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Book Review: Fabric for Fashion – The Swatch Book

Fabric for Fashion the Swatch Book

I won this book in a giveaway from Kathleen of the Fashion Incubator. And I am so very glad that this book ended up on my shelf because it’s already a go-to reference. Fabric for Fashion – The Swatch Book is a great reference that explains and even better shows the difference between different fibers, weaves, and fabrics. The text is easy to understand and the swatches are so helpful and informative. I recommend this book as an addition to the bookshelf of any sewist.

Fabric swatches fabric for fashion

I have a few different text books on textiles but I’d much rather turn to Fabric for Fashion for a few reasons. 1 – All of the swatches come glued in! Not all texts on textiles come with swatches and moreover, most make you buy the swatches separately and glue in every single swatch yourself. Not fun.

cotton weaves swatches

2 – The organization is really intuitive. On the same page there are swatches of many different weaves of fabric. On one page I can compare a poplin, chintz, sateen, satin, twill, drill, and duck and having them all side by side makes it so much easier to truly understand the differences.

3 – It’s great for explaining textiles to non-garment sewists. Someone had recommended a weave of silk to my mom to use as a backing for her embroideries but she couldn’t remember what it was called and it was helpful for her to see a bunch of different weaves of silk next to each other, presented in a way that was informative but not overly technical.

textile fiber diagram

4 – It has all the information that a garment sewist would want and no more. The problem I’ve found with the textile text books I have is that they contain a ton technical information that I’m not interested in 98% of the time. The information that is relevant for a garment sewist is all there in this book – what sort of garments a fabric is recommended for, the major properties of the fiber and fabric – and it doesn’t have a bunch of not-as-interesting information for you to get bogged down in.

5 – It’s a pleasurable read. Seriously, I actually enjoy sitting on the couch with a cup of tea and reading this book, which is not something you can often say about a reference book. It’s pretty and accessible and I highly recommend it!

Comments 3

  1. I agree, this is a great book as it would be so laborious and expensive to gather all these swatches yourself!
    It goes together very well with Claire Shaeffer’s Fabric Sewing Guide.
    It’s an oddly comforting read whilst touching the fabric.

  2. I just got this book and love it! Having actual fabric swatches in the book is really informative. It’s one thing to describe how a fabric feels and drapes, but another thing to actually touch a sample with your own hands. I think it’s especially useful if you don’t have access to many apparel fabrics locally – you can get a feel for what to order online or what to look for on fabric shopping vacations. :)

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