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  • Fabric of the Future: Tech Fabrics

    Generally when wearing a fabric, we think of covering the body and protecting it from the environment, or as a form of personal expression and style. But the future of clothing is about to change in a big way as smart textiles are paving their way through. The textile industry is about to take a giant step from being a supplier of fabrics to becoming a positive force in the development of society. Textile innovations improve people’s everyday lives and benefit the industry, the health care sector and the environment.

    So what are these Smart Textiles? Smart textiles are the values added on to a garment/fabric which are able to do things that a traditional/normal fabrics cannot. Smart textiles can be categorized in two different ways; aesthetics and performance enhancement. Aesthetic property examples include lighting or gathering energy on the fabric from the environment such as harnessing vibration, sound or heat and then reacting to these inputs. The Performance Enhancement smart textiles provide a huge impact on athletics, extreme sports and military industries. These fabrics will help to measure and improve body temperature, wind resistance, muscle vibration, or measure heartbeats which in all helps to improve performances. This may also be helpful in saving the lives of many individuals. We often hear news about children, students or a player passing away playing football or soccer due to over exhaustion; this can be halted with the use of smart textiles. The health and beauty industry is also taking advantage of these innovations which range from medical textiles to fabric with moisturizer, perfume and anti aging properties.

    Smart Textile It is very clear that smart textiles and technology go hand in hand and that designers approach the design application differently than the technical companies do, which ends up being much more friendly to the end user. Smart Textile Forecasting and keeping these things in mind, Mood Designer Fabrics does carry special end use fabrics such as Antimicrobial Max-Dri Fabrics, Anti-static Fabrics, Reflective Fabrics, Fire Retardant Fabrics, Oil and Water repellent fabrics, Breathable Fabrics, and Wrinkle Resistant Fabrics in their collection. 1) Anti Microbial Fabrics: Antimicrobial fabrics and textiles are fiber-based substrates to which antimicrobial agents have been applied at the surface, or incorporated into the fibers, rendering a product that kills or inhibits the growth of microorganisms and molding for a healthier and more hygienic active lifestyle. Anti microbial fabric   2) Antistatic Fabrics: Antistatic fabrics are those that do not cling; they prevent damage to electrical components to prevent fires and explosions when working with flammable liquids and gases. We do have acetate linings which are antistatic in nature, which will help to prevent static charge generation.Anti-static- 3) Reflective Fabrics: We commonly see reflective materials on our tennis shoes, bicycle wheels, and road signs. But did you ever think you would have reflective materials in your shirts and shorts? They are becoming more and more common in today’s sports and activewear, and they will continue to affect the way we dress, work and play. This has been made possible solely due to the continuous innovation put forth in the science field. Reflective fabrics are known for their ability to reflect the light to the farthest distance possible. These fabrics are also used on the streets; reflectors and alerts are made up of reflective fabric as well as security life jackets. 1112264) Fire Resistant Fabrics: These are textiles that are naturally more resistant to fire than others by chemical treatment or fireproof manufactured fibers. Fabric flammability is an important textile issue, especially for stage drapery used in a public space such as a school, theater or special event venue. Inherently, flame-retardant fabrics such as polyester are commonly used for flame retardant curtains. Fire-resistant-fabric   5) Oil and Water Repellent Fabrics: Water and oil repellant fabrics are the ones were water, mud and oily liquids run off the fabric easily. For clothing that is worn intensively and subjected to considerable wear and tear, an oil repellent finishing is a particularly desired advantage as it means the clothing is hard-wearing and requires less frequent washing. Other common end uses for the oil and water resistant finishes include upholstery, rugs, carpets, uniforms, table cloths, wall paper, etc.Finished Fabric 6) Breathable Fabrics: Breathability is the ability of the fabric to allow moisture to pass through the fabric. If you’re not already on the “LINEN” train, this magical, absorbent fabric is guaranteed to change your life (at least when it comes to those steamy days). Linen is made out of the flax plant, so the fibers come directly from the stalk of the plant, whereas cotton is just the fluffy part of the flower. So linen has more structure and holds its shape better than a lot of other flimsy fabrics — it stands away from the body and therefore isn’t as clingy. It’s ultra-breathable and lightweight, and the looser fit designs also allow air to flow for even more comfort. The only flip side is that because linen holds its shape and wrinkles quickly. Look for a linen-cotton blend if you’re searching for a more office-friendly fabric. 104446 7) Wrinkle Resistant Fabrics: Wrinkle resistant fabrics are the ones that resist creasing. While natural fibers aren’t usually wrinkle-resistant, cotton and other fibers can be specially treated to prevent wrinkles and save you time and effort during the clean and care process. Wrinkle Resitant 8) Narrow Fabric: Narrow Fabrics are something that we daily come across. From clothing to interior decor, these fabrics have became the integral part of the lives. There are several types of fabrics such as synthetic fabrics, natural fabrics and many more depending upon their designs and usability. Narrow fabric is also the most commonly utilized fabrics in our daily lives. 108345 9) Stretch Fabric: Stretch fabric refers to materials which contain one way or four way stretch (according to Mood's terminology); one way stretch stretches in one direction, usually from selvage to selvage, and four way stretch stretches in all directions. Stretch fabric simplify the construction of clothing. First used in swimsuits and women's bras, fashion designers began using them as early as the mid-1980s. Entering the mainstream market in the early 1990s, stretch fabrics are widely used in sports wear. FR20622 10) Crewel Fabric: A wide range of crewel fabrics come from Kashmir in north-western India. Because of its versatility, a crewel fabric is widely used for the manufacturing of curtains, light upholstery, bedheads, cushions, bed covers and so on. Due to its longevity, exquisiteness and with its aesthetic appeal, crewel fabric has been ruling the international market. Crewel Fabric 11) Quilted Fabric: Quilted fabrics are layered materials consisting of two or more cloths that encase a filling and are stitched together to form a puffy unit. Quilted fabrics are generally made for products like bags, clothing and mattresses. Quilted fabrics can be a blend of any fiber whether it be cotton, polyester, silk, or wool. At the same time, quilted fabric has been innovated and modernized in its composition and design. Quilted fabrics are available in countless colors and shapes. Other reasons for the popularity of quilted fabrics is its unlimited usability. Quilted fabrics typically require less maintenance as they are easily washable and dry-able. 111305   12) High Tech Fabrics- When clothing gets wet from perspiration it sticks to the skin and hinders the evaporation process. The evaporation process keeps our body temperature at its appropriate level to keep us cool in the summer and warm in the winter. When we work or play outside in the cold or heat, our body temperature heats up, causing us to sweat. The sweat soaks into our clothing, causing it to stick to our skin and hindering the evaporation process. The wet fabric lies on our skin, keeping us cold or hot even while we continue to work or play hard. To combat this, we have "Wicking". Wicking fabrics move sweat away from the body to the fabric surface where it evaporates. As a result it keeps athletes dry and comfortable. 308548   After going through the blog, we hope you get a general idea of what should be expected of our upcoming fabrics in the near future. Apart from just covering the body, these fabrics do a lot of work you normally wouldn't even dream of. So stop wasting your time. Make these high defined fabrics a part of your world by shopping our Tech Fabric selection at www.MoodFabrics.com.
  • The Nitty Gritty of Leather in the City

    In the broadest sense, leather refers to a material created by tanning an animal hide. Characterized by both the type of animal skin used and the tanning or manufacturing method, we are left with many options. Here at Mood we strive to source quality leathers that are not only durable but more importantly, unparalleled. With so many applications for leather including clothing, footwear, luggage, bookbinding or even a drum, a little direction can go a long way in your selection process.

    Leather Study

    Types of Leather: Cow or Cattle Leather- One of the most widely used leathers as well as the most durable for daily rugged use. Perfect for heavy-duty motorcycle jackets or even a full body suit often referred to as your leathers by motorcycle enthusiasts, cow leather is one of the thickest hides. Due to the thickness of cowhides, this is the ideal weight for shoes, upholstery, and other items that require stiff leather. Naturally dirt and water resistant, cow leather is easy to care for. Crocodile Leather- Renders some of the most attractive and fashionable accessories as it is strong and durable, yet supple. A bony layer down the spine creates a protective shield completed by a dimple on either side giving an incredibly exotic look to this skin. Create textured belts with the spine detail or a sleek pair of driving shoes from the vast expanse of hide. Deerskin Leather- One of the thinnest large game leathers and posses an affinity for breathability. Characteristically smooth and supple, dear skin is ranked as the third strongest leather on the market allowing you to create durable wares that will last a number of years if properly cared for. With such a soft texture, work gloves, moccasins and satchels are often made of this material as it often begins to form to the wearer. Relatively easy to care for, cornstarch of baby powder can be used to remove grease or oil, take care as to not work the stain further into the hide, but rather brush the excess grease or oil that has been adsorbed by the powder. Note: Deerskin is the only leather that can get wet and still dry soft. Goatskin Leather- Heavier than a lamb leather and generally better suited for more strenuous wear. Golf gloves are often made of this material, as it is abrasion resistant and rather durable. Goatskin leather is often stretched into parchment in order to create and conserve quality pages for record keeping books. Goatskin in particular, generally features a natural unusual grain reminiscent of an old world charm. Goatskin is easily split and shaved to create leather that is perfect as a summer weight and easily manipulated into a close fit. Lambskin Leather- Lamb is soft, buttery and lightweight, making it easily formed to the body. Considering how thin it is, lambskin remains extremely insulative and protective in colder climates in addition to standing up in negative temperatures better than any synthetic fiber. Lambskin is easily worn in, making it the best option for a second skin. Considered the most delicate of leathers, lambskin garments should be stored in a way that they are not hung to stretch. Lizard Leather- Recognized for its distinct pattern and texture, lizard leather has become highly sought after for shoes, handbags, belts and wallets among other accessories. The minute grainy scales of a lizard add to the allure of this rare leather since it is only available in small hides. The scaly nature of this skin makes it stiffer and a great option for belts and watch straps. Pig Leather- Known for its deep hair follicle pattern, which consists of small pores roughly grouped together in sets of three. Typically dense and tough, this type of leather is similar to cowhide in that it is longwearing when properly cared for. Due to the aforementioned qualities, pigskin has become a popular choice for fashion garments, boots, and even equestrian applications. With a high lanolin content, pigskin remains naturally water resistant and supple after dampening.   Finishes: Leathers can be finished in a variety of ways whether they are stamped, laminated, coated, waxed, embossed or painted. Each imparts a novelty pattern to the leather that adds character and consistency to the face of the hide. When left natural, many hides will display slight imperfections that are easily noticeable, so with the addition of a finish this can be corrected or improved.   Crackled- After receiving an initial coat of paint, a thin compound is brushed on causing the paint to produce a crackled effect. Dyed- Many leathers are only surface dyed, however others require completely penetrated dyeings.  Leather is also easily surface stained, dip dyed and washed. Embossed- A raised pattern is pressed into the leather, this can be done by machine as well as by hand with metal tooling. Reptilian and floral prints are often embossed onto different types of leather. Laminated- A composite of two or more layers of leather, or a layer of leather and one or more layers of another sheet of film. The laminate accounts for greater than 30% of the leathers overall thickness, often ensuring that it is water repellant. Metallic- This is a foil coating that is pressed into the leather, typical colors include variations of gold, silver, pewter and bronze. Nappa- Refers to a particularly soft, chrome tanned, smooth leather from different types of animal skins. Consisting of full-grain leather and processed with the utmost attention, nappa leather is of the highest quality. Nubuck- Cowhide leather that has been rubbed on the outer side of the hide to give it the feel similar to suede. Printed- Similar to fashion fabrics, leathers can be printed on in a variety of ways including digital textile printing, roller printing, screen-printing or stencil printing. Special dyestuffs are used as they are specific to leathers. Stretch Leather- Incredibly thin and comfortable , this leather has been bonded to a stretched piece of lycra allowing a garment to retain its shape through repeated wear. The look of leather with the benefit of lycra, the amount of stretch will vary due to composition. Suede- Refers to leather that has ben brushed and rubbed to make a velvety nap.   Leather Tools: As leather is a thicker material than most fashion fabrics, specific tools are needed to properly work with it. Many every day tools and notions are used to sew leather, however each utensil is made of a sturdier construction to easily cut and sew through hides. An awl is one of the most prominent leather working tools as it is used to puncture through multiple thicknesses of leather in order to then sew the project with a leather needle and extra strong or upholstery thread. Rather than cutting leather with a pair of scissors, a rotary cutter and cutting mat are often used for neat edges and accurate cuts.
  • 10 Reasons Why You Should Take A Sewing Class

    KK-class Noted instructor and couture designer Kenneth D. King teaching a seminar at Mood NYC.
    1. When you learn in person from a respected teacher it sinks in more and sticks in your brain
    2. You have the opportunity to ask one-on-one questions of the instructor, so you get personalized advice
    3. You can learn from experts about specific topics, such as lingerie, swimwear or lace
    4. Seeing a demo in real life beats watching a video tutorial any day
    5. Instructors bring samples with them, which you can examine up close
    6. Sometimes instructors will go off-topic, but in such a way that you ending learning even more than you anticipated
    7. Other students will often share tips and insights that you can borrow
    8. A good instructor will inspire you and encourage you in ways that you can't glean from a book or video
    9. Taking a class is a great way to meet fellow sew-aholics and fabric junkies
    10. People who take classes from experienced instructors are better sewers (Ok, we don't have any statistical proof for this one but we're confident it's true.)
    Why are these people smiling? Because taking sewing classes at Mood LA is so much fun! (Aren't you glad we didn't write "sew much fun"? We resisted the urge.) Why are these people smiling? Because taking sewing classes at Mood LA is so much fun! (Aren't you glad we didn't write "sew much fun"? We resisted the urge.)

    Mood Fabrics LA has an incredible sewing school area, complete with Janome sewing machines and more. This store offers a wide array of classes, from free beginner sewing classes to specialized topic classes, like fashion illustration. Kids as young as eight can also take children's and teen sewing classes at Mood LA. Classes have been enormously popular at Mood LA since the new location at 645 S. La Brea Avenue opened earlier this year.

    Mood Fabrics NYC, while it doesn't yet have the space for a classroom with sewing machines, does offer a wide array of sewing and design seminars taught by industry professionals. Upcoming classes at Mood NYC include basic fitting techniques, sewing swimwear, pressing like a pro, and the birth of a bustier. Kenneth D. King, Susan Khalje, Sarai Mitnick, Sarah Veblen, Emily Blumenthal and Brett Bara are just a few of the noted instructors who've taught here.

    (Personally, I saw my own sewing competence increase dramatically after I spent four days sewing under the guidance of Kenneth D. King and Susan Khalje at one of their sit-and-sew sessions. It was like I finally abandoned the bunny hill and started skiing on the black diamond slopes. I sit in on as many of Mood's seminars as I can, just to keep learning and fine-tuning my sewing skills.)

    Have we convinced you yet to venture out of the comfort of your sewing area and take a class? We hope so! Check out page to see our classes in NYC and LA. And don't wait too long to sign up, as classes fill up quickly. [NOTE: If you have trouble with this link, which is happening in some mobile environments, please go to moodfabrics.com and scroll all the way down to the bottom. Click on "CLASSES." This will bring you to the right page to see NYC and LA classes.]

    Hey, leave us a comment here letting us know what classes or seminars you'd be interested in taking. We're always open to suggestions!