Maltings Fabrics – Early 20th Century Authentic Reproduction Textiles

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.

A rail of original garments which serve as inspiration for Maltings Fabrics prints.

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.

Moodboard samples and swatches.

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.

The original inspiration behind the print Abinger.

The original inspiration behind the print Abinger.

This is the fabric sample for the reproduction Abinger print.

This is the fabric sample for the reproduction Abinger print by Maltings Fabrics.

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.

A day dress from the mid 1920s, used as inspiration for the Fallowfield print.

A day dress from the mid 1920s, used as inspiration for the Fallowfield print.

A sample of the Fallowfield print, based from the fabric utilised in the day dress (above).

A sample of the Fallowfield print reproduced by Maltings Fabrics, based from the fabric utilised in the day dress (above).

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).

My absolute favourite - A late 1920s/early 1930s jacket. The inspiration behind the Hampden print.

My absolute favourite – A late 1920s/early 1930s jacket. The inspiration behind the Hampden print.

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.

The Winterbourne sample (left), and the Sackville sample (right).

Maltings Fabrics Winterbourne sample (left), and the Sackville sample (right).

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?

The Allington sample.

Maltings Fabrics Allington sample.

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.

The Littlemead sample.

Maltings Fabrics Littlemead sample.

The Ashcombe sample, taken from an original chore dress/apron.

Maltings Fabrics Ashcombe sample, taken from an original chore dress/apron.

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!

1940s CC41 Suit & My Birthday Weekend

In which I debut my original 1940s CC41 suit, and accessorize with an authentically styled bag from Original Crochet by Q on Etsy.

Another year has passed by, and I am indeed another year older. Generally, I never feel negative about ageing. Apart from the increasing number of white hairs making an appearance on my head (which I have had from the age of twenty, so I am pretty much used to their residency by now anyway), getting older has never really bothered me. I generally take the view that I am impressed and in awe of my body for getting me thus far, and indeed I hope to enjoy many more years on this earthly plane.

Ironically, as if my body wished to remind me of the turning of another year, I woke up on my ‘Birthday Eve’ with a frozen shoulder. At least, I’m not entirely sure that is what I have, but I woke up with terrible neck/head/shoulder pain, as if I had trapped a nerve. As I type this, I still have the problem, but it has at least started to lessen.

Shoulder pain or no, I knew I wanted to dress up and feel special on my Birthday weekend, so I did just that! As the weather is currently freezing, I had to dress for warmth, whilst still retaining an element of style. Whilst I did want to reach for a gorgeous rayon 1940s dress I have not yet worn, I knew I would need something slightly more substantial to keep the chilly temperatures at bay. I decided to wear this beautiful original 1940s CC41 suit. I have worn both the skirt and jacket on separate occasions, but up until now not worn them together.

I found this suit on the top floor of an incredible vintage/antique/odds & ends shop in Devizes just before Christmas. The shop was amazing, with creaky stairs, low ceilings and atmospheric lightning. It was almost a treasure trove, full of undiscovered gems waiting for their perfect owner. At first I found the skirt on a table, then, looking around I found the matching jacket placed on a chair amongst some other garments.  From looking at the skirt I knew straight away that it was 1940s, and the style of the jacket confirmed this. It was not until I got the suit home and gave it good long soak that I discovered the CC41 label. Imagine my joy!

The suit is made from linen, and is completely unlined. The skirt fastens with a side placket, a single popper and a double hook & eye on the internal petersham waistband. The jacket has hidden handsewn loops with two hooks to keep the waist section closed. At first the ‘flaps’ on the front of the jacket perplexed me somewhat – they are not functional pockets, merely decorative details. But on a CC41 suit, why add extra fabric when it does not serve a purpose? My conclusion is that the suit possibly originated in the later 1940s, when cloth shortages had subsided slightly.

I teamed the suit with a Rocket Originals jumper, a turban I had found a few days earlier, and a wonderful bag from Original Crochet by Q on Etsy. I first discovered Original Crochet by Q through fellow blogger Nora, when she posted a picture with her bag on Instagram last summer. I have been hankering after a bag of my own for some months, and after Christmas decided to treat myself (knowing it would hopefully arrive just in time for my Birthday, which luckily it did!)

I contacted Q Lat, the stores owner, and asked her about the possibility of selecting a custom colour. She was extremely helpful, providing me with colour charts with multiple shades and yarns to select from. Once I had selected my colour, I then chose the lining, handles, and added a magnetic snap. The bag really adds an authentic touch to a 1940s outfit, I am so happy I took the plunge and purchased it!

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Outfit Details

Overall, I had a lovely Birthday weekend, even with the horrid shoulder pain!

Until next time dears!