Ragchop | Luxury Haberdashery | London

Loving Wool

Sarah LoughreyComment

When Ragchop started out, one of the most exciting products on the website was the Faux Down wadding. 

It is so unbelieveably soft and luxurious and WARM.

Brands like Prada created a demand for such products by distancing themselves from the cruelty that dominates the sourcing of feathers. Goodness knows how many ducks and geese are saved from being plucked alive by this mastery in cosiness. 

Fast forward and lambswool and Camel wool have since been added to the range but the really exciting development is yet to come .... Ragchop are eagerly awaiting the launch of the forthcoming silk and wool blend waddings.

Surely that has to spell an end to down jackets and their sticky outy quills poking you in unexpected places ?

Another exciting development is a material that traps the air inside the compartments of your quilted garment creating loft and warmth while remaining fully breathable. 

A lofty idea indeed !

 

Recycled fibres to go mainstream

Sarah LoughreyComment

It's been a long time coming, but recycled fibres are slowly but surely coming into the fashion mainstream.

For many years we have had a lot of interesting and sensible talking on this subject but the industry was not quite ready to take action.

Now there are leading manufacturers pushing to make an impact in this area.

Ted Baker have brought out a range produced almost entirely from recycled fibres.

Students in our best fashion universities are demanding action -and this is why;

420 million plastic bottles are discarded every day -and that is just in Europe. The US discards a similar amount and I cannot find any official figures on the worldwide figure -but you can bet it will be big, too big.

We have been consuming eye-boggling amounts of plastic for many decades and it will take 450 years to break down each and every plastic bottle. As the plastic slowly breaks down and enters the surrounding ecology our fashion industry are likewise producing ever higher mountains of throwaway fashion that will join these plastic bottles and stay as a polluting presence in their plastic grave. 

This does sound depressing but there is good news on our horizon and it is coming our way.

Leading manufacturers are using these PET bottles to produce yarns that can be used to make a variety of products including fabrics and waddings. If the products made from these fibres are of quality then there is no reason why they will be thrown away any time soon. It's what is known as an 'elegant solution'.

We like elegant solutions and that is why we are selling sustainably made waddings and soon we will have a full range of recycled Linings and Interlinings. 

Exciting times indeed !

What is interfacing and interlining?

Sarah Loughrey

A beginners Guide to Interlining/Interfacing

Interlining, also known as fusible or interfacing is a fabric that is used to add stability to another fabric. A simple example would be a facing or collar, where the fabric on its own does not have the structure to deliver the desired finish, so an Interlining is bonded to the fabric to form the collar or facing as required.

Fashion is moved along by innovations in textiles and Interlinings have evolved to follow suit. There have been huge innovations in textiles in the last 10 years.  Now interlinings can deliver many applications that were not possible even 5 years ago.

Before we get into the latest innovations (that is for another blog) let's start at the beginning.

What are Interlinings?

Interlinings can be divided into 2 categories

1. Fusible Interlinings - have an adhesive on one side

2. Dry Interlinings - also known as Sew-ins, do not have any adhesive

Fusible Interlinings

Fusible adhesives come in a variety of fabric bases and weights. Adhesives vary as a fine chiffon cannot be fused to the same Interlining as a heavy wool. The general rule is, the lighter the fusing, the lighter the adhesive.

A light chiffon will work well with fine adhesive glue dots. If the glue dots are unsuitably heavy they will strike through the fabric. Equally If a fine adhesive is fused to a heavy wool it will de-laminate as the glue will not be heavy enough to penetrate the wool. 

Fusible Interlinings can be divided into 3 categories

1. Woven

2. Non-woven

3. Knits 

Woven Fusible Interlinings

Woven Interlinings are constructed like a cloth with a warp and a weft.

They can have some stretch across the weft (mono-stretch) or across the warp and weft (multi stretch or bi-stretch) They can also have no stretch whatsoever.

Woven Interlinings are produced across a broad spectrum of fabrics and weights.

Generally the lightest weight starts at around 12 grams per square metre and usually does not surpass 100g per sq metre.

Non woven fusible Interlinings

Non-wovens like the description are not woven like a cloth but constructed like paper, as a mesh of fibres.

Non-wovens are the least loved Interlinings but there are now flexible non-wovens with much improved handfeel, although by no way comparable to a premium knit or a woven. They come in a variety of weights but nowhere near the variety available in wovens. 

Knits

Knitted Interlinings are produced to stretch and come in a variety of constructions and are no longer used exclusively with knitted fabrics.

Fine Denier knits give subtle bounce and flexibilty to light woven fabrics. In fact knitted Interlinings are extremely versatile, making them a great option across many fabric constructions.

They also come with a non stretch insert across the weft giving them a mono-stretch (only stretch one way) application.

Dry Interlinings / Sew-Ins

Sew-ins are generally made of non-woven materials and usually used for waistbands. I don't really like sew-ins as Fusibles are now up to this job and I find that fusibles offer a superior finish.  However sew-ins still do an amazing job on special applications (Look out for our next blog on this!)

How do I know which Interlining is suitable for my fabric ?

There is no longer any fixed rules with Interlinings. Whole garments can be block-fused to add form and shape. Jersey fabrics can be fused to woven Interlinings, transforming Jersey to a woven fabric. Soft Woven silks can be fused to light knitted Interlinings. Light weight wools can be fused to heavy weight woven fusibles, adding weight and thereby transforming the appearance and handle of the wool to a heavy weight wool.

As long as the adhesive is suitable to the fabric (the right size and volume for the fabric), there is reason to experiment.

Helpful Tips

Make sure you don't over-heat your fusible Interlining. Usually 2 dot iron is the maximum required to melt the glue.

Always use steam !

Ensure that you do not place your fusing down the wrong way. You do not want to get this glue on your iron.

Leave your fused fabric to 'cure' after fusing. Optimum results require time for the glue to set.

Always fuse-test a swatch of fabric. Some fabrics have a silicon finish and will not stick to any fusible. Testing is the only way to know if your fabric and fusible are going to work together. After test fusing try to prise the fabric from your Interlining -If it is a real struggle to peal off, then you know you are on the right road to fusing heaven.

Think of Interlining as you do your underwear; Don't match black with white.

Do not 'iron on' your fusible Interlining like you are doing the ironing. Place the iron down for about 6 seconds applying pressure without movement and work your way around until all areas have been fused. 

The glue will escape and make its way onto your iron and ironing board so use a lightweight muslin cloth to protect your iron.

I hope this has helped you to get started, If you have any questions, feel free to email us here at info@ragchop.com

The importance of Interlining

Sarah Loughrey

There was a time long, long ago, when Interlinings were thought of as 'that stuff' we iron on, to stabilise our fabric. Lightweight fabrics turned to cardboard as we ironed on the solution that turned our dreams to disappointment.

At some point technological breakthroughs in textiles came to the rescue (as if from design heaven) and brought special adhesive systems and fine yarn interlinings to the design houses of Paris and Milan. 

It started with Armani but more recent examples are the earlier years of Victoria Beckham and Roland Mouret. Perfect examples of the fully-fused garment, their signature peplum dresses could never have made it to a catwalk without the help of some very clever interlining. Those zip-backed dresses from Lanvin, Balmain's architectural delights, all created using interlinings.

Look now and every designer worth their pantone book is using interlinings like a wizard uses a magic wand.

We love these special, professional, fusibles because when we make something, we want it to look like it could stalk the front rows of Chanel, Chloe and Erdem -not hang about outside BHS.

So don't be shy, get your making hands on some serious professional interlinings... just like they do in Paris. See you on the Front Row ;-)

Hello from Ragchop!

Sarah Loughrey

Hello from Ragchop! We hope that we can inject some sustainable luxury into your creative world. 

All our products are sourced with love. We are obsessed with quality and passionate about sustainability. 

There was a time when it was impossible to source beautiful, sustainably made products but thankfully that is no longer the case.

We have linings and Interlinings made from recycled PET bottles. If that doesn't curl your toes, check out our waddings. Camel wool and lambswool waddings that will make you wonder why you even considered polyester.

For Polyester junkies we have recycled polyester waddings to ease your conscience while enveloping you in the softest faux-down wadding on the market.

We like to think of Ragchop as an introductory website to beautiful components worthy of your talent and time.

We want to make a difference in this throw away culture by encouraging the production of quality that doesn't leave a trail of pollution or harm. 

We would LOVE to see what you make with our products so please send pictures to info@ragchop.com and we'll feature them on our website/instagram and facebook page. 

We will be blogging about how our products can be used so please check back for regular updates. 

Happy 'chopping x