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Thread: Shirtings - What Does This Mean?

  1. #1
    Super Member DonnaB's Avatar
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    Shirtings - What Does This Mean?

    I have a class coming up, fabric requirements list "tans or shirtings" fabric, I have no idea what that means? Can anybody help? Is it like cotton, or a shirt?
    Retired & enjoying life

  2. #2
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    You had better call and find out for sure what they mean. I would hate to spend money on fabric just guessing on what the instructor wanted. Tans sounds like a color. Shirtings sounds like a light weight fabric for men's shirts. Neither is anything I've heard of in any quilting book, magazine or discussion. Let us know what the definition turns out to be.

  3. #3
    Super Member Gladys's Avatar
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    Yes please let us know. I have a ton of shirting material that was cut from shirts. I did it sitting in the nursing home with my sweet aunt. Wondering what to do with it. Most of it is 100% cotton but I know a lot of shirts are made from a poly cotton combination.

  4. #4
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    Isn't it just a lighter weight fabric to use for shirts?
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

  5. #5
    Super Member jitkaau's Avatar
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    My guess would be that it is the sort of plaid material that men's shirts are made from, but suggest you check. Nobody will think any the less of you if you ask.

  6. #6
    Senior Member sarahrachel's Avatar
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    I'd like to know as well because I'm doing a mystery quilt (pattern online) and it calls for a light colored fabric and suggests shirtings or pastels. I picked a color that would work with my focus fabric though but am considering starting another one as well
    It's not a mistake, it's an unconscious decision to change the pattern.

  7. #7
    Super Member Chele's Avatar
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    The mysteries I've done that called for shirtings, meant lighter colors of quilting cotton. Whites, creams, light tans. They could have small prints too. This blog has a photo: http://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2011/...-progress.html

  8. #8
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    it is best to be safe and contact the shop or the teacher. the term shirting can be misinterpreted. To me it is not a term that is generaly used and identification known. If I went out and look for it I would relate it to the shirt fabric made and worn in the early 1890's - a reproduction type fabric. So everyone may have a different take on what the word means. It is better to describe the pattern and color. This is what causes confusion with students.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Drue's Avatar
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    The shop providing the class should know that info for you and also have the fabrics you need. Good luck
    Those who are piecemakers will sew seeds.

    Hugs,
    Drue

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    I was looking for shirting fabric and was told it was white or off white with a small print on it. I looked in 2 different shops and one didn't have it and the other had a couple. It seems to be hard to find. I thought that I would look at the Salvation Army Store. They had lots of shirts, but they were $4.99 each. Thought they were kinda expensive. Then thinking about it--did I really want to use shirts that were worn? I decided to go with white on white and ecru prints. I needed 9 yards of assorted fabrics. The difference is, I knew what the quilt looked like. I would ask at the shop where you are taking the class. They should have the fabric.
    Sue

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    This is a good mystery to start your day. Do share with us when you find out for sure. To me "shirtings" covers any fabric a mans shirt would be made of and that covers a world of yardgoods.

  12. #12
    Senior Member CarrieC's Avatar
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    If you live near an Amish community, their dry goods stores will many times have shirtings. I believe a shirting is defined as "a material for making shirts, especially a fine cotton in plain colors or incorporating a traditional woven stripe" and that coincides what I've used in working on recreation costumes.

    All that said, I agree with most people above and would call the store/instructor and ask.
    Carrie, Queen of the Seam Rippers!

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    To me, shirtings prints were allways small (what I call "ditzi" prints) on white, off-white, tan or cream. Sorta of like some of the 30's prints.

  14. #14
    Super Member Peckish's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chele View Post
    The mysteries I've done that called for shirtings, meant lighter colors of quilting cotton. Whites, creams, light tans. They could have small prints too. This blog has a photo: http://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2011/...-progress.html
    Quote Originally Posted by sandy l View Post
    To me, shirtings prints were allways small (what I call "ditzi" prints) on white, off-white, tan or cream. Sorta of like some of the 30's prints.
    I agree with both of these statements. You probably won't find these types of fabrics in a LQS that caters to the "modern" quilters, but you should find them easily in the civil war/repro type of LQS. I know of one shop locally that has them in stock on her clearance shelves, it's a bummer she doesn't have an online shop!

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    Senior Member AnitaSt's Avatar
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    I agree with the descriptions from chele and sandy and peckish. Moda has a line of fabric (a couple of years old now) called Shirtings 1875-1900 designed by Terry Clothier Thompson. I have yardage of a couple of the prints....they are small theme prints on a light background. The one I bought the most of has a very small red and blue baseball design....hands holding a bat and also a ball on a cream background.

    I've read that these prints were very popular as men's shirt fabrics during the late 1800's as engravers and fabric designers developed techniques to make these tiny prints look realistic. The sports themes were very popular in that period. There's a PDF from Moda with a little history and display of the fabrics in the Shirtings line. I have some of the bicycle print too and it looks very cool in small pieces. Here's a link to the PDF: http://www.unitednotions.com/fcc_shirtings_1875_1900.pdf

    A
    nita

  16. #16
    Super Member Scissor Queen's Avatar
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    It's 100% cotton used to make men's shirts. The fabrics most commonly called shirtings are white with little outline designs. If you google "shirting quilt fabric" you'll find several for sale on various websites.

  17. #17
    Member Neanie's Avatar
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    "Shirtings" refers to reproduction fabrics which have a light background with small print. You can see pictures of them at this link.
    http://www.hickoryhillquilts.com/shirtings.htm

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    what is the type or name of the class you are taking. i'm curious as to the class and the use of "shirtings"

  19. #19
    Super Member karenpatrick's Avatar
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    Shirtings are white or off white 100% cotton quilting fabric with a small stripe or pattern in it that looks like you could make shirts out of it. No big mystery. It's just what the name implies.

  20. #20
    Super Member DonnaB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Holice View Post
    what is the type or name of the class you are taking. i'm curious as to the class and the use of "shirtings"
    Such a nice response from all for this question for me. The class is called "The Chicken Coop", 30" square wall hanging, made with nine-patch blocks with black and white squares, alternating with pieced and appliqued chickens - real easy chickens made out of stash scraps. Add woolen pieces for combs and beaks.

    I've emailed the teacher, but no response yet, for clarification of these "shirtings" fabric.

    Sounds like I can use the 100% cotton with very small patterns on the white, but anxious for the teacher's explanation, for such an old term. Will let you all know.
    Retired & enjoying life

  21. #21
    Super Member DonnaB's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Chele View Post
    The mysteries I've done that called for shirtings, meant lighter colors of quilting cotton. Whites, creams, light tans. They could have small prints too. This blog has a photo: http://www.diaryofaquilter.com/2011/...-progress.html
    Thanks Chele, for the blog pic's, now I have a clearer view of what shirtings could be.
    DonnaB
    Retired & enjoying life

  22. #22
    Junior Member SandyQuilter's Avatar
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    Shirting fabrics refer to men's shirt-type/design fabrics. However, they can now be bought in standard quilting weight cottons. Usually the design is woven into the fabric rather than printed on the surface.

    SandyQuilter

  23. #23
    Super Member #1piecemaker's Avatar
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    I haven't got a clue. I would definitely ask.
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  24. #24
    Member angther's Avatar
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    Shirtings are also used a lot for rag quilts, because, like flannel, they fray nicely. Just be prepared for a lot of "lint" in the dryer for the first few washings.

    sherry

  25. #25
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    I've seen Joann ads for "shirting" fabric. You could go there and check it out.
    Sally

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