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Customer makes – Brilliant Bee Dress!

We love seeing what you all are making with our fabrics, it’s great to see the variety and the creativity that everyone has.

We have been sent these pictures by Debbie who has made this stunning dress from some of the fabrics found in our curtain and furnishings range, showing how versatile fabrics really can be, the limit is your imagination!

The sewing on this dress is so neat and the overall look is really effective so well-done Debbie!

Debbie has also been busy making another dress, from one of our cotton poplins, this dress has lovely summery look to it and again is brilliantly sewn.

 

If you have been busy making something from some of our fabrics and you’d like to share it with us, then please send us an email to people@livingstonetextiles.com with a photo attached. We love writing about the great thing you all get up to with fabrics.

 

 

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Dress Fabric or Curtain Fabric?

How do you tell if a fabric is dress fabric or curtain fabric? Well sometimes it’s not so easy! Rules are made to be broken, so although in our stores we keep fabrics in different areas depending on whether their intended use is for furnishing or dressmaking, really it is down to a mixture of how the fabric will behave and your personal preference. We recently made up these lovely warm winter weight curtains in this gorgeous poly viscose melton fabric, which works perfectly even though it is traditionallly a dress fabric. These curtains are also interlined for even more warmth, and need the punched metal eyelets shown in order to hold the weight of the curtain. This fabric also looks the same from both sides, so could be used unlined to create a room divider curtain.

Sometimes you also want a lighter weight curtain, maybe to screen off an area or cover glass on a cupboard door, and then the dress weight cottons may be suitable, you would just need to be careful about the fabric width.

In contrast, we also have customers who make dresses, skirts and coats out of what is traditionally regarded as curtain fabric, like this amazing bee dress and the stunning hunting coat. We have heard a rumour there is also a Bengal Tiger dress on the way!

So the message is to know your fabrics, think outside the box and have a good look around the whole of the shop. You may just spot a bargain “curtain” fabric in the heavier weight dress fabrics, or create a showstopper garment from the furnishing section! We are always happy to talk to you about your project and will let you know if we think the fabric can be used in the way you are planning.

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Party Dress

This beautiful dress has been made by one of our staff members for a 90th party she is attending we thought the whole outfit worked so beautifully together.

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The matching flower button that has been so beautifully added we really love and think that it really adds a lovely finshing touch.

 

 

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This fabric is available at our shop in Bridport Dorset and at coming soon to our new shop in Yeovil Somerset shich will be opening in September.

If you would like further information on this fabric or smy fabrics you have seen on our webshop plesse contact us and we will be happy to help.

 

 

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Miss H’s In Fancy Dress- Mermaid Style

Miss H has been getting dressed up again and this times she’s in a beautiful mermaid costume. We are thinking about fancy dress this week due to Halloween getting so much closer at the end of next month. We have been thinking about what we can all dress up as. If your starting to think about Halloween and those parties either you are having or you might be going to, both adults and kids alike why not have a look at our beautiful range of fancy dress fabrics. We have a massive range almost filling one of our rooms at our store in Bridport, where we also have 2 pattern books with loads of fancy dress inspiration. Come and talk to our friendly staff who will help you as much as they can with your chosen idea.

If you would like a sample of any fabrics you have see on our website please contact us with your details and information on the fabric you are interested and we will be happy to send out samples.

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Cosplay- Miss H new dress!

2016-05-25 14.12.55Cosplay, which gets its names from costume play is a performance art where performers or cosplayers wear costumes to represent characters generally from comic books, movies, tv, anime, and manga. The term cosplay applies to any costumed role-playing in venues apart from the stage. It is becoming bigger since 1990 with competitions, and it becoming a big part of fan conventions.

The dress that Miss H is wearing has been inspired by Cosplay and the use of the bright shiny fabric represent this.

If you are interested in getting dressed up and fancy cosplayfollowing the cosplay theme but are in need of a pattern have a look at our simplicity pattern where there is a wide range of patterns that fit with the cosplay theme.

 

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Easter Dress

Easter dressWith Easter just round the corner we have been having fun making Miss H a new dress. Her we have simply draped some very beautiful Easter fabrics to show how creative you could become with your fabrics and garments.

We have used 3 fabrics here in her dress the first, this fun DSC_3091cartoon hen fabric is £6.30 and is 110cm/43″ wide. We think it shows how fun Easter can be. The second fabrics we used on the other side of the dress is a beautiful DSC_3089rabbit fabric, this fabric is also £6.30 per metre and is also 110cm/43″ wide. We though this fabric shows off Spring time and so we thought would be a lovely fabrics to show off at this time of year.

The last fabric we uses in the middle of the dress is a lovely green with white spot fabric, this is priced at £6.20 per metre and is 112cm/44″ wide.

If you would like a sample of these or any fabric you have seen on our web page please get in touch with your detail and information on the fabric you would like.

 

 

 

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Miss Havishams Christmas Dress

DSC_4427Miss Havisham is getting into the Christmas spirit and is getting all dressed up for a Christmas party. She is wearing a double layered dress made from two of our beautiful fancy dress fabrics. The under-layered dress has been made from a polyester satin which is 150cm/ 60″ wide. This is priced at £3.60 per metre and is only avaiable to buy in our shops in Bridport & Yeovil or by telephone order.

The top layer of her beautiful dress is made from an organza fabric with a flocked snow flake design. This is 148cm/ 58″ wide and is priced at £2.80 per metre.

DSC_4433Miss Havisham has added a variety of different accessories to her garment. She has firstly added a sequin belt to bring the waist in giving the dress extra shape. The sequin belt s made with a elastic sequin DSC_4434trim which is available in our shop in Bridport Dorset. This is priced at £1.50 per metre and is about 1″ wide. The sequin trim could be used for a range of different thing, from dressmaking, and crafts to hair bands and fancy dress.    DSC_4432

Miss Havisham’s necklace is even a home made accessory from our shop. She has very cleverly taken one of our beautiful big buttons priced at 98p each with some silver cord  to produce a stunning necklace. We stock a massive rage of buttons at our shop in Bridport Dorset.

If you would like more information on anything you have seen on here or samples of the fabric you have seen please contact us with your details and the information you require.

 

 

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Medieval style Dress

Furnishing cloth makes a great alternative to cotton poplin if you are looking for a luxurious dressmaking fabric.  In this picture it has been used to make a warm, heavyweight evening dress and the maker wore it to a masked ball on a winters evening.  She used curtain lining fabric for the voluminous sleeves, re-purposed from her old curtains.

 

You could re-create this classic look with fabric from our traditional collection of furnishing materials. berkleyThis lovely embellished swirl is called Berkeley.  We have a huge range of hangers to look through in our shop.DSC_4290

 

 

 

On the left, you can see that Berkeley is available in a range of refined colours and that we also have other suitable fabrics available.  In the centre of the picture is Summer Palace also at £28.50 per metre and on the right is Bess at £29.40 per metre.

 

DSC_4279The trim is stitched on to the surface of the fabric to create the illusion of a laced bodice.  You can find a large selection of trims like the ones featured below in our shop in Bridport, or ring us on 01308 456844 to request some samples.DSC_4300

 

Cinderella shall go to the Ball!  Or maybe you have panto costumes to make for the coming season? Step by step instructions are included in this Simplicity pattern making it simple to put this lovely outfit together.  Follow the costumes link above to find out more.

 

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Halloween Fancy Dress Fabric

DSC_4069 It that time of year when we all start thinking about dressing up, with Halloween and Christmas just round the corner, so we have been looking t all our fancy dress fabrics. We have a massive range of fancy dress fabrics in our shop in Bridport Dorset, with one whole room dedicated to them. DSC_3240

We also have a small range on our webshop. With Halloween only a few weeks away why not have a look at our skeleton fabrics, the example above is a netted skeleton  fabric which would work really well as a fancy dress garment or as decoration.DSC_4073 This fabric is £3.50 per metre and is 112cm/44″ wide.

The second example of skeleton fabric is our “day of the dead” fabric. This dancing skeletons design is on a 100% cotton poplin fabric base. It is priced at £8.30 per metre and is 137cm/12″ wide with a pattern repeat of 32cm/12″.

Both of theses fabrics are available to order in our shop in Bridport Dorset.

We also have a range of standard fancy dress fabric that would work really well with any of these fabrics. If you would like to order a free sample of these or any other fabric you have seen on here please contact us with your details and information on the fabric you require.

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Poppy Summer Dress for Miss Haversham

Poppies Wildflower meadows are in the news at the moment as they have largely disappeared from the UK – but you can get your wildflower fix with this lovely dress! The dress has been created on our dummy Miss Haversham from this stunning poppy cotton dress or craft fabric and a forties retro style.

Poppies detailThis would be just perfect in the lovely summer weather we are having. We think Miss Haversham looks just ravishing, but let us know what you think, or if you have any other inspirations on how to best use this fabric (also available with a black background).

STOCK UPDATE : Please contact us to check on stocks of this fabric, or see below for a selection of floral dress fabrics.

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Bee Hive Cotton Craft Fabric

Beehive closeThis beehive fabric is a super addition to our craft and dressmaking cotton range. The bees and beehives are in a random directional pattern, which makes this fabric perfect for patchwork and many other craft uses. It would also be great fun for making clothing for children or adults.

Fabric composition : 100% cotton poplin
Fabric width : 56″/143cm
Pattern repeat : 4.75″/12cm

STOCK UPDATE : This fabric is now out of stock and unavailable. Please see below for a selection of our current patchwork fabrics available online, or contact us to enquire about other bee related fabric.

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Re-purposed Flapper Dress

DSC_3133One of our staff members has re-purposed a second hand find with some trim and black lace to create a stylish flapper dress.

 

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By cutting open the seam and inserting stretchy black lace, the fit has been adjusted to size and the dress is brought up to date with an unusual twist for evening wear.

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The fringing is layered from the bottom up so that it hangs below the hem to create swing.  Worn with a stretchy sequin headband and an ostrich feather that could be made from supplies in our shop, this dress is transformed into a classy garment at a fraction of the cost of a retail version.  Don’t throw out your old garments, come and visit us to see our huge range of trims, ribbons and buttons and give a new lease of life to your old favourites.

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Butterfly Batik Fabric for Dressmaking & Craft Projects

butterfly batikbutterfly batik 1This Indian batik fabric features colourful pretty butterflies on a blue background.

Batik fabrics are created by using wax and dye. To make a batik, bits of the fabric are blocked by brushing wax on them. In this case the butterflies would be drawn on to the fabric using wax and then the fabric would be dyed. The areas that have the wax applied resist the dye and remain the original colour. Once the final dying has taken place the wax is removed, and the cloth is ready to use.

This fabric is suitable for dressmaking, quilting and patchwork.

Fabric composition: 100% cotton
Fabric width:
112cm/ 44″
Price per metre:
£10.25

This fabric is available to purchase at our shop in Bridport, Dorset or you can order this fabric over the phone: 01308 456844 or contact us.

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Bee Fabric

bee fabricbee fabric 1Do you keep bees? or perhaps you just like bees?

This fabric feature bees and flowers on a background of blue and pink circles.

This fabric would be ideal for craft projects, making clothes, backing quilts and patchwork.

Fabric composition: 100% cotton
Fabric width: 142cm/ 56″
Price per metre: £6.75

This fabric is available to purchase at our shop in Bridport, Dorset or you can order over the phone: 01308 456844 or contact us.

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Bridport Carnival Fancy Dress

At Bridport Carnival fancy dress is the order of the day. We like to join in with local events, so we thought we would mark the occasion by dressing up our dummy (affectionately known as Miss Haversham). Maxine has chosen to create a mermaid outfit using a Batik print bikini top, some dress net and our shimmery ‘Elvis’ fabric as a base. Continue reading Bridport Carnival Fancy Dress

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Colfox School Year 9 Dress Display

Year 9 students at John Colfox School in Bridport have been getting busy, many of them with fabric supplied by Livingstone Textiles. The students each made a child’s dress with accessories and a decorated hanger. The dresses are now on display at Livingstone Textiles, showing just what can be achieved with some fabric and a large dose of creativity. Continue reading Colfox School Year 9 Dress Display

Sustainability

Here at Livingstone Textiles we are very conscious of our environmental impact and try to keep our carbon footprint to a minimum. We strongly hold the belief that things should not be single use and nothing should be simply thrown away without a thought as everything has to go somewhere!

Reduce, Reuse and Recycle …

To minimise the waste we produce, we do our best to reduce, reuse and recycle everything we possibly can. As a result, we currently only produce 1 black bin bag of waste for landfill every 2 weeks and are always looking for ways to reduce this further. Whilst always thinking of ways we can reduce the amount of waste we get to begin with.

Here are a few of the ways in which we keep our waste to a minimum…

Reuse plastic packaging, we receive fabrics from our suppliers in large tough plastic bags which are great for protecting the fabric but not so great for the environment. So, in order to get as much use out of them as possible we reuse them, saving larger bags to protect rolls of fabric our customers have purchased and the smaller pieces are cut up and heat sealed to protect orders we are posting, anything too small or damaged is taken to our local waste recycling centre.

Left over fabric samples and haberdashery are turned into handy craft packs, these packs are made up from all sorts of useful crafty things. These include the small end of roll pieces or samples we have left over, short ends of ribbon or tape etc, and small items of haberdashery. All packaged up in reused bags (where possible). They are great for those who are learning to sew or do crafts, children, or just for small sustainable projects. We carefully sort through and co-ordinate the packs by colour or a theme, so keep an eye out for our seasonal packs throughout the year.

Remnants basket. We parcel up the short ends of rolls or ex display pieces and put them in our remnant’s basket. The pieces are labelled with a size/ shape and a discounted price. It’s a great place to look if you want a bargain for your project, it’s definitely worth a rummage for small or medium projects as piece sizes vary and can be quite large.

Sustainable suppliers

Where possible we source our fabrics from sustainable suppliers and have several recycled products in stock including double width fabric, fabric from 95% recycled bottles and 100% recycled polyester threads to choose from, we also stock a range of eco felts which are made from recycled materials.

We try to ensure that the fabrics we buy are from sustainable sources where possible and source lots of things from smaller local businesses such as our paper bags, foam, cushion pads, rope, haberdashery, upholstery supplies and our natural linens. Occasionally we also find hidden treasures at auctions which allows us to bring variety to our shops and gives our customers the opportunity to purchase one off items that can’t be found anywhere else! These auction finds are special fabrics that are not just from our standard suppliers, keeping things sustainable as we are not buying new materials straight out of the mills which can sometimes be overseas and costly in resources to produce. Sourcing things from these smaller companies and auctions also means we are reducing the amount of packaging we receive as they are mostly delivered directly to us by the company when they are in the area.

We are adding to our stock all the time and we are always looking out for new suppliers to source new sustainable fabrics from, whether they are made from organic plants, recycled materials or just produced in a more sustainable way, we believe that these are important factors to consider when purchasing (oh and it has to look nice to).

How to guides

As a team at livingstone textiles we are all strong believers in these values and are pretty thrifty makers, so we like to share with you the projects we have been making, especially when they are reducing single use items! So, follow us on Facebook, Instagram and Pinterest or check back into our website regularly to see our latest hints, tips and makes! Follow the links for some of our recent posts. Sandwich holder, 7 simple eco friendly makes, produce bags and more.

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The Bridport Fashion Revolution

Bridport Fashion Revolution

Bridport normally runs a Green Fortnight at this time of year but 2020 brings us something different. This year sees the town hosting Bridport’s Fashion Revolution from the 13th of February onwards and here at Livingstone Textiles we are going to be sharing helpful tips to get you going with Green Fashion.

Fashion is a massive and a dirty industry but we can all change our habits and living in or near Bridport gives us a distinct advantage. This is because there have always been abundant independent businesses that we can choose to shop at. Most items of clothing are bought new and worn on average ten times before they are discarded but there is hope that if we choose to shop differently, we can all reduce the contributing factors to our warming planet.

Continue reading The Bridport Fashion Revolution
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Bengal Tigers In Bridport

We are still adoring this jungle velvet and so are our customers and we’ve had an order this week for an unusual project. You may remember that we published a story about a lady called Debbie who made a dress out of our silk furnishing fabric featuring a bee design. Well she’s creating another dress, this time using the Bengal Tiger velvet as her fabric which we think will look sensational! Because of the varying weights and modern digital printing techniques the fabrics that we have in our shop can be crossed over into all kinds of projects, some of the lighter furnishing fabrics can be used as dress materials and many of our heavier dress fabrics, like wool or Melton coat fabrics for example, can be used as a curtain fabric. This week we’ve made up these lovely eyelet curtains in a mustard Melton cloth, quite simply because the colour matched our customers room scheme perfectly and there was nothing quite right in our soft furnishings range.

We can order anything from our large collection of fabric books too , even just a sample if you want to double check colours before you make the jump.

These eyelet curtains have been made by us using Antique rings and we can also make up eyelets in other colours such as Nickel and Black. There are a few options available designed to suit the rail you currently have in place or ask us for details on our continuous metal poles with no awkward joins to try and drag the curtains over.

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Happy Hogmanay!

The History of Hogmanay

We don’t hear much about Hogmanay in England where our fabric shops are based, particularly the South West because seem to do Christmas on such a massive scale and that strange time between Christmas and New Year becomes a haze where nobody can quite remember which day it is. In Scotland however, things have been somewhat different for many generations of people growing up there and it may surprise you to know that Christmas was not celebrated as a festival until the late 1950’s. Children expected Santa to arrive on New Years Eve alongside family gatherings and parties (or Hogmanay’s) where gifts were exchanged. Hogmanay is a very important festival to the Scots.

The Protestant Reformation had the festival down as a Catholic feast and as such , it had no place within the country and so it was banned. This ban led to ancient traditions already in place, (possibly from invading Vikings and Norsemen that had been a part of Scottish Solstice traditions for a very long time) to be stepped up and celebrated as a winter solstice holiday across the New Year period, leading to some serious partying involving fire amongst other things. In Shetland where there is still a strong Viking influence the feast is known as Yules, passing over from Scandinavia as the festival Yule. The collective ‘Hogmanay’ on New Years Eve involves several traditions and superstitions that include a deep clean of the home, ashes to be removed from the grate before midnight and that the first to pass over the threshold after midnight should be a dark haired stranger carrying a piece of coal for luck. Plus of course obligatory drinking of whisky.

Immediately after midnight it is traditional to sing Robert Burns‘ “Auld Lang Syne”. Burns published his version of this popular song in 1788, but it was in print more than 80 years before. There are several verses

“Should auld acquaintance be forgot and never brought to mind?
Should auld acquaintance be forgot and auld lang syne
For auld lang syne, my dear, for auld lang syne,
We’ll take a cup o kindness yet, for auld lang syne.”

Pop in to Livingstone Textiles and have a look at the fabulous new tartan fabrics we have available if you fancy making your New Years Eve party into a Hogmany. As well as our usual Black Watch and Stewart patterns we have these two plus many more tartans and checks available.

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Miss Haversham’s Early Autumn Coat

Our obliging model Miss H has been wearing a little cheesecloth dress of late, but the cooler nights made us think she needed a coat. We fashioned this lovely loose style from some of our baby blue poly Melton, and we think she looks great!

Melton is a dense, tightly woven fabric named after the town of Melton Mowbray. it is traditionally made of wool, which is brushed and felted during production to give a beautifully soft, warm finish. This poly viscose Melton has the look and feel of wool, with all of the windproof qualities and soft touch of the original, woolly product, but it is washable, and also moth-proof!

We currently have Melton in our Bridport store in a range of warm, autumn shades, perfect for a coat or jacket- just ask Miss H!

150 cms wide, £13.50 – £14.00/metre

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Why you need curtain lining

We often get asked in the shop, as customers are choosing some lovely curtain fabric, if curtain lining is really needed. We understand the question! Curtain lining lives under the table in the big room in bolts of unexciting neutral colours; it looks a bit boring, and although it’s just a few pounds per metre, it might seem like an unnecessary spend when you’re more interested in the gorgeous show fabric.

So here’s a great example of why you need curtain lining! We often dress the shop with fabric that is quickly stapled into place, rather than use our beautifully hand-finished curtains, and a couple of us recently decided to change the fabric that had been up at the window for almost two years. It wasn’t lined, and when we took it down you can see from the picture that the fading was very obvious indeed, even though the windows do not even get direct sunlight.

We also sell a lightweight polycotton curtain lining, but the best choice is the standard cotton lining that we use when we make your curtains (unless you ask for blackout or thermal lining, of course) Our standard cotton lining comes in cream, white and stone, and is available online as well as in our shops. It is Solprufe, which is a superior 100% cotton fabric, designed to withstand the effects of light for twice as long as other linings without fading or degrading.

As we’re lucky enough to live in the sunny southwest, and especially if you live near to the sea, curtain lining will make your curtains live longer and keep the colours bright and true for longer. They’re worth it!

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Child Safety Week

This week Monday 3rd – Sunday 9th June 2019 is child safety week.

Child safety week is run by the Child Accident Prevention Trust (CAPT) which is the UK’s leading charity working to raise awareness of the risks of child accidents and how they can be prevented, to reduce the number of children and young people killed, disabled or seriously injured in accidents.

This year the theme is “Family life today: where’s the risk?” It highlights the new dangers facing families today from our modern lifestyles and offers simple solutions to keep children safe.

They have loads of great information on how to keep your children safe from many different dangers that come with everyday life. The danger that we are focusing on here at Livingstone Textiles is the dangers of roman blind cords to children.

Roman blinds are a great way dress your window and can be more practical than curtains in some windows. As we all know they are operated by a string pully system whether they are on the traditional system on a cassette system, these stings can be a potential danger if the blind are not hung correctly and/or are not fitted with safety devices.

What is a safety device?

The safety devices we sell here at Livingstone Textiles are small sprung toggles that are fitted to the bottom of a roman blind to hold the end of the cords. In the event that a child or someone gets caught up in the blind cords then then the cord will be pulled out of the safety devices releasing whoever has been caught up in it and therefore the danger of strangulation is significantly reduced. Because the safety devices are sprung if they are pulled out for any reason then the cord can just simply be re-threaded through them and the blind is undamaged.

All blinds made by our makers here at Livingstone Textiles are fitted with safety devices as standard. Another added bonus of having safety devices fitted is that it makes levelling and adjusting your blind really easy

How a roman blind is hung is also another important factor in reducing the
risk to children. You should consider the pull cords that hang down (if a traditional system is used) and the chain (if a cassete system is used) these both hang down and can create a strangulation hazard to children if not installed properly.

To install the traditional corded system correctly there should be the safety devices fitted to the bottom of each of the cords on the blind as mentioned above. There should also be a cleat fitted to a surface close to the cords, this should be fitted 1.5m or higher from the floor and the hanging cords should be wrapped around this in a figure of 8 ensuring all the spare cord is wrapped around it, this should leave no dangling cords.

To install a cassette system again the safety devices should be fitted to the bottom of each cord. As cassettes have chains instead of cords there are two options with chains, there is a cord that has a join in which will break if a force is applied and can be put back together afterwards. The other option, which is the one we supply here at Livingstone Textiles, is to have a chain tidy and tensioner. These devices are again fitted to the wall just like the cleat and they hold the chain taught so that the loop is smaller and harder to get caught up in. It also makes pulling the blind up and down easier and gives a finished and smart look.

If you would like any advice on how to hang or blind correctly or on how to make your excisting blind safer then please get in contact with us as we are more than happy to help.

For more information on child safety week, click here to follow the link to their website which has lots more information on keeping childeren safe from everyday hazards.

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The Wild Wild West

Welcome to the Wild Wild West, home of the fastest drawn scissors at dawn.

Livingstone Textiles has two fabulous fabric outlets in the Westcountry bursting with hundreds of metres of gorgeous material ready to be made into lovely projects.  Did you know that as well as stocking fabric for dressmaking and material for making curtains, blinds and cushions, we also stock a number of wipe clean pvc tablings and oil cloths that are not only used for covering tables?

Here you can see that this vintage design of Cowboys and Indians has been made into a waterproof bag or shopping, books or school/college stuff.  It’s been lined with one of our bright and cheerful childrens fabrics featuring orange dinosaurs and has strong canvas straps stitched firmly between the layers.  The whole bag is robust and we think the design has a vintage vibe cool enough for both adults and kids.  The fabric is 130cm wide and costs £8.50 per metre and can be bought at either of our shops in Yeovil or Bridport.