Today’s blog post features a very exciting company I had the pleasure to visit recently; Maltings Fabrics.
It’s funny how life seems to be full of connections. We all have people we know through friends of friends, acquaintances of relatives, and people we may make the acquaintance of through our professional life. Today, with the ever increasing popularity of social media, these connections can now spread further and wider than ever before. I commence this post by talking about connections, as one such connection is exactly how I came to know of Maltings Fabrics.
One dull, cold day in January, Maltings Fabrics followed me on Twitter. Usually, I do not pay much heed to my Twitter notifications, but the name Maltings rang a bell in my mind. So; spurred on by my curiosity, I clicked through to their profile to see that the company produces reproductions of authentic textiles and fabrics. Of course I then clicked straight through to their website – and what a joy to behold! As their tagline (which I have also used in the title of this post) states – Maltings Fabrics specialise in early 20th century authentic reproduction textiles.
The website features various fabric prints, all of which are available printed onto viscose crepe or cotton. The best part? The prints are actually based from original textile designs and items of clothing from the first half of the twentieth century. As I clicked through to peruse each fabric, I saw some of the fabrics had their original source photographed and included in the description. This gave each print context – for example, Woodhouse is based on an original CC41 dress – which you can see contained within the description.
I was so impressed by the fabrics on offer, that I decided to arrange a visit to see them. I discovered that Maltings Fabrics were based in Lewes – and this is where the bell ringing in my head I talked about earlier suddenly made sense. Kieren often purchases braces, shirts and trousers from Darcy Clothing – a clothing company based in Lewes. I knew they had moved premises recently, and I then realised that they had moved to a building named the Maltings – also in Lewes. Lo and behold, when I visited Maltings Fabrics, I discovered that Darcy Clothing and Maltings Fabrics are actually in the same building! Incidentally, for readers of the Chap Magazine – they also reside in the same building.
I was greeted by Louise and Dan, who run Hatley Print and Maltings Fabrics. Louise showed me around, and also talked me through where she finds inspiration for the prints. Some of the prints are based on garments owned by private collectors, others are from garments Louise has found and sourced herself. I was delighted to discover that some of the designs had been taken from items in the collection at Worthing Museum (I spent an afternoon looking through the archives at Worthing Museum a few years back, and was extremely impressed and albeit somewhat overwhelmed by the sheer size of the collection).
Louise explained that in addition to the prints listed on the website, each design is customisable. So, if a customer wanted a particular print but with a different colour background – it is possible. Equally, if the size or scale of the pattern needed to be altered – that too is possible. I was lucky enough to see some fabric actually being printed whilst I was there, which I made a video of on my Instagram here.
I actually ordered some fabric whilst I was there, for an upcoming sewing pattern review I am writing over on Vintage Dancer. I highly recommend Maltings Fabrics – the variety of fabric prints is fantastic, and the fact that every single design has been taken from an authentic source is amazing. Imagine sewing a blouse from an early 1940s sewing pattern – and being able to make it up in fabric with a print recreated from exactly the right era?
Maltings Fabrics allows the aesthetics of authentic vintage designs to be re-imagined for modern day times. Part of the reason I sew garments for myself from original vintage patterns is to get the ‘look’ and historical accuracy of cut – whilst using strong modern fabrics that will withstand the demands of modern life. Maltings Fabrics truly allows the best of both worlds with their fantastic selection of early 20th century authentic reproduction textiles.
For more information, visit Maltings Fabrics website here. All fabric is available to buy by the metre, and printed onto either viscose crepe or cotton cambric. Small quantities and orders are welcome (indeed, I only ordered a small amount of metres myself). Orders may be placed online via their website, or by contacting them directly with any enquires.
Many thanks to Louise and Dan for taking the time to show me around, I’m sure I will be back soon!
Stay tuned to see which fabric I purchased for my sewing pattern review..
Until next time dears!