Tuesday, August 30, 2016


I noticed one of my favorite exclusive fabrics from India being fabricated in our Wesco Fabrics Custom Workroom. Our pattern, "San Saba, color Ancient Silver", is a  modern style jacquard woven clip design of linen & cotton. I walked from our "Fancy department", where we make Roman shades, valances, cornices, and bedding, over to our adjacent custom drapery workroom and guess what I saw?

...another of our fabrics woven in India, pattern "Perpendicular color Taupe." 

Walking back to the office I spotted a valance in production out of "Twist Me Around color Pearl." And yes...it's from India as well. All of this in one day! Let me share our evolution in fabrics woven in India.

We carried dupioni & shantung silk plains for many years, but it was at a fabric show almost 20 years ago where a "light bulb" lit up for me. I saw a booth with unusual hand-woven silks geared to the fashion apparel industry. I thought "Why couldn't we bring these in for designer oriented draperies, pillows, and shades?" The fabrics had a fresh artful quality and I just knew they would be great. And great they were! The biggest problem we had was educating our designer clients about all the idiosyncrasies of hand-woven fabrics! The fabric shown on the right is "Armani color Blue" part of our first foray into fashion fabrics....for the home.

India has a hand-woven textile tradition going back thousands of years. Today, there are still millions of hand-weavers producing fabrics for apparel, upholstery, pillows and the bedding industry.

The majority of hand-woven fabrics are used for clothing. Indian women love colorful, traditional styled sarees. Most sari fabrics are hand-woven silks woven by over a million weavers. Visitors to India are immediately impressed with the kaleidoscopic array of vibrant colors!

With the cost of exotic hand-woven silks skyrocketing, many silk companies added machine woven jacquard fabrics made with varied yarn combinations such as linen, cotton, viscose, and polyester. Our customers loved these designs and sales really took off! Our "Designer Favorites" sample book from our Gentry Collection contains our very best selling fabrics and many are imported from India's finest textile mills.

Our "Designer Favorites" also include three exotic Indian silk fabrics which have remained in our "top-seller" lists. At the top is "Intoxicating, color Reggae", a silk shantung with a vertical velvet embroidered applique. In the middle is the coordinate, "Diamond Anniversary, color Bronze", a silk shantung with a velvet diamond embroidery. At the bottom is "Headliner, color Multi", a delicate hand-woven silk with multi-hued stripes.

Marla chats with one of our long-term suppliers of fabulous fabrics from India. We were both visiting the trade show booth of a major decorative Indian textile mill at Heimtextil in Frankfurt Germany.

***Take a look at my Youtube video on our evolution of decorative fabrics from India.

IMAGES: All images by Dick Gentry

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