Finding fabulous fabrics is frustrating. Especially if you are a feltmaker, looking for the slightly unusual in natural fiber... unless you know about Delectable Mountain Cloth!
Delectable Mountain has been doing business since 1978, promoted primarily through word of mouth. I am on their e-mail list, so when an e-mail arrived announcing they had extended their Annual Winter In-store Sale because of the weather, I decided that Sunday was the prefect day to get my fabric fix.
|The distant Green Mountains of Vermont|
Lucky for me, Brattleboro is a beautiful two and a half hours drive from Glens Falls. Lucky for Harry, they have a good pub. I love the overcast, monochromatic winter landscape along the way- black skeletons of trees silhouetted against the snow and sky. Especially when Harry drives, I can knit the entire trip! The roads were so bumpy with winter heave cracking, that at times my knitting needles bounced too much to make a stitch. Brattleboro is a fun little town to explore. Harry was counting the number of bookstores we could see from the municipal parking lot; out numbered, I think, only by cafes. You have to love the priorities of Vermont.
|entering Brattleboro, VT|
|sheer printed silk chiffons|
|Nuno Strata Vest, layered fabrics|
I think the scrim will be great for layered nuno felting when I want to use a very fine layer of fiber sandwiched between sheers, like in my "Strata Vest".
|triple layered silk gauze|
|blue sparkly buttons|
The second most extraordinary attraction at Delectable Mountain Cloth is their button selection: a mix of vintage and contemporary buttons, many made to look vintage. The variety is enormous, far more extensive than on my last visit. Artfully arranged in little dishes and saucers and grouped by category, there is everything from sparkle plenty to earthy, in almost every color, size and texture. I scored a set of chunky red vintage buttons that look like Bakelite that will look great on a heavy sweater (yes, I try to knit too).
Some awesome carved blue Tagua buttons for my Finger Lakes Felt Vest, and some pretty psychedelic iridescent glass buttons for the neck wrap I made in Jone's workshop at the Creative Felt Gathering last summer! I hated to call it quits. There was a huge organic brown button with ivory ovals around the edge that was calling to me, but so was Harry...
|big textured buttons!|
|delicate buttons from Oscar de la Renta|
WHAT I BROUGHT HOME: lovely periwinkle silk that feels like batiste, magenta silk organza that is just stiff enough, iridescent magenta & black chiffon, shimmering blue green iridescent chiffon, an achingly beautiful ombre striped, light weight silk taffeta. It reminds me of a Victorian sash. The color fades from beige to rust to plum and back again. I think I'll sew kimono style jacket with a nuno felted neck scarf out of it.
Three delicate sheers. The soft black silk has an extremely fine texture woven into it, like flea size bricks! The ivory silk has a hand like organza, but not too stiff, with the very finest stripe line woven into it; and the sheer white cotton has an open weave line and a stripe woven in. They will all make excellent light weight nuno.
Delectable Mountain Cloth, 125 Main St, Brattleboro, VT 05301 is open daily at 10 to 5 pm, Fridays 'till 6:30 and Sunday 1 to 5 pm. Telephone 802-257-4456, www.delectablemountain.com and on Facebook
A Visit to Mood Fabrics in the Fashion District, NYC
|my felt is functioning well!|
Now my son Julian lives in the City, so I'm lucky again!
|window in the garment district of NYC|
I was intrigued by the fact that Mood is located upstairs in a big office building. I love the idea of getting on an elevator with an elevator operator, (just like when I was a little girl), but instead of doors opening onto the floors of a department store, it opens into a world of fabric. A sea of fabric. Bolts stacked to the ceiling on every floor. Students with sketch pads and note books, happy to swatch sales people, a fabric fondler's delight. Mood has a huge inventory of silks, wools, trims, buttons and every other fabric and related item you can imagine, including leather.
|silk metallic, the textured one on right is a new find!|
The sales people are friendly, the pace brisk. There are signs designating fabric sections, and three floors to wander. I always head straight to the silk chiffons, then to the organzas and brocades.
Leather is one flight down. On my previous visit, I bought leather remnants that I used to trim my felt coat, but this time they had only full hides available. The Mood leather I bought was soft and supple, and not the least bit ill affected when I decided to re-full my completed coat (leather and all). The sales person who cut my cloth let me know that they are happy to swatch, and their on-line business is big. I hadn't even realized they had on-line sales. I shop a lot on-line, but the experience of fondling fabric is too good to miss.
|Pentagram Gr., Needle & Button, 1976; Judith Weller, The Garment Worker, 1984|
Mood Designer Fabrics, 225 West 37th St, 3rd Floor, New York, NY 10018-5703, telephone (212) 730-5003. Open weekdays 9 am to 7 pm, Saturdays 10 to 4.