Color Vision fabric guide: Part 1; Wool crepe
When I first started sewing I learned from vintage patterns. I bought them online and cut out the pattern pieces at home, and I followed the sewing directions. I remember that I primarily did it because I found it very thrilling to have the same blueprint as someone in the 1950’s/60’s/70’s – and make the exact same garment. Anyway – on vintage pattern envelopes (or any pattern envelope) you’ll find fabric recommendations. Wool crepe was mentioned in all sorts of garments as a good option. So I purchased my first wool crepe fabric (a gorgeous fuchsia) from a shop in shepherds bush. My oh my what a delicious fabric. A dream to sew too!
So, what is wool crepe?
Wool crepe is a stable fabric with a crinkled surface texture created by the tightly crimped yarns and slack warp yarns used in weaving. Crepe is made of woolen (shorter staple) or worsted (longer staple) yarns. Wool crepe has a very fluid drape, and is suitable for jackets, dresses and skirts. After making a few garments with this fabric and absolutely loving it, I figured I had to have it in the collection.
Where do I use it?
The Audrey wool blouse is made out of 100% Italian wool crepe.
When to wear it?
In the case of Audrey, I designed it for office wear in the winter time, but also to use like a sweater come spring and early summer. Since wool crepe is a loose weave moisture evaporates easily. I wear wool crepe all year long, and especially for formal occasions since it does not crinkle easily either.
How to take care of wool crepe
Due to the high twist of the yarn in wool crepe, it can shrink considerably. Therefore, tend to it like you would other wool garments. Treat stains first with water and then a mild handsoap or wool/silk washing detergent. If you wear a wool crepe garment and notice body odour, spray rubbing alcohol or pure vodka under the armpits. Or put the garment in the freezer for a few days. That will do the job!
Wool and sustainability
I try to use 100% natural fiber in my garments, or as close as I get to using 100% without compromising on quality. One of the biggest issues we have in the textile industry is landfills, which fill up with the garments we throw away. Synthetic garments have a reduction time of 200 years! Since the technology for recycling blended garments (50% cotton 50% poly) and making new ones from them does not exist on a commercial scale yet (read more about it here) this has been a focus point for me. Even though wool is on several scales not environmentally friendly due to methane gasses and farming, wool garments are used more and live longer than their synthetic counterparts.