The threads that connect us all

No matter where your address falls relative to the equator, there will come a time when an extra layer of warmth is required or appreciated. Winter is also a time when less sunshine can equal a glum mood. Unique Batik has remedies for both winter’s chill and the winter blahs and it all starts with fabric.

For centuries, layers of fabric has been used to create both practical and artistic clothing and quilts, but without local fabric stores, it wasn’t an easy process. Fabric yardage was costly and not as easy to come by before the 20th century. Dying techniques required specific plants to produce individual colors – through the 1920s, colors known as cheddar yellow, Turkey red and indigo were common. Most of the botanicals needed for fabric dying grew in only one part of the world, adding import cost to the finished product.

High cost and relative scarcity meant that quilters had to be creative when sourcing materials. Even the most worn items of clothing were re-cut and stitched into quilts. The industrial revolution was a seamstress’s dream come true as more colors became available. Fabric also became much more affordable and plentiful.

Among the many textile-related myths through the ages is the one about flour- and feedsack fabric. Many grandchildren remembered stories their grandmothers told about making clothing and quilts out of flour- and feedsacks that mysteriously were made of decorative fabric. Eventually the story became one of poverty and despair (families so poor that they made clothing out of feedsacks).

The truth is more about the power of advertising premiums. Just like the toy inside the cereal box, flour and livestock feed producers lined their sacks with attractive sewing fabric. But more than one sack was needed to create an entire dress so excess flour and feed was often purchased.  Dresses, aprons and quilts made of flour- and feedsack fabric is a slice of true Americana and an item in mint condition now fetches a high price.

Unique Batik features a wide variety of fabric and textile items. Sewing is a craft that remains popular as both a hobby and a livelihood.

Our Quilt Wallhanging does double duty as a throw or a wallhanging. Bright colors also make up for lack of sunshine. For little ones that find geometric combinations stimulating, our Crib Quilt can also provide warmth or a fascinating focal point on a nursery wall. For quilters and sewers that find happiness in creating their own masterpieces, our batik fabric from Ghana is available by the yard.

But it’s our vast selection of bags that is sure to brighten even the darkest days. Created with a wide variety of techniques – from crocheting and embroidery to weaving and quilting – it’s a rare item indeed that won’t find its perfect bag match.

Brilliant hues, warm layers and fashionable details can all combine to keep your mind off the temperature and cloudy days. Fabric has brought comfort to many people over time and continues to illuminate every day.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s