Sunday, 21 October 2012

For the love of shot cotton

I'm developping an obsession with shot cotton.  If you didn't know shot cotton is fabric which has one colour thread for the warp and another colour for the weft.  This means the fabric almost shimmers between the 2 different colours as the light catches the different colour threads.

Kaffe Fassett in steel from Simply Solids

Some shot cottons keep the colours fairly similar and may have a light blue for the warp and a dark blue for the weft for example.  But I love the ones which have 2 really contrasting colours, like Kaffe Fassett Shot cotton in steel which has orange and grey blue, or the Lipari collection from Oakshott Fabrics which has black thread combined with several different colours.

Lipari fabrics from Oakshott

The biggest problem with shot cottons is that it is really hard to photograph them, most pictures of them online make them look flat and one colour, especially when there isn't a sharp contrast between the 2 colours used.  This makes it very hard to buy, some look very different from how they look online, I've found most of the time they look more vibrant, with a bigger contrast between the colours.  Although I have had a couple which were a little disappointing in that you could barely tell they were shot cotton.

Saints & Pinners have done a pretty good of showing the contrasting colours of their Kaffe Fasset shot cotton bundle -  jewels.

Jewels bundle from Saints & Pinners

Plus this fabric from Oakshott called Chives really shows up well online, the 2 colours used are red and green.

Chives from Oakshott

The shot cotton effect seems to give the fabric more texture and makes it more interesting than just a plain fabric.  If you haven't seen shot cottons before and are buying online it may be worth asking for samples before you order just so you can see the actual fabrics in person to help you decide which ones you want to go for.

My recent haul of shot cottons from Oakshott

Where to buy

Oakshott Fabrics - Oakshott specialise in shot cottons and have the widest range I've ever seen. You can buy them by length and in bundles.  It's worth signing up to their newsletter for discount codes & free postage codes from time to time. 

Simply Solids - Have several of the Kaffe Fassett shot cottons available either by length or in bundles.  Most their bundles are one offs though so if you see one you like buy it quick!

Saints & Pinners - Also have the Kaffe Fassett shot cottons by length and combined into the jewels bundle as pictured above.  They also have shot cottons mixed into some of their fabric bundles alongside prints too.

Truro Fabrics - Truro fabrics have some shot cotton shirting fabric to use for garment making.


Scrapiana said...

Yes, they're beautiful fabrics. And for those interested in Fair Trade fabrics, Bishopston Trading Company in Bristol offers hand-loomed shot cottons.

The Sewing Directory said...

Oh I didn't realise that Bishopston do shot cottons too. I went to their Bradford on Avon store a few years back and their fabrics are gorgeous. Off to look on their site now...If I spend a fortune I'm blaming you ;-)

Scrapiana said...

Hope you got away without too much damage to your wallet!

If you'd like a picture of one of the shot fabrics (or even a blog post about Bishopston Trading's fabrics) give me a shout. I'm within striking distance of their Bristol store.

Anonymous said...

Thanks for this info. I live in Belgium and have been given some strange looks when enquiring about shot cotton - now I know what it is and where to get it!

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