound-a-metre room.

Taking time and trouble to have a good search is always rewarding. It might mean considerable time and a deal of trouble, literally on your knees (but not praying) and peering upwards (not heavenwards), not to mention the physical activity of heaving rolls out from between other rolls - there's a definite knack to this which is not mere physical strength.  I've found the most exquisite of beaded and embroidered fabrics - and learnt an important Immanuel's lesson the hard way - if you want it, buy it when you see it, don't plan to come back 'later' to get it as it very likely won't be there!

Below are two very different, but equally-luxurious, fabrics. The black viscose will be an evening jacket or a wrap - it has a lovely drape and will look stunning cut in a very simple 'cardigan' style. Over a plain black dress, or top and black skirt - or velvet trousers - it will be classic evening wear for all sorts of occasions. I bought 3m, so plenty for whatever I decide to do. Another, even simpler option, would be to line it with a satin and wear it merely as a rectangular wrap or stole.
Soft black viscose  with tiny silver sequins sewn on forming a design of twining stems and flowers
Warm-feel viscose embroidered with tiny
silver sequins & silver thread. 
Detail of one of the flowers sewn with tiny silver sequins
Detail view of viscose

Photographing embroidered fabrics, especially ones where glitter, shimmer, drape and 'feel' are an important part of the experience, is very difficult. 

The hand and the glimmer of the pure silk below is only caught very slightly in the photos, and the depth of the silvery-grey colour scarcely at all.

had hoped to be able to get enough of this silk to make a Victorian  gown, or at least part of one - I am of an age when, in Victorian times,  I would be almost expected to be in mourning or half-mourning for one or other of my relatives, so the grey colour would be ideal. However, it was not to be and so the single metre I bought is still waiting, lonely, for inspiration. 
Photo attempting to show the effect of the silver-grey pure silk fabric, embroidered in charcoal grey
Silver-grey silk taffeta embroidered in charcoal-grey. 
This was sold out when I went back for more!
A close-up photo of the embroidered silk, showing the design of leaves in more detail
Detail of the embroidered silk.

Perhaps I should accept that I am not fated to be a Victorian lady of means, and just run myself up some voluminous, practical black and grey woollen dresses with plenty of white cotton aprons, petticoats, collars and cuffs. How disappointing to never wear my silver-grey silk, though! 

Rich purple, sparkly, glittery velvet
Sparkly, glittery velvet.

On a visit earlier this week, I found this lovely purple shimmery, sparkly velvet - the picture is blurred because I wanted to get the colour and glitter effect, rather than the fabric itself, which is 'just' velvet. I plan to line it with a dark purple satin for a somewhat more exotic than the norm 'infinity' scarf. 
A black devore fabric over my arm to show off both the dark pile of the hearts and the transparent fragility of the fine net  base
Devore-type fabric over my arm.
On the same visit, I found a black devore type fabric - the hearts are a luxurious velvet pile,  on a base of fine black net. I can picture this as long sleeves on a  plain black velvet dress, or as an unlined jacket to be worn over a plain-coloured cocktail-type dress. 

Of course, fabrics of this type, style and quality are not to be found in the pound-a-metre room. 

Nevertheless, you would probably find it hard to believe the unfeasibly low prices I have paid for what are, when all is said and done, luxury fabrics.

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