Saturday, December 20, 2014

Where to find coutil in the garment district

We get stuck on names and labels for things. Armed with sewing books, dictionaries and lexicons, we scour the district, searching every store for the thing we've been told we need...


Coutil (or Coutille) is woven cloth created specifically for making corsets.] It is woven tightly to inhibit penetration of the corset's bones and resist stretching. Coutil has a high cotton content. Cotton has good dimensional stability, or a resistance to stretching, which makes it a good choice for such a stressed garment. Coutil may be made to be plain (similar to 100% cotton facing), satin, or brocade. It is common for coutil to have a herringbone texture, or a similar woven texture.
- from Wikipedia

Order coutil via mail from Richard the Thread or Farthingales


Shopper:
"Do you have any coutil for sale?"

Fabric store employee (annoyed):
"Cou- wha?"

Coutil, when sold specifically by name, is a firmly woven cotton with a herringbone weave, used for foundation garments.  

That's why no one knows what you are talking about.  

The fabric is specifically designed for use in corset-making. Can't find it? You'll have a hard time finding a good substitute, although some poeple use duck or twill when they only want to mimic the look of a corset, and not necessarily rely on its functional role in a properly made corset. Word on the street is that it has no equal. It is strong, it breathes, and not many other fabrics will serve as a suitable substitute.

So, where do you find coutil in the garment district?  In my experience so far, you don't!  Order online from Farthingales or Richard the Thread, but get the rest of your supplies right here in NYC.

Now, once you've got the  right supplies to make your garment function as it should, get as fancy as you like with supplies to make it beautiful from some of our favorite garment district haunts:  







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