Friday, February 27, 2009

Kids Clothing- Importance of Patterns and Designs


For a considerably long period of time, kids have been subjected to wear mini versions of adult clothing. Clothes, specially designed and patterned for children, the kids clothing, is not a very old development. It only started in the early 1800s but was a big industry by 1900s. Certain developments like those of elastic waistbands that were attached to the kids bottoms like pants and skirts, also triggered the fast development of specific children's clothing.

What is most important in making kids clothing are their patterns and designs. Designs are created around some basic concepts that include comfort, safety, and looks. Comfort is very essential as children are movement prone, they play and move around continuously. If hampered in their activities, they become irritable. Safety is also important. Their skin is very soft and tender, therefore, chemically safe dyes, soft or brushed materials are used for making kids sleepwear and other clothing. Also they are unaware of any hazards like that involved in using drawstrings that can even strangulate them. Kids clothes manufacturers are aware of all these facts and take ultimate precautions by using specialty fabrics like fire & water resistant fabrics etc. and including safe patterns that keeps away from hazardous patterns.

Apart from safety and comfort, other factors are also considered while designing kids garments. For example, kids grow very fast and the clothes are not so fast perishing items. These garments are always passed on to younger siblings. As such, most of the quality garments manufacturers keep such features as extra-long hems and cuffs. For making them durable, seams are also oversewn.

As far as looks are concerned, no other clothing is decorated with trims and accessories as the kids clothings are. Laces, ribbons, appliques, bows, designer buttons & zippers and what not, all are included in the design of kids garments. In fact, pattern making for children's clothing is the most important consideration in the manufacturing of kids clothing

Thursday, February 26, 2009

Popular Handmade Carpets


Carpets and rugs have come to occupy a coveted place in our lives and homes. Carpets are handmade as well as machine made. Handmade carpets are more beautiful and sophisticated than the other ones. These carpets are given various designs and patterns by weavers through great skill and workmanship. It usually takes several months to complete a carpet of exceptional quality and value.

Two types of handmade carpets are particularly popular worldwide. These are the Persian carpets and the Oriental carpets. Persian carpets generally have two parts- the field or the central part and the borders. Geometrical, floral as well as medallion designs are used extensively in these carpets. They are hand knotted carpets which are tied with a single looping knot. The finest carpets may contain more than 50 knots per square cm. An average Persian carpet too has about 30 knots per sq. cm. Apart from the number of knots, the quality of a Persian carpet also depends on the knot density. The higher the knot density, more fine and expensive the carpet will be.

Carpets made in the Asian countries such as Turkey, India, Tibet, Nepal, Pakistan, China etc. are known as Oriental carpets. These are also hand knotted carpets. The most popular designs found in the oriental carpets include the Persian designs, the Turkoman allover designs, geometric and plain tribal designs. They are mostly made from natural fibers, especially wool. Strands of wool yarn are looped around the warp threads and knotted thereafter. The number of knots range from 20 to 600 per sq inch and can go upto 1,000 in the finest oriental carpets.

Handmade carpets, when categorized by origin, are known as Persian or Oriental Carpets. However, when studying carpets by weaves, they can be categorized into hand knotted, hand tufted, hand woven, braided and felted carpets. All of them can lend a great personality to our homes.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Indian Stone Crafts


India has always been a land of art and crafts from ancient period. Stone craft is the most primitive form of handicrafts. India has a rich tradition of stone-craft. Different types of stones like, marble, soapstone, sand stone are used by craftsmen in India. Stone craft in India is not only restricted to ornate carvings on temples or sculptures of deities, but it is also used in making items like carved panels, tiles, paper weights, pen stands, models of historical buildings, sculptures of animals and humans etc.

Indian Examples of Stone Crafts

Representative of growth of civilization, stone has splendid bequest in India. Stone muses the most lasting medium of India's art and craft linking ancient traditions to present surroundings apparently fading distance between ages for which craft has existed in India. In India , various fine examples of stone crafting are there such as Ajanta caves, Buddhist carvings, carving done in temples at Puri, Bhuvaneshwar and Konark.

Variety of Stones

Stone crafts make use of different varieties of stone available in various colors such as Cobble, Fieldstone, Heritage, Lake stone, Ledge stone, Monarch, Quartz, River rock, Top rock and many more. Taj Mahal is one of the best and exquisite example of stone craft in India. Other places which are very much popular for their stone crafts are Karnataka, Orissa, Gaya, Jaisalmer, Bihar, Gujrat, Agra, etc.

The art of making multi layered decorative items out of one single piece of stone includes carving, inlaying engraving, sculpture and undercutting. Previously, the carvers were having only the hammer and chisel at their disposition for these operations. Now, market is well equipped with new machines, and well developed craftsmen who are quite efficient in carving various sizes and shapes of semi precious as well as precious stones.

Microfiber Fabric- The Miraculous Cloth for Cleaning


Most of the cleaning cloths are not upto the mark in the sense that either they don't wipe away dirt particles, oils & grease fully or leave lints on the cleaned surface. The invention of microfibers in Sweden in the mid-1980s had solved these small looking but great problems regarding cleaning. Microfibers are synthetic fibers that are made of polyester, nylon or such other polymers. The Microfiber fabrics are exceptionally strong and super fine - four times finer than wool, three times finer than cotton and twice as fine as silk.

Microfiber fabrics are great for cleaning purposes- residential or commercial. They are extremely dense and have lots of small nooks and crevices that allow them to hold water up to seven to eight times their own weight. Further, due to their electrostatic properties which attracts dirt, fats or grease, the dirt gets collected on the cloth and stays there only. As the dust particles do not float in the air, they are a boon to allergy sufferers. They also pick up bacteria from the surface which is being cleaned and reduce the number of bacteria by 99% whereas a conventional cleaning cloth reduces them only by 33%.

Microfiber products used for general cleaning are made from split conjugated fibers of polyester and polyamide and those used for commercial cleaning are made from 100% polyester microfiber. These fabrics are exceptionally soft and hold their shape well and have exceptional ability to absorb oils. Although microfiber mops are more costly than conventional mops, they are economical as they last for longer and require less effort to use, leading to labor saving and cost saving.

From being used as cleaning cloth only microfiber fabrics are now used for many other products including apparel garments, upholstery, blankets, bed coverings, sportswear etc. due to their characteristics softness, durability, strength, easy maintenance, water resistance and moisture wicking ability.

Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Textile And embroidery Crafts


Textile crafts are highly demanding and popular around the world for their aesthetic appeal and intricate embroideries. Indian textile are famous in the ancient period as well as now we have vast number of trade links with the outside world. India has fertile, plentiful and rich tradition of textiles and embroidery craft. Different areas specializes for different textile in terms of weaving patterns, techniques, designs, colors and texture. Some of the various popular textiles crafts incorporates Batik, Block printing, Indian hand looms, Cotton, Silk, Wool, Textile design, Phulkari Art, textile fabric, etc.

Design and Techniques

Textile and embroidery crafts are the most ancient form of hand-made crafts. The designs, pictures and images of these crafts are created by stitching strands of some material on to a layer of another material. Textile artists work on non – woven traditional material like leather, felt as well as non traditional material like plastic etc.

Previously hand embroidery is done which is applied without the help of sewing machine or tools. But now, it is replaced with machine embroidery which saves hard work and time. It is done on individual pieces as well as mass clothing products.

Major Producer from India

Textile and embroidery crafts are extremely popular among people, since they came into existence. Some places such as Gujrat, Kashmir, Rajasthan, Kutch and Bhuj are globally known as the major producer of these crafts. These places are famous for their intricate patterns, silk embroidery and other works which are considered as combination of technique and style.

Focused Textile Knowledge


Knowledge is empowerment. This is applicable to each and every field- including textiles. Whether you are a textile industrialist, a textile student or a textile researcher, you need to have knowledge about textile. However, knowledge has many branches. Some information may be essential from economic, social or technical perspective, while others might be apt for artistic, cultural, historical or political purposes. So what type of knowledge is required for, say, a textile manufacturer or a textile retailer or even a textile collector or a student?

Textile Processes: Anyone who is into making or studying of textiles, must know the basic textile processes. These include processes such as spinning, weaving, dyeing, knitting etc. involved in making basic textile materials such as fibers, yarns & threads, fabrics & apparels etc. In fact, it includes all the processes in the whole journey of fiber to garment. Apart from basic processes, there are advanced textile processes too that needs to be known, depending upon individual requirements. What is required by a textile student doing research on fibers may be different from the requirement of a textile manufacturer producing a technical textile.

Market Reports, Reviews and Trends: Textile manufacturers, suppliers, wholesalers, retailers, dealers etc. are the part of textile products supply chain. They need to know about technologies, lifestyles, markets, products, prices, competitors, supply/value chains, strategies, business models etc. for taking sound business decisions. The key to success lies in the willingness and capability to adapt and grow in sync with the environment.

Academic Reports: As the market reports are essential for textile traders, academic reports- regarding different facets of textile- are important for textile students and researchers. These reports equip them for their successful future. Academically sound information is also important for others who are interested in textile in other ways such as for textile artists, collectors of various historical or antique textile etc. In fact they might be interested in other academic documents telling about different facts of textile for ex. important textile personalities.

Other Helping Tools: In today's highly specialized environment, information only about textile will not do. Textile traders work globally now. A garment manufacturer may make clothes in a country having summer season but his target consumers may be situated in a country experiencing winters. So he must know the temperature over there. Further, average length and weight of population differ from country to country. Different countries use different weights too, like kilograms and pounds. So, textile traders must also have knowledge about weight, length, temperature and such other conversions. However, access to tools like conversion calculators make their task easier.

There are many ways to access knowledge. There are books, journals, magazines, newsletters, and other textile publications. Then there are several textile organizations and associations who facilitate dissemination and exchange of information through seminars and conferences. Further, many textile specific websites have well built up knowledge center that give all textile related informations. It's all upto you, which media you choose to access information as per your requirement. For more Read

Monday, February 23, 2009

How to Care for Textile Furnishings


Fabrics intended to be used for home furnishings are quite expensive and as such they can not be replaced frequently. Select furnishing fabrics according to their intended usage. For example, when buying for sofa in the family room, where it will have maximum usage, fabric should be durable and stain resistant such as nylon, olefin, polyester or rayon. Cotton, too, is durable but is not so much stain resistant. However, the soft feel of cotton and linen provides comfort and they can be used as upholstery in the interior rooms where they'll not be used so often. Here are some other tips for caring and cleaning your upholstery.

Read the Labels: Always read labels to know the manufacturer's care instruction so that you may properly clean the fabrics without damaging them. Usually, all precautions needed for textile care is provided through symbols indicating whether a fabric can be washed, bleached, ironed, dry-cleaned or tumble-dried. Follow the instructions for longer life of your upholstery.

Clean & Care for Home Furnishings: Regular cleaning & caring is essential for all home furnishings.

  • Vacuum blinds and curtains, including linings, once a week to avoid building up of dirt on them. Use an upholstery attachment for this. When cleaning delicate fabrics, stretch muslin over the nozzle. Get them professionally cleaned every 2-3 years.

  • Never use a vacuum cleaner to clean feather or down cushions as it will damage the fillings. Don't use soap or detergents on fixed covers as they may cause colors to bleed.

  • Except when labeled as washable, always dry clean the loose covers. Cotton or linen covers can be hand-washed but don't rub the fabric. Squeeze it gently, and rinse extremely well. Avoid drying in direct sunshine or tumble drying, instead dry flat. Iron covers lengthwise, on a very low heat, while they are still damp.

  • Keep leather upholstery away from sun, if not possible, protect with curtains and blinds. If scratched, rub it over with a wet cloth to make the scratches less visible. To wipe away spills, moisten the entire surface evenly & lightly and allow drying naturally. Don't apply direct heat.

  • Steam clean the trimmings, including tassles and fringed trimmings, on soft furnishings. Keep it gentle. Use soft artist's brushes to dust rosettes and ruched braids.

  • When dry cleaning, always clean the whole set to avoid uneven color change.

  • Turn the cushion covers regularly for evenly spread color fading. Also change their places as some of the seats are more used than others. This'll ensure even wear & tear. Stashing some cotton terrycloth towels under seat cushions can efficiently deal with unexpected spills.

  • Don't pull or cut any loose threads. Using a needle or pin, gently push the thread back through to the underside of the fabric.

Spot Cleaning: Use fabric protectors that help in keeping spills from being absorbed into the fibers right away. Anyway, its not enough. Blot any spills immediately with a clean towel. Never rub, only blot gently. Sometimes this is enough to get rid of the stain completely, especially if the fabric has been pre-treated with a fabric protector. If using a fabric cleaner, always test in an inconspicuous area before using. Follow manufacturer's instructions regarding water based or solvent based cleaner. Try to use a mild cleaner. Apply with a soft brush in a circular motion to work into the fibers, then vacuum when dry.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

How Footwear Companies make Shoes


Footwear was invented for protecting our feet. However, it has now become one of an essential fashion accessories. Made of a variety of materials like leather, plastic, rubber, fabrics, wood, jute, and metal- it can rightly be said the garment of our feet. Shoes are only one of the many categories of footwear that includes sandals, boots, slippers, and many others.

If you look at your shoe, you can see that it has many parts- sole, insole, outsole, midsole, heel, and an upper part that is called vamp or simply upper. These parts can be easily identified. The exterior bottom part of a shoe is the sole. The interior bottom of a shoe, directly beneath the foot, is its insole. The layer of the shoe that comes in direct contact with the ground is its outsole. There's also a layer between the outsole and the insole. It is the midsole for shock absorption. The rear part at the bottom of a shoe is the heel. The upper part of a shoe that helps in holding the shoe onto the foot is the vamp or the upper. Shoe has other parts too, such as lining, tongue, quarter, welt and backstay.

Shoes were originally a handicraft that was adopted as a profession by many. However, nowadays, shoe making is a large industry which works with specialized footwear making machines. A footwear company has four departments in which a progressive route is followed for making shoes. These are- Clicking or Cutting Department; Closing or Machining Department; Lasting & Making Department; and Finishing Department & the Shoe Room.

In the Clicking or Cutting Department, the upper part of the shoe is made by cutting leather in perfect shape. In the Closing or Machining Department, the component pieces are sewn together to produce the completed upper. Both these works are conducted by highly skilled workers and machines. In the Lasting & Making Department, the completed uppers are molded into a shape of foot with the help of a “Last” which is a plastic shape that simulates the foot shape. A strip of leather or plastic called welt is sewn onto the shoe. The upper and all the surplus material is trimmed off the seam. The sole is stitched together with the welt. The heel is then attached which completes the “making” of the shoe. In finishing department, shoes are given an attractive finish by staining, polishing and waxing. In the shoe room, an internal sock, having the manufacturers details or a brand name is fitted into shoe.

Shoes are made for each and every size of feet. If you go by the sizing guidelines sizing guidelines you can find that perfect shoe which you'll feel has been made just for you!

Friday, February 20, 2009

Inflatable Boats – Made For Adventure and Safety


Man has always been adventurous. He also loves water. Due to his fascination towards adventure and water, man has invented many things including inflatable boats. These boats are used for various thrilling water sports as well as for recreational purposes. In fact, they have a variety of uses such as for rescue purpose, as tenders for larger boats and ships in ports and at sea, as dive boats for scuba diving, for commercial or recreational fishing or for military purposes, such as transporting soldiers from a vessel to shore or vice versa.

There are many types of inflatable boats, of which rafts and kayaks are the major ones. Specialty fabrics are needed for making these boats as they have to be strong and, more importantly, safe. Not only fabrics, these boats are made out of strong plastic materials too. Modern inflatable boats, however, are commonly made from PVC or Hypalon.

The large and lightweight kayaks are made with great care. After all, it is an issue regarding safety of life. The main process included in its making is that of molding. The hull or the shell is molded in thin-walled aluminum molds with a mixture of powdered polyethylene plastic and coloring agents. The mold is carefully rotated and heated so that the melted plastic converts into a solid layer attaching itself to the mold. It is, then, gradually cooled off to get a hardened structure of a kayak. Sometimes, more than one cycle of heating and cooling is required for making a proper and safe kayak. The seat and the other components are assembled manually. Rigorous quality control is exercised while making a kayak.

It is very important for the manufacturers to make safer boats for the users. However, it is equally, rather more important, for the users to follow safety tips in order to get overall pleasure of kayaking or rafting or any other water sport or recreation. So, happy kayaking and be safe!

Thursday, February 19, 2009

Clay and Terracotta Crafts


Clay and terracotta crafts possess a rich tradition in India. They, both, compliment each other because for making crafts, a mixed paste of both is required. For earthen wares, terracotta crafts uses clay which are also signified as building material. This art, along with its continuous history of preceding centuries, incorporates ideas which are based upon an explicit understanding of the human form. Indian manufacturers are highly skilled in making terracotta crafts.

Induction in Ancestral Era
Since ancient period, Clay and Terracotta crafts has been practiced and applied. This form of handicrafts came into existence since Harappan civilization. Terracotta and Clay craft is probably the oldest form of mans creations. It is as though as man came across nature and he was stirred by its challenge.

Indian manufacturers of crafts, either make them by hand or on wheels. After that, they are fired in an open oven. The surface is, then, itched and polished with the help of stone or wood to give a final finishing. Clay and terracotta crafts has kept the age old tradition alive.

Varieties of Utility and Decorative Crafts
These masterpieces have find their application in many areas. For example, they are used for adorning and adding grace to the house. Some figures can be placed in religious places especially in rural parts. Initially, used for basic needs, they have now maintained their pride for exciting interior decor. They can also be used as a gift item to present to your loved ones. The various variety of clay and terracotta crafts includes flower vase, candle holders, hanging pots, wall, hangings, planters, bells, etc. Terracotta tiles have also gained immense popularity worldwide. Various beautiful sculptures and paintings are also carved out of clay.

Perfect Clothing for Your Body Shape


Whatever body shape you've got, you can make the most of it just by choosing the right clothing. Although beauty is what we believe to be, without going by any kind of set standards. However, If you might need to know what the current stereotype of a ‘perfect’ female and male body is?

For females, a ‘perfect’ body is a moderately tall and vertically balanced body. For males, it is considered to be tall with a balanced vertical body and a trapezoid torso - broad shoulders & chest tapering to medium waist & hips. If you don't have that perfect body- most of don't have it- no need to worry, just determine what your body shape is.

Determine Your Body Shape: Assess your vertical body proportions- the proportion of the bottom half of body as compared to the top half. Measure your full height and the height to your hip-line. Hip-line is the circumference around the hips where your bottom is fullest. Then determine where your hip-line comes in proportion to your height. Both males and females will fall in any one of the three body types,- Short Legs & Long Torso; Equally Measured Legs & Torso or the Balanced Body; and Long Legs & Short Torso.

Short Legs & Long Torso

Do's: Dress for drawing attention to your shoulders and face. You'll be fine with short to medium-long tops, layered tops- might tuck-in tops but only if you don't have a big tummy. Medium or light tops with dark pants or skirts and wide belts will look good. Straight skirts and straight or boot-leg pants are good. Men should wear pants, socks and shoes of same color. Heels should be medium to high and pant hems to the ground.

Dont's: If you are short in height, avoid long tops, pants or skirts with dropped waistband. Tight or tapered skirts & pants and also the cropped pants are a straight 'no' for you.

Balanced Body

Do's: Draw attention to your shoulders and face. Wear medium-long, untucked tops. If tops and bottoms are in same color, it's better. Such tops and dresses that flow through the waist and straight or flared skirts, will also look good. Go for skirts and pants with narrow or no waistband. Waisted, low-rise or hipster pants, all are good for you.

Dont's: Avoid short or empire waist tops & dresses as also wide belts. Pants or skirts with high waistband will also look odd on you.

Long Legs & Short Torso

Do's: Draw attention down by wearing such skirts or pants that have border prints and medium-long to long accessories, of course, if you are not short. Wear dark color tops and skirts & pants in lighter shades. If you are short, wear tops that are no longer than knuckle length. Tops should be worn untucked and if these tops or dresses flow through the waist, it's great. Skirts & pants with narrow or no waistband, straight and flared skirts & pants or low-rise or hipster pants, all are for you.

Dont's: Avoid pin stripes, short tops, empire line tops & dresses, wider belts, tapered pants and skirts or those with a high waistband.

Now also do some color analysis to look your best!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Fabric Welding- For Neat, Durable and Specialized Sealing


We all love to use latest products. The ones that have unmatched features. A trendy jacket that is water resistant, abrasion resistant and that doesn't show any seam. An attractive tent for the evening party and yes sans all those lose threads at seams that look so ugly. A safe and secured inflatable boat that doesn't allow any water inside, after all it's the question of life and death! Have you ever thought, how these products are made so durable, safe and at the same time neat and attractive? Its all because of fabric welding-the technique of joining fabric pieces by using heat and pressure- without any sewing, seam taping or gluing!

The heat sealing technique of fabric welding has been made possible by thermoplastic coatings on fabrics, such as polyvinylchloride (PVC), polyurethane (PU), polyethylene fabric (PE) and polypropylene (PP). Whenever, a fabric has to be made water resistant, abrasion resistant at the seam, resistant to thread decay and also to give attractive appearance, there is no better method then fabric welding. There are basically two types of fabric welding- Dielectric Welding and Rotary welding.

In Dielectric Welding, a die is lowered onto the fabric pieces that are supported by an underlying base plate after which a timed pulse of radio frequency energy is delivered between the die and the base plate. The fabric gets heated to the point where it melts the thermoplastic coating temporarily. As a result, the pieces of fabric are fused together. The die is then lifted and new pieces of fabric move into position for getting welded.

In Rotary welding, the fabric pieces move continuously through the welding area, usually pulled along by a pair of drive wheels. Heat is delivered through heated metal wedge or hot air. This is done immediately before the fabric passes between the drive wheels wherein welding pressure is applied which heat seals the fabric.

Many other welding technologies are included in these two basic methods of welding, knowing about which is really interesting.

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Jute Fibre Handicrafts


Jute handicrafts are perfect products for home decoration. Every piece represent excellence and skill of the artisan who transform naturally occurring jute into beautiful crafts. Widely considered as the most durable and inexpensive handicrafts, these items carry high aesthetic value.

About Jute Fibres

Jute is also known as golden fibre. It is a natural occurring fibre with golden and silky shine. Procured from the skin of plant's stem, it is the second most important vegetable fibre in terms of usage, production, availability and global consumption. Jute is the cheapest and most sought after material for handicrafts because of its low extensibility, high tensile strength and better breathe ability. Jute handicrafts are ideal for home and office decoration.

Jute Articles

The wide variety of jute handicrafts includes Jute Wall Hangings, Jute Coasters, Jute Table Mats, Jute Hammocks, Jute Lamp Shades, Jute Stationery, Jute Napkin Rings, Jute Jewelry Items, Jute Mats and many other articles. These pieces reflects an aesthetic appeal and traditional craft skills that has helped them to carve a niche all over the world.

Jute handicrafts are especially practiced in rural areas. Because of bio-degradable and renewable nature of jute, they are highly demanding across the world. In addition to this, jute is considered as golden fibre which is the cheapest as well as most qualitative among all natural fibres.

Popularity of Jute Handicrafts

Jute handicrafts is gaining immense popularity day-by-day into many domains of aesthetic activity. A large variety of handicraft items are being carved out of jute. The array includes wall painting, doll, table lamp, toys, gift items and other magnificent decorative pieces. Each piece of jute handicrafts are combined with beautiful embroidery to enhance the entire look. They are perfect for decorating any place as they impart a modern feeling to any interior be it a home, office or hotel.

West Bengal is the largest jute producing state in India. Bihar and Assam are on the 2nd and 3rd position for manufacturing jute handicrafts. Representing the true essence of Indian craftsmanship, jute hand-crafted items has many advantages over synthetics due to recyclable nature of it.

Embroidery Threads – A Comparison of Available Varieties


Beauty attracts all. This is the reason why man tries to make everything beautiful. Clothes are no exceptions. Different techniques are used to decorate them. One of the oldest of these techniques is embroidery that never goes obsolete. The most essential and one of the basic needs for embroidery is the embroidery thread. , what are the currently available different types of embroidery threads for making our clothes beautiful!

There is the rayon thread that is sometimes compared with the silk thread due to its sheen. Silk threads are very costly so rayon substitutes it, although not with the same majesty. The silk thread is reserved for luxurious fabrics only. Rayon thread has become the most popular embroidery thread due to its great sheen, good availability, and trouble-free performance. Although, they do not break while high-speed stitching yet very fine threads are not so strong as the polyester threads are.

Polyester threads are fast replacing the rayon threads as they are more economical and durable. They don't fade or shrink. Their sheen fall between that of rayon's and cotton's but this thread stretches more than the cotton thread. Cotton thread, which was not preferred for embroidery in the recent past, has come to take an important place too. The mercerized cotton threads are soft, have enough sheen and perform well due to its good tension adjustment quality. However, it can't be stretched too much and also fades and shrinks easily.

Then there are certain specialty threads like metallic threads, mylar threads and the special- effects threads. Metallic thread has a core wrapped with a metal foil which can be treated with silver alloy, polyester film etc. to make them stronger. However, they need to complement the machine type for a hassle free embroidery experience. Done that, these threads can bring out immense beauty to fabrics.

The glittery mylar threads are cut from plies of layered films put together. They have unique color features, sometimes holographic hues, which pick up light and color from surrounding objects and make the embroidery spectacular. Different special effect threads give different character to the embroidery such as crewel-like or fluorescent neon effects. Some of them change their colors when exposed to sunlight, and some others glow in the dark.

That was a little effort to study the various embroidery threads available currently. However, a good embroidery project not only requires right kind of embroidery threads but also right design and fabric.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Corsets - Achieving Perfect Figure


Everyone wants to look good with a slim figure. This desire is not new. In earlier days, corsets were worn as a personal garment in order to mold and shape the torso into a desired shape. However, modern corsets are fashionable garments- usually tops or dresses, but the underlying desire remains the same- looking good and in shape. Although, they are most popular among women, corsets are liked by and available for men too.

How Corsets Enhance Body Shape

Corsets are designed to draw in the waist and flatten the tummy. A corset also supports the back of the wearer. A properly fitting hourglass shaped corset reduces the amount of pressure on the lower back, thereby avoiding discomfort. It helps in improving the posture by keeping it upright and thus modifying figure, carriage and movement of the wearer. If someone wants to use corsets for extreme figure correction then the techniques of tightlacing or waist training has to be followed.

Corset tops with skirts or a corset dress give a perfect shape to your body. In fact, corset dresses have been favorite with brides and all those who want to hide their body flaws on special occasions. If, anyway, you are wearing a corset under your clothes then, a simple corset, without bulky exterior lace trims, is best for you.

How to Buy a Corset

When buying a corset, right size is what matters. Corsets are usually sold in waist sizes, in 2 inch increments from 18 inches to 40 inches depending on the style. The corset having measurement 4 inches under the natural waist measurement is what any one will need. For example, if the measurement around the narrowest part of relaxed waist is 30 inches then a corset in size 26 inches is required.

Measurements should also be taken properly. Measure around the fullest part of the bust, the narrowest part of the waist (high waist directly under the rib cage) and around the top of hip bones. Don't pull the measuring tape too tightly, and always measure more than once for accuracy.

How to Wear a Corset Comfortably

A well-made corset fits comfortably at the ribs and hips and gently compresses only the waist, thus making you breath easily. To have total comfort, don't lace the corset too tightly during the first several wearings. Corsets mold naturally with time so as to hug the body curves. Always lace down just less than you feel you can tolerate. Take special care of the skin under the corset. If possible, powder the skin all around your torso before you put on the corset. If you plan to wear the corset more often, then also consider wearing a camisole, bodystocking, chemise, or leotard to help prevent chafing when the corset is laced. A tube top pulled down around the waist is also advisable if you want that nothing shows over or under the corset.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Tips on Caring for Carpets and Rugs


Carpets and rugs not only act as floor coverings but they lend beauty to our homes. Over time, they get dirty and are subjected to premature wear and tear due to many reasons. However, with proper care and maintenance, many more years can be added to the life of these rugs and carpets.
Do regular vacuuming: Clean the carpets and rugs regularly and vacuum more often- at least once a week, more frequently in heavy traffic areas. It prevents buildup of gritty debris that can cut up carpet fibers. Use moderate suction and a covered nozzle. Vacuum in the direction of the pile. For older and more fragile rugs, a small hand-held vacuum cleaner is enough. Avoid vulnerable areas like fringes. Regular carpet cleaning without dangerous chemicals is also advisable for their longer life.

Use rug pad or carpet underlay: A good underlay or underpadding gives protection and prolongs the life of a carpet or rug by allowing them to lie flat and evenly. Underlays must be 1/8 to 1/4" (3 to 6 mm) thick and should be large enough to extend to the edge of the carpet. Avoid underlays having self-adhesives or the ones made of foam, synthetic rubber, vinyl, jute or recycled felt. Check them periodically. If damaged or degraded, replace them.

Reduce Traffic: The best way for this is to avoid walking on them which is almost impossible. So, try to limit the amount of traffic by placing rugs towards one side of the room instead of putting them in front of doorways. Turn over or replace carpets periodically, say in a year or two, so that the damage is evenly distributed. Although carpet protectors, made of plastic strips or heavy woven canvas can protect a carpet from heavy wear, they can be a tripping hazard.

Avoid Indentations: Shoes or heavy furniture can cause permanent indentations in a carpet. Use furniture glides or cups under the legs of heavy furniture. If possible, reposition furniture periodically. Alternatively, move the furniture now and then and dab an ice cube on the spot until the fibers bounce back. Then dry with fan or hair dryer. Remove outdoor shoes before walking on a valued carpet. Stiletto heels are a complete 'no' as they can pierce holes through the carpet. To remove temporary indentations, work the carpet back in place with fingers or with the edge of spoon, dampen the area in question a little, and heat the carpet with a hair dryer.

Handle and Store Carpets Properly: Never fold a carpet. Always roll them up. Don't dump them under the bed, or into an attic or basement. Make the rug or carpet clean and dry before being rolled for storage. Place it face down on the floor. Cover the back with acid-free tissue or pre-washed cotton muslin and then roll from the top of the carpet, in the direction of the pile, onto a wide diameter tube. Cover this carpet tube with Mylar (polyethylene) plastic sheeting or pre-washed, unbleached muslin and then tie lightly in several places with wide cotton ribbons. Always store the carpet off the floor, hung on bracket supports that should touch only the ends of the tube.

Remove Stains Immediately: If a liquid has spilled over it, blot it with tissue paper or soft cloth. Never rub the area. Once the liquid is absorbed, if a special cleaning solution is to be used, first test it on an inconspicuous part of the carpet. If the solution proves to be safe to use, try to use the minimum amount possible. Always work from outside of the stain toward the center to prevent any spreading. Ensure drying up the area with a hair dryer or fan when you are finished.

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

Warping- The Soul of Textile Construction


When we set to select a textile, we consider many facts- color, texture, feel, looks, drapability and many others. Have you ever thought how much efforts are put in by the textile weavers to make that fine textile? We all know that weaving and knitting are the two major methods of fabric construction what gives the fabric its quality is how carefully it has been warped? Now, what is warping then? 'Warp' is the set of yarns that are laid out first on a loom or frame and 'Weft' is the yarn that is woven under and over the warp yarns that are already stretched onto the loom. Thus, textile warping is the process of creating the base yarn that runs top to bottom on a woven cloth.

The basic two types of warp knitting machines, Tricot knitting machine and Raschel knitting machine, that are equipped with compound needles have made textile warping a very easier task than it was when done on looms.

Yarn preparation is very crucial for weaving and knitting. In some cases, the ends of yarns can be fed directly off cones into theknitting machine and in some others, the yarn ends are fed off warp beams. A warp beam is a large spool holding all the warp yarns in a parallel wind for weaving. The quality of a warp beam is crucial for determining the quality of the knitted fabric. Variations in yarn thickness, tension, twist and other such issues might produce a defective fabric. If utmost care is not taken then it results in many warping defects such as lapped ends, bulges, broken ends, excessive or insufficient number of yarn ends, frequent yarn breakages, improper length of warping, coarse knots and many more. In most of the cases, warping mistakes are nearly impossible to correct during the knitting process.

The two basic methods that are used to prepare the warps for the knitting machines are- Indirect Warping and Direct Warping. Indirect warping involves winding of yarns from the yarn packages onto an intermediate cylinder (mill) in many parallel groups with a specific density after which they are back wound onto the warp beam. In direct warping, the yarns are wrapped in one operation, from the yarn packages onto the warp beam.

Bell Metal Crafts


Crafts made up of bell metal are called Bell Metal Crafts. In India, metal alloys have been in use for ages. The art of making bell metal crafts, was first started in Kerala. This art was applied skillfully to produce items both for aesthetic and utility purpose. People of Bihar, Orissa, West Bengal and Madhya Pradesh also get engaged in making extensive crafts. In many Indian states, bell metal casting is essentially an art of making crafts by the tribal people. But now-a days, this art form is being exercised by the non-tribals as well.

Popularity of Bell Metal

Bell metal is one of the most popular metal for making crafts. The alloy of bell metal consists of 77% copper and 23% tin. Bell metal craft is an integral part of Indian ethos and is being used for manufacturing variety of handicraft items, both for utilitarian and aesthetic purposes. Indian artisans produce bell metal crafts with breathtaking designs and beautiful patterns. This metal is so popular because of its certain special features for example, food kept in bell metal utensils will not get spoiled. In some states such as Bengal and Assam, it is traditional utility cum gift item.

Artifacts Manufactured

Bell metal is one of the most demanding materials for making crafts due to its unique features. A wide gamut of handicraft items can be fabricated out of this metal such as Photo frames, Jewelry boxes, Agarbatti stands, Baskets, Diyas, Bells & Chimes, Lamps, etc. Figures of animals, kalash, sindoor dan, water pot, tray, lota, bells, draggers, swords, kitchen utensils and many more can also be seen in the market.

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Mattress for a Good Night's Sleep- How They are Made


A good quality mattress is very essential, not only for sound sleep but also to be fit. When a mattress is made with utmost care, it is neither too hard nor too soft. It has the right mix of comfort and flexibility to support our spinal curve. A mattress can be said to be a quality product only when it keeps our back in a natural position thus avoiding any kind of health hazard. Mattress manufacturers have to be very vigilant while making mattresses. Let's see how it is made?

The most prevalent mattresses, today, are basically of two types- innerspring and boxspring. The main components for innerspring mattresses are wires that are used to make springs and a semi-rigid netting or wire mesh called insulator. Apart from insulator, there are cushioning layers that can be made of any material such as natural fiber, polyurethane foam, or polyester. Then there are flanges made of fabric, and the hogs rings of metal. Top, bottom, and side panels of a mattress is made of a durable fabric cover quilted over a backing of foam or fiber. The binding tape that holds the outer mattress cover together is made of heavy-duty, fibrous, synthetic material.

The insulator and the cushioning layers are affixed to the innerspring unit- a series of wire coils. The insulator is fitted directly onto the innerspring and prevents the next layer i.e. the cushioning, from molding to the coils. The cushioning layers can differ in number from mattress to mattress, ranging from 2 to 8 layers and from 1/4 inch to 2 inches in thickness. The fabric flanges are the connecting panels that are attached to the quilted mattress cover with large, round staples called hogsrings. The top, bottom, and side panels of the mattress are stitched together with border tape.

Some manufacturers also make foundation mattresses or boxsprings that lie directly beneath the mattress, resting on the frame of the bed. Some of them have spiked coil configuration where springs or torsion bars are used for giving support. In others, springs are not used and they are made of wooden frame only. Boxsprings having spiked coil design are most commonly available. The boxspring can be upholstered. Even if no upholstery is used then also it always gets a fabric covering.

If we follow certain mattress guidelines, then we'll surely get our due sleep comfort.

Monday, February 9, 2009

Valentines Day- Right Dress For Right Occasion


In my last post, I have written about valentines dresses that are appropriate for age groups- for teenage, adults and elderly. However, it's not all to know what dresses are suitable for our age. It's equally important to know as to what dress is appropriate for which occasion. If we don't think about this then it might so happen that we end up being uncomfortable or out of place. And this is the least rather 'not at all' wished circumstance we want to be in- not so on the special valentines day dates! So, what to wear on valentines day!

If you are going for a daytime date, you should avoid bright colors while choosing your dress. On a casual date, any thing which is comfortable such as a good pair of jeans and a t-shirt is fine. Girls should avoid high heels when going for such casual dates.

Boys should select pastels such as light blues, creams, or browns for a lunchtime date on valentines day. Jeans or baggy pants with turtleneck or v-neck t-shirt is good enough for them on casual dates.

For evening dates, women should go for prom dress, preferably in black or red. It may be teamed with healed footwear.
For a formal party, knee-length skirt and fitted peasant blouse is good for women. For a dinner date, black jeans or trousers with a maroon or wine colored t-shirt or a shirt are great for men.

For a formal party, black suit with plain shirt is best for them. If you are going to dance away the valentines night then glamorous look is what you need. Girls can opt for tank tops with cigarette pants and stilettos paired with dressy boots. Boys can wear their khakis or cargo, with a round neck or v-neck t-shirt to the discotheque.

That was about valentines day dates and about what to wear on such dates. Some girls might be thinking of spending the day at home with her special someone. So what to wear when greeting him at the door- ideas are many. You can think some of your own too!

Friday, February 6, 2009

Handmade Paper Crafts


Handmade paper, as the name implies, is a variety of paper made by hands. Making crafts from handmade papers is one of the oldest craft making material. It is an innovative and artistic medium in itself. Handmade paper crafts are ever green decorative items and perfect to gift to please your loved ones. Previously, designing of handmade paper was done with the help of various cotton rags or vegetables fibers. But now, the art of making handmade paper crafts has completely revitalized.

Paper Crafts Evolution

Handmade Paper-crafting has been around since ancient period. The name paper comes from the word “Papyrus”. The scrolls of papyrus were made by taking slices of the inner part of the papyrus stem, flattening then pounded into a hard, thin sheet. China was the first to start making crafts out of handmade paper. Gradually, it spreads through Mid-East to Europe.

Handmade Paper crafting also helps in forestation and de-forestation. Handmade Paper, itself, is an excellent example of recycling. There can be numerous variety and applications of paper pulp and handmade paper.

Varieties of Handmade Papers

Different types of handmade papers are being used such as Handmade plain paper, Jute paper, Embroidered paper, Embossed paper, Millenium paper, Leaf impression paper, Tie Die paper, Screen print paper, Crocodile paper, Silk paper, Flower paper, Handmade Batik paper, Leather paper, etc. to make various crafts.

Types of Crafts made by Handmade Paper

Handmade paper is quite popular materials for making a concourse of decorative crafts like greeting cards, carry bags, Art portfolios, Gift boxes, Wallpapers, Pen stands, Tissue boxes, paper holders, File Cover, Diary, Paper bags, Note pads, Envelops, Visiting Cards, Letterheads and many more. These handmade papers can be availed in numerous colors so that one can choose a crafts of his choice.

Valentines Day Dresses For All


Love is in the air. Valentines Day is not very far away. I bet everyone's thinking of how this day can be made special? Dressing up for Valentines day becomes an all engrossing but a much desired activity which is looked forward for. Whether choosing a dress as a gift to someone or selecting one for own use, this should be done with a lot of thinking. So, what are the dresses that are on minds and on shop racks for all? Come, let's see!

Clothing includes a wide range of apparels. What is suitable for an age group might not go with the taste of another. So, it's always advisable to select what is preferred by the one whom you are going to give the gift. And when you are buying a dress for yourself, how can you just forget the trends. After all you don't want to look out of place, do you?

Valentine's Day Dresses for Teenage

For Teenage Girls: These 'full-of-life” girls look for stylish and trendy dresses. If thinking of getting casuals then go for some trendy tees and jeans. Girls look beautiful in colors, so don't hesitate to experiment with colors. If opting for the formals then a ruffle dress with fringe trims and spaghetti straps, halter neck or even strapless will be adored by girls. The latest trend, of course, favors the bubble dresses. It might be a hem or a tube dress, with halter neckline or strapless, in velvet or satin, with animal prints or polka dots, a bubble dress, in anyway, is rocking. And if your valentines day celebrations include fancy dress parties then there is no less options to choose from. There are attractive cupid dresses with tank tops, corsets, stockings, halo, wings etc. Then there are look alike dresses similar to Goddess Aphrodite and Venus. There are many such valentines day costumes that you can find just by browsing the net a little.

For Teenage Boys: These boys always prefer comfortable yet trendy casuals. So tees and jeans are the hot favorites with them. And yes, before I forget, pink is the hot color for boys this season, so don't shy away from this color. The real fun for boys is when it comes to their fancy dress costumes. So, girls, if you have taken the burden to select a one for him, link this costume with his dreams and make him, at least for an evening, what he wants to be! Get an airline pilot or ships captain fancy dress for him. Give some air to his fantasies and buy a batman or superman dress. And if you want to be mischievous then get a Horny Devil Costume, of course, if you don't mind be with a one on Valentines Day


Valentine's Day Dresses for Adults

For Women: Whether teenage or a grown up, women love to dress up. So there's no dearth of beautiful dresses for them. They have on their minds- a prom dress, an evening gown, a cocktail dress or any other formal party dress. Prom dresses are a rather much favored dress- it can be any thing- a strapless, halter, beaded, or embroidered prom dress. Short dresses are also popular with them. A short satin or velvet dress- sequined, ruffled, or beaded- is simply loved by them. Same is the case with evening gowns which can be a satin gown with soft net overlay or a ruffled halter evening gown.

For Men: For daytime outings, men always like to wear pastel shades such as light blues, creams,and browns but for a special evening like that of Valentines day, they prefer black jeans or trousers paired with a maroon or wine colored t-shirt or a shirt. However, for a formal dinner, they obviously prefer formals- a black suit, with a plain, bright shirt. A silk necktie will complete the looks. They can always be gifted with a clean pair of denims with turtle neck, round neck or a v-neck t-shirt. They'll love it all the year round.

Valentine's Day Dresses for Elderly

For elderly women: While looks of the clothes remain important, elderly people always prefer comfort in them. Back open outfits that can easily be slipped on are the best choice. For women, such back open blouse will do well. Skirts that are not too tight and have Velcros or push buttons on the side, instead of zippers and buttons, are loved by them. And yes, they do not need to be boring. Comfort can always accompany fun and fashion.

For elderly men: Polo shirts or dress shirts are best options for elderly men. Paired with dress pants, they give the perfect look. For not-so-aged people, formal suits with a slightly loose fit can also be comfortable. Wrinkle resistant fabric that never needs ironing are preferred by them. Interesting patterns and cheerful colors & prints lift their spirits and create a sense of well-being. These stylish dresses are a perfect fit for the adorable elderly.

Thursday, February 5, 2009

Cane and Bamboo Crafts


In ancient times, Handicrafts was a form of art practiced for the sustenance and livelihood of humans. Cane and bamboo craft has always been a part of Indian culture. They are being used to make many decorative items, among which mats and baskets are quite popular. Now-a-days, different furniture items are also made from bamboo and cane.

In India, Cane and Bamboo craft is the oldest known form of making crafts. It was first practiced in Goa, and then in Andra Pradesh. Cane baskets are used to carry rice and other things to the market to sell them. Assam, then, transformed cane baskets to furniture. Being one of the oldest creation by men, these handcrafted items are considered as clean and pure for religious purposes. This form of handicraft was also found in Sikkim, Mustoh, Kamrup, Sibsagar, Belonia, etc.

Varities of cane and bamboo :

The most widely used variety of cane and bamboo for manufacturing different hand-made items are -

* Variety of cane : Barjali , Harua , Golla , Sundi for making baskets and furniture.

* Variety of bamboo : Jati , Tita and Lejai for making different item.

Prominent Places :

Here are some Indian states which shows there proficiency in cane and bamboo crafts.

* Orrisa : Decoratie items and furniture

* Manipur : Famous for its dome shaped baskets.

* Arunachal Pradesh : Bamboo bridges and cane belts

* Tripura : Musical instruments and fishing devices.

* Assam : Baskets & mats

* West Bengal : Flooring mats & Hukkas

* Tamil Nadu : For grass mats

Fashion Clothing: What Fashion Designers Offer You


So, you are all set to go to the fashion boutique! The boutique referred by your friend. May be a fashion store or an apparel retail store. But do you really know, what type of fashion garment are you going to buy? Or you just remember what your friend said, “Oh that store is fabulous! It has such a vast collection of haute couture!” Do you exactly know what is “ haute couture” and do you really think that your 'good fat wallet' is enough for getting haute couture apparels? You might be thinking, “what a silly question? Of course, I'll come to know that. After all, what are the labels for?” Come, lets see whether you'll be able to differentiate between the haute couture and other garments or not!

Types of Fashion Designs

Fashion designers usually depend upon textile designs to set their fashion collections as unique. These designs are the work of trained textile designers who design fabric weaves and prints for clothes and furnishings. There are essentially three categories of fashion design.

Haute couture: The high-fashion clothings, haute couture, is originally a French term meaning 'high sewing' but today it has come to represent high end fashion clothing which can cost anywhere between few thousands to few lacs of dollars. Created for specific clients with "made-to-measure" technique, they are usually made from high-quality, expensive fabric and sewn with great attention to detail and finish, often made with time-consuming, hand-executed methods. What is important in them is look and fit. Cost of materials and the time to make them doesn't matter- they can go to any extreme. In fact, Haute couture is a protected term which can only be officially used by companies that are the members of and meet certain well-defined standards set by the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture. Many ready-to-wear, and even mass market labels, claim to manufacture haute couture but according to established standards, they do not.

Ready-to-wear: These garments are not made for individual customers, but then also, much attention is paid to select the proper fabrics and their cuts. To maintain exclusivity, only a small quantity of such garments are manufactured and as such they are comparatively expensive but not like haute couture. They are produced as ready-to-wear collections and presented during fashion weeks, usually twice in a year. These collections can be under fashion designers own labels or under label of any fashion company for whom designers have made it. They can include anything from day wear or evening wear for men, women, teenage, lingerie, sportswear, bridal wear to even accessories.

Mass market clothing: As the above two categories come in very high and high price ranges which can be afforded only by a small section of consumers, the fashion industry mostly depends on mass market sales. This market presents a very wide range of ready-to-wear clothes in large quantities and standard sizes. Most often, cheap material and simple machine production techniques are used but the designs represent creativity. This helps in producing affordable fashion for all. The designs are, however, adapted form the trends set by the famous names in fashion. As such, they hit the market after a season or two.

Hopefully, now you know what you can get in the fashion stores and how to differentiate among them. Happy shopping then!

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

Flame Retardants: Making Textile Safer to Wear


With highly specialty focused environment everywhere- in office, home, hotels, hospitals, everywhere- the need of protective clothes have increased like never before. Textile is highly prone to fire but we can't, in any way, do away with them. They are needed to make garments, as home furnishings, and for making other textile products. What can be done, at the maximum, is to make them lesser prone to fire, that is to say, to make the clothes flame resistant. Flame retardants are used by the fabric manufacturers for achieving this aim.

flame retardants are materials that inhibit or resist the spread of fire usually through three methods- by using inorganic materials such as asbestos, glass etc; by chemically treating the textile with flame retardant chemicals; and by modifying the polymer. They can be categorized as Brominated flame retardants, Chlorinated flame retardants, Phosphorous-containing flame retardants, Nitrogen-containing flame retardants, and Inorganic flame retardants.
The flame retardant chemicals, applied to fabrics, inhibit or suppress the combustion process at different stages like during heating, decomposition, ignition or spreading of flame. They can act physically and/or chemically for resisting fire. This is done through various mechanisms such as by cooling endothermic processes triggered by the flame retardants, by forming a protective layer, by diluting the fuel in the solid and gaseous phases by reacting in the gas phase, or by reacting in the solid phase through breakdown of polymers. The flame retardants are applied to fabrics through conventional padding and many other methods.
Whatever the process followed for making flame resistant fabrics, it is true that if they were not there, the risks to our lives would have increased manyfolds. However, nowadays, everybody seems to be concerned about whether flame retardants are harmful toxins or not? Many flame retardants have been banned for use in many parts of the world. Textile industry is continuously engaged in research for finding more and more environmental and health friendly flame retardants.