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Choosing The Correct Linings for Curtains and Blinds

At Livingstone Textiles we are proud to offer you a great selection of Curtain Linings and Interlinings.  Older buildings in West Dorset and rural Somerset often have traditional stone or wooden windows that are incredibly draughty.  For heritage reasons these properties may not have the option of double glazing or plastic windows so Thermal Lining can be a very practical solution to draughts and cold spots.

We stock a wide range of curtain linings and curtain interlinings (also known as curtain bump) to suit your specific requirements when choosing new curtains or blinds for your home.  Curtain linings are used to prolong the life of the more expensive show fabric and offer protection from the sun and other elements that could otherwise cause deterioration of the cloth.  They also enable more of the pattern and colour to be seen inside the room when light is on the otherside, ie; daylight, sunlight and streetlight as these will be shining straight through your fabric. Continue reading Choosing The Correct Linings for Curtains and Blinds

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Dragon Toy Make & Toy Making Resources

Making toys as gifts is enormously satisfying and one of our staff recently got bitten by the bug with this fantastic dragon pattern by Simplicity – number 8715. We hope you like the results!

This pattern is designed to be made with lightweight minke fleece, but we wanted to use a delicious raspberry plush fabric we have in store to make it even more cuddly. This meant a few extra things we had to think about in the making up

  • The cutting layout. We had to think about what direction we wanted the nap to lie on every piece, which meant we couldn’t use the cutting layout in the pattern. (You have to be able to stroke your dragon just like a cat!)
  • Transferring markings. It was not easy to transfer markings from the pattern pieces as the plush fabric did not take markings well (probably also true with fleece). We ended up using tailors tacks to mark the position of the horns and eyes on the head.
  • Securing fabric for sewing. The plush fabric has a tendency to move around when you are sewing because of the pile. The seam allowances on this pattern were pretty small so this mattered more than ever. We solved this by choosing to tack every seam before sewing.

If you are thinking about making some toys yourself to give as gifts or just to have at home, we have lots of items here at Livingstone Textiles. The Simplicity catalogue has a whole section devoted to toys and accessories (patterns are kept in stock), and we also have a good range of books containing toys to sew, knit or crochet. We also stock the following:

  • Hollowfibre toy stuffing in 3 different sizes of bags
  • Pompoms and bells
  • Toy safety eyes in black and amber in various sizes
  • Yarn for knitting and crochet at our Yeovil store
  • Knitting and crochet patterns at Yeovil
  • Felt in a wide range of colours by the metre and as 9″/23cm squares
  • Ribbons and other trims
  • Extra long doll making needles
  • And of course a massive range of fabrics
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Remembrance Poppies & Digital Textile Printing

Time marches on and as we come to remember the fallen at war on November the 11th, a poppy is worn in remembrance.  Fabric has essentially remained unchanged across millenia, being a woven cloth of fine threads but the decoration techniques have come and gone as fashion dictated.  The printing process on all mediums has changed dramatically over the centuries and the newest technologies are now employed to create fabrics that more closely resemble works of art.  Digital Textile Printing is an exciting new way of designing and creating all kinds of fabrics.  It is the technology of printing designs onto fabric directly from a computer with no other steps involved in the process.

* A Design is Created

* Design is placed in Repeat

* Design is Printed directly onto fabric

The processes involved in digital printing are far cleaner, faster and more cost effective than conventional screen printing.  Cloth is normally pre-treated to hold the dye fast, to enable quality control and to achieve truer colours.  Some of the inks used may also need a post treatment such as steaming or heating to set the ink and keep it from fading or bleaching out in sunlight.

The concept of digital printing opens up many new opportunities for designers, artists, merchandisers and sales personnel because it is fast, efficient and cost effective.  Without the need to create a fresh screen for every new artwork, a designer can print:

* Small pieces or large rolls

* Garments & Apparell

* Flags & Banners

* Samples

* Interior Design Fabrics

To create a digital fabric, a designer will create sample tiles with a graphics tablet or another software programme such as Adobe Illustrator or Photoshop.  They design by selecting available digital inks to create swatches in a digital library.  They will then use a drawing programme to sketch out a design and then infill colour using the selected swatches from their colour library.  The drawn and coloured design tile is then placed in repeat and saved as a pdf.  This resolution is then set to the designers preferred printers requirements using another programme, leaving the designer with a print ready file of their artwork that can be uploaded directly to their printing company, printed onto a fabric and then posted back in a matter of days.

We have some really beautiful digital prints at Livingstones, we all love this new technology because it can convey the delicate washes of watercolour as well as heavier art techniques like oils and acrylics.

The Poppy design featured above has proved very popular as has the vibrant Hummingbird.  See below for more digital fabrics that are currently available to purchase on our website.

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Interlined Curtains

Curtains made with interlining or ‘bump’ are much fuller and more luxurious than those made with just lining alone.
The bump literally ‘bumps up’ the fabric making it thicker and has the added quality of providing a layer of insulation against cold windows.
Interlined curtains are an especially popular choice in a house with older windows and those with listed building status but are also used in more modern homes where an appearance of luxury is required.
The window size must be taken into account when considering interlining because they can easily swamp a room with too much volume. The fullness of the finished curtain also has to be taken into account but don’t worry because all of the staff working across Livingstone Textiles are trained to advise you in the appropriate way. Find out more here.

When we make your interlined curtains we use a more involved method of making where the interlining is first locked into place with Herringbone stitch under the side turns of the fabric and along the seams of any joins.

A picked hem is then worked through both the interlining and into the show fabric where a tiny line of equally spaced stitches will be barely visible.

Finally, the pencil pleat heading tape is sewn into position making the curtains look really plump and luxurious.

For these curtains we have used a lightweight polyester lining and we also stock polyester in a heavy weight as well.

If you prefer a natural fabric, we can supply and/or make interlinings in both lightweight and heavyweight cotton bumps as shown below.

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Bonfire Nights

We are still loving this stunning fabric from Chess and named Grassland, it sums up misty autumn mornings, foxes out hunting for food and and smoky bonfires. The pigments in this Paprika colourway are particularly seasonal with its orangey hues and a Roman Blind from this teamed with luxurious velvet curtains will create a super cosy space to relax out of the wind and rain.

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Winter Woolies

A few frosty mornings have left us reaching for thicker layers in the wardrobe. If you’re discovering a gap in your winter clothing supplies you might consider sewing yourself a colourful new pair of slacks or cords, maybe a thick, warm maxi skirt or a smart tweed pencil skirt to wear for work with a pair of thick tights. You could also consider making a pair of thick jumbo cords for the eccentric gentleman in your life, the colours we have to choose from are bright & cheerful for the cold grey days of winter. Don’t forget that we have a great choice of patterns available in our New Look and Simplicity pattern books and if you are a novice, pick up a copy of the brilliant dressmaking techniques book from our shop. Its clear, step by step instructions will guide you through many shortcuts and techniques to get your finished projects looking neat and completed efficiently. Find out more here

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Which Tartan can I wear?

We sell a lot of beautiful tartans at Livingstone Textiles and one question that seems to come up again and again is ‘which tartan am I allowed to wear if I’m not Scottish? Well the answer to that is quite simply that you can wear any tartan that you like, the only exception to this rule is the Balmoral tartan which by royal decree should only be worn by the Royal Family. Many people think that they can only wear the Black Watch or the Stewart so you’ll be pleased to learn that you can buy and wear any of the tartans in our shop in complete confidence.

Here’s a small selection of what we currently have in stock. We also sell gorgeously snuggly tartan fleece as well and it makes great pyjama trousers 🙂

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Panther Velvet

Stunning New Textured Velvets

This glorious new range of crushed heavy weight velvets from Fibre Naturelle are made from 100% polyester and measure 140cm wide. The fabric has no pattern repeat, making it very simple to create heavy and glossy curtains from and is available to order at £41.80 per metre. The weight and feel of this beautiful cloth is as you might imagine the fur of a seal to be and the hardwearing Martindale test of 40,000 rubs allows it to be used as an upholstery fabric that will transform any piece of furniture into a luxury item. Find out more about the Martindale test here

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Day of The Dead

Funky House Trousers

These groovy trousers were made by Laura at Livingstone Textiles, Bridport and are perfect for slipping into after work and lounging about. They are made from 100% cotton poplin in a simple pull on style and feature a comfy sewn on waistband with a channel for the elastic so it doesn’t spin round. The channel also adds a decorative frill effect at the top of the trousers, creating a feminine touch. There’s a single pocket for your phone at the front and openings in the leg hems so that cord can be added for a tied up effect.

We have lots of this great material in stock at both of our stores and it’s available in three different coulourway; black, pink and yellow. It’s 112cm / 44″ wide and at only £7.50 per metre the cost of making these trousers was under £15, what a bargain!

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Pattern Hacking

What is pattern hacking? If you make clothes at home, you’ve probably done this already; taking a dress pattern and adapting it by changing the length, or swopping the type of fabric, or even by mixing two patterns to produce a completely unique garment.

Simplicity are running a pattern hacking competition at the moment, based on nine of their current patterns, so get your creative head on for a chance to win a new sewing machine!

There’s a Simplicity Youtube video to give you some inspiration, or just let your imagination run wild – we’ve got all the fabrics and trims you need! The competition runs until 31 january 2020, so you’ve plenty of time to plan and make, but don’t forget that our Simplicity patterns (including the pattern hacking ones) are on sale right now.

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Bags of Choice!

One of our fabulous project books and a handful of remnants is a match made in heaven!

We’ve been busy bundling up more of our lovely furnishing fabric remnants, giving you the chance to grab a piece of beautiful fabric which is just the right size for a craft project, like a bag.

Take a look at our book range next time you’re in the shop, and you may just see the perfect project for that perfect remnant!

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The Sale Rack

We’ve added many new rolls of cloth to our sale rack in order to make room for our new autumn/winter 2019 collection of dress and furnishing fabrics. With a minimum of 25% off our original retail prices and many rolls of several metres you are sure to find your next project requirements here.

If you’re struggling to find anything suitable then have a look at our remanant baskets around the store where we put all of our workroom offcuts and end pieces from the roll stock. There are some fabulous bargains to be had and some good size pieces in there ready to mix and match as cushions or create cool and original bags from.

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New Fryetts Fabrics, Floral Prints and Voiles

We have a lovely selection of new Fryetts and Porter and Stone curtain fabrics in store as sample hangers available for you to borrow and order. We can quote to make up curtains and most soft furnishings with a bespoke fit and hand finished curtains and roman blinds. These are our highlights from the new collections:

Fryetts Peacock – See the picture above for this stunning fabric. We thought it would look amazing with our lovely turquoise pompoms, which can be used as a trim on curtains, blinds and cushions. This fabric is perfect for curtains, roman and swedish blinds and cushions, and can also be used for light upholstery. This means that it is not suitable for items that are used every day like dining chairs or sofas, but would be perfect for instance on a bedroom chair where you will achieve an amazing look.

Porter & Stone Aylesbury – This delicate floral print has a stong cotton weave and can be used for general upholstery. It would also give a really fresh look to curtains in a bedroom or living room.

Fryetts Leon – We liked this fabric so much we bought some stock for the shop! The colour combinations on these ornate leaves and flowers are just lovely with a slight autumnal tinge to the tones, which work so well together. You can buy this online using the links below or visit our stores in Bridport or Yeovil to purchase.

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Fat Quarter bundles

We have lots of lovely quilting fabrics to choose from here at Livingstone Textiles with all kinds of patterns, colours and designs!

We all know that it takes lots of great fabrics to make a fabulous quilt not just one. Choosing the perfect combinations also takes time, so we make bundles of fat quarters with a selection of fabrics that we think look great together. When we do this, we try to ensure that the fabrics all tone in and work to enhance each other to give you a great selection to work with

All our pre bundled fat quarter packs contain 4 patterned and 2 plain fabrics that are all carefully hand selected in house for you. You can if you like choose to create your own fat quarter bundles and select your own 4 patterned and 2 plain fabrics .

Fat quarters are great for quilting but they can be used for many other things like small project such as sandwich wraps or dolls clothes etc… that don’t require much fabric. We also have lots of individual ones to choose from along-side of the bundles.

Currently we have packs of Christmas fat quarters that contain 5 patterned Christmas fabrics! These are great for making Christmas quilts or Christmas decorations and crafts, we will be keeping these topped up in the run up to Christmas.

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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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Poppy Print Blinds

This striking fabric by Prestigious Textiles is a real eye catcher; with it’s big bold colours and large poppy flower print, it will bring a garden freshness to any room.

One of our makers has recently made this up into a roman blind and some scatter cushions for a customer, to personalise their new home, and it looks fabulous! The design is digitally printed and has the effect of being painted with big brush strokes. This fabric is in store at our Bridport shop, and can be brought to our Yeovil store or ordered online.

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New fabrics on our Webshop

We are constantly updating our webshop to include more and more of our stock, so there is a wide range of fabrics and more to choose from and always something new to look at.

The latest additions to our website are these two animal themed fabrics, the first is a lovely simple bumble bee furnishing fabric and the second is a viberant fabric with a stylised woodland theme. They would both be great for curtains, cushions, blinds, bags and more.

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Autumnal Cords

With Autumn creeping up on us, it’s time to start thinking about those warmer wardrobe items. New here at Livingstones we have a gorgeous range of corduroys in rustic Autumn colours, ready to be made into the perfect seasonal outfit.

Most of our cords are 100% Cotton with some that have a small percentage of stretch fibres, making them easy to work with and easy to wear!

We have a choice of larger jumbo cords through to smaller needle cords in great colours. With lots of great patterns to choose from why not come in for some inspiration for some new garments.

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Free lining in Yeovil with Bill Beaumont Fabrics ends soon!

You may have heard our intriguing advert on The Breeze FM this month, and we have had quite a scrum of people wanting to check out our fantastic Bill Beaumont promotion at our Yeovil store.

As the offer of free lining (terms & conditions apply) is ending soon (on 31st August 2019) we thought it would be interesting to learn a little more about the Bill Beaumont brand, which can trace its history back to Victorian times. Bill Beaumont joined the family textile business as when he played rugby in the 70s and 80s it was an amateur sport and even top players needed a day job. Bill bought the firm from the family in 1998, and ran the firm with his wife Hilary until handing over to their eldest son Daniel, who is the sixth generation at the helm. He still runs the company as part of the Al Guthmi textiles group.

What all that means for today is that Bill Beaumont offers a fabulous range of contemporary fabrics at really competitive prices. This month we have an extra selection of sample books for you to choose from and some fantastic fabrics on the shelves at discounted prices while stocks last. Just remember that the free lining offer ends on Saturday 31st August 2019, and is only available on Bill Beaumont fabrics purchased through our Yeovil store.

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Palmero

A stunning new collection of digital watercolour prints for the home. The new Studio G book from Clarke & Clarke is now available in both of our stores and with designs named Sagono, Arielli, Impasto and Tropicana to inspire you, the designs will allow your imagination to run freely and create a space that truly reflects your personality.

Interior design and decoration used to be about recreating a look from a department store or magazine with little thought to your own touches. Thankfully the flounce and frills of Lawrence have long since disappeared and these days its all about expressing your own personality. By creating a space that YOU want to be in, surrounded by things that you love and that mean something to you will make your home design far more individual. If you like dark and cosy colours, embrace what you love and go for bold pattern and dark colours in your new room scheme. Fill your home with plants, natural materials like wood, woven basketry and fur or wool blankets if that’s what you love and proudly place those pictures of your family. If you are a cool and calm personality, pare it right back and go for cool and clean with light colours and space between posessions and furniture to create a Zen space.

All of our staff are super knowledgeable in interior design and colour so dont be afraid to bring in samples of paint, wood and carpet to help give us an idea of your vision, we love helping you to get the right soft furnishings for your home!

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Reversible Denim

We’ve started to order in our new autumn/winter collection of fabrics and there are some exciting things for you to get creative with and we’re starting with this very cool reversible denim.

Following the trend for denim and also checks, we fell in love when the rep showed us all this cloth. Both sides can be used equally and it would make an amazing reversible denim jacket or skirt. We also thought you could turn the fabric over on just some pattern pieces of a garment to create a really funky effect.

This fabric is currently available in our Bridport shop along with many other decorated denim fabrics.

Look out for our massive range of autumn corduroy coming very soon!

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IKAT

We don’t just do curtains and blinds here at Livingstone Textiles, we do an array of cushions. You can choose from zipped, piped, envelope, boxed cushions and chair pads as well. These kitchen chair pads were made with ties and stitched in the centre to create a buttoned effect through this very cool looking Ikat fabric. When you bring us an idea for a project you have been thinking about, our staff and makers will endeavour to create something to fit your requirements and take into account everything you explain to us before helping you decide on fabrics and colours. Pop in to either of our shops and speak to us. We’ll do our very best to help you realise the look that inspires you, all without expensive design consultation fees.