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Thread: Can some one explain the differences please? ( cotton fabrics)

  1. #1
    Gal
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    I know it is because we all live in differerent parts of the world and call things by different names but I would really like to know what these fabrics are called in your part of the world (discriptions etc) so I can work out what you all are meaning. Things like Kona Cotton, what is that? I know about Homespun, Calico and craft Calico, but what about quilters muslin, where I live muslin is so thin you use it to strain fruit when making jam etc, can't imagine quilting with it! I would appreciate it very much if some one would take the time to explain these differences to me. I used to work in fabrics, (all kinds) so I know it is going to be a 'brand thing' and not easily described over QB but it would help me to understand what is being used for the various projects.
    Thank you so much in advance!

    Gal

  2. #2
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    here in US, we'd call your "straining muslin" cheesecloth.

    amateur definition, here. i'm not a fibre or textiles professional. regular muslin comes in all sorts of thread-counts and "weights". to me, it's just fabric that hasn't been dyed or printed. my guess is that "quilter's muslin" has a higher threadcount and tighter weave than "regular" muslin.

  3. #3
    Gal
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    Many thanks Patrice, where I live cheese cloth was a fabric used in the 70's for making 'hippy' shirts and tops, showing my age now LOL. Is your quilters muslin white and or cream?
    Gal

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    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    all the muslin i've seen comes in either bleached (white) or unbleached (natural; varying degress of "cream" ).

  5. #5
    wambrita's Avatar
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    Kona cotton is actually a brand of 100% cotton fabric, produced by Robert Kaufman. From what I'm able to gather, it has a 60 by 60 thread count -i guess per square inch- and is considered a premium fabric. Its quite affordable, well in my shop it is, and if I need a solid, its what I grab.

    I've used it for the last while and I love it. Great texture and shrinkage is very minimal, however it can vary, depending on how you wash it. Last time I preshrank some white, I threw it in the wash with my white laundry -socks, underwear that type of thing- and there was no noticeable shrinkage at all, used the bleach cycle, even threw in bleach!

  6. #6
    Member Mishi's Avatar
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    What we call muslin here in the UK is very thin fabric too. I was told by my LQS that what is called muslin in the US is called calico here - not sure if that helps or not!

  7. #7
    Gal
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    Hi Mishi, that is what I suspected, thankyou, I like to read quilting pattern books/mags etc and whilst I understand the OZ lingo as I used to live there, some of the other names I have come across I am not 100% sure about.

    Gal

  8. #8
    Super Member sewcrafty's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Gal
    I know it is because we all live in differerent parts of the world and call things by different names but I would really like to know what these fabrics are called in your part of the world (discriptions etc) so I can work out what you all are meaning. Things like Kona Cotton, what is that? I know about Homespun, Calico and craft Calico, but what about quilters muslin, where I live muslin is so thin you use it to strain fruit when making jam etc, can't imagine quilting with it! I would appreciate it very much if some one would take the time to explain these differences to me. I used to work in fabrics, (all kinds) so I know it is going to be a 'brand thing' and not easily described over QB but it would help me to understand what is being used for the various projects.
    Thank you so much in advance!

    Gal
    I saw a show on this a while back and I believe for a lack of a better way of saying it, basically all cotton fabric starts out as muslin. Kona cotton is a brand of solid colored fabric, I believe its Kaufman that puts it out. As there are different grades of muslin there are different grades of calicos, etc. Once they become printed on they become something else. I just woke up so I hope this makes sense.

  9. #9
    Gal
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    Thanks sewcrafty, so is Kona the same as Homespun then?

    Gal

  10. #10
    Community Manager PatriceJ's Avatar
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    Homespun is a style of fabric/weave/print.
    Kona is a brand.

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  12. #12
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    Homespun is the exact same color on both sides, it's woven with dyed threads instead of being woven and then dyed with a print.

  13. #13
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    why don't you list the words you need explanations of and then we will define for you.

  14. #14
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    I didn't see a definitation of calico.
    For me calico is an abandonded term. Back in the 70's and 80's it was used to describe a fabric with small floral or geometric prints rather than the bolder designs. I still think of it as being a design reproduced from an earlier time. Homespun is a woven fabric usualy associated with either solids or plaids or strips. Threads are dyed first and then woven rather than printed 9on the fabric. It is available in varying weights. Quilters prefer the more tightly woven types as they do not fray. Also they are associated with more primitative type designs. Printed homespun uses the same base cloth but is dyed and printed with designs.
    There have been several descriptions of muslin. It is like the unprinted cotton fabric and comes in unbleached or natural color or bleached white. Although there have been colors of soft pastels which were great to work with as it gave an old fashioned look. There is another fabric that often is confused with muslin. It is called Ecology Cloth. Is great for quilts and looks a little like unbleached muslin but doesn't have the brown flecks in it.
    the brown flecks in muslin comes from the cotton in which all the seed residue was not removed.

  15. #15
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    Funny, you really never hear about calico anymore, you're right! I read alot of historical books, and they talked about it alot!

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    the best muslin I've found is Rangefinder. Has that old fashioned look and is not thin.

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    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    a regular here hazeljane's Avatar
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    One of the reasons Kona cotton is premium, is that it uses long staple cotton fibers- it gives the fabric a smoother feel, just the same as a premium 200 thread count sheet feels much different than a cheaper 200 thread count sheet- even if they are both made of 100% cotton. It wear better too.

    Calico reminds me of Little House on the Prairie. If any of you remember the 70"s that is the little flowered fabric in small prints that all looked alike and came in ugly colors.

    I have seen even in Joann's solid quilting cotton called "Calico". I think it's a generic term at this point.

  19. #19
    Gal
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    Thankyou Jois for the links, I am not that computer savy yet I am going to study what you have put up. Where I live calico is not printed and it is used for curtain backing and also in a better quality for quilting and craft. The seeded one is my particular old fashiond favourite but you can get several different widiths from 90cm up to 2.50m and many different qualities from cheap (spit peas through) to the craft quality which has a much bigger thread count.
    Thankyou all very much I understand a lot better now.
    Gal

  20. #20
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    thanks for all of the links and comments, I learn something new every day

  21. #21
    Gal
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    Just an up date, I was in a sewing machine shop the other day and they had some 'quilters cotton' in their shop so now I know what it looks and feels like after all this time. Can't believe I have been in fabrics most of my working life and I had never seen it!!!!!! What they had felt so soft and lovely!

    Gal

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