Customer Spotlight: Greenhouse Fabrics

Call Greenhouse Fabrics… the first thing you will hear is “It’s a great day at Greenhouse!”... and it truly is! The culture that they have created is positive, productive and friendly. Greenhouse has been a customer of STI for the last 4 years. We are so excited about the new Revolution Performance book that will debut in January 2019!

To learn more about Greenhouse Fabrics, please watch the video below.

Revolution Finder wordsearch Puzzle!

REVOLUTION FINDER

For those of you with not enough to do, here's a fun way to eat the clock at work! Enjoy!

*For a printable version of the wordsearch, please click here

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REVOLUTION WORD BANK

Revolution          Performance         Upcycled          MadeinUSA       Cleanable          Durable

NoPFC                 Fabric                    Looms              Patterns                 Teamwork        Designs

Upholstery           Furniture               Interior

The origins of the Greek key pattern.

  Above:  The Meander River

Above: The Meander River

Many of the patterns we use today in textile design have origins that are very old... in fact, they are ancient! The very name "Greek Key" suggests origins from ancient Greek civilizations, however, variations have been discovered in Egyptian tombs and on historic Chinese buildings. 

The Greek key pattern, also referred to as a “meander” or even Greek "fret", is a continuous line that folds back on itself replicating the Maeander River which is located in Turkey. The motif is found abundantly in architecture and decorative arts from the Greek Empire. The motif was used by the Romans and eventually used in Europe during the Empire Style, or Neoclassic Style, in France, the Regency Style in Britain, and spread to the US in what is known as the Federal style.

We have several patterns that have evolved from the classic Greek key that you can see below. Revolution pattern, Toga, is available for purchase now on www.revolutionfabricbytheyard.com!

 Above: A classic Greek key pattern. 

Above: A classic Greek key pattern. 

  Above:  Revolution pattern, TOGA

Above: Revolution pattern, TOGA

  Above:  Revolution Plus pattern, GODDESS. Coming soon to the  Revolution Store !

Above: Revolution Plus pattern, GODDESS. Coming soon to the Revolution Store!

  Above : Revolution pattern,  MATTEO

Above: Revolution pattern, MATTEO

  Above:  Another color of  MATTEO

Above: Another color of MATTEO

History of Textiles: Part 2

In the late 1800's and early 1900's, many North Carolina textile mills began to employ members of local farming families—men, some women, and even children as young as age 10! As many of these farming families began to work in the mills, transportation quickly became an obstacle for traveling to and from work. Horse and buggy was still the main mode of transportation, and traveling a distance of only 15 or 20 miles could take as much as 2 hours or more.  Mill owners of this time recognized this need and actually built mill villages consisting of wood framed houses with clapboard siding which were stamped out in a “cookie cutter” fashion. Row upon row of identical homes were built and became the homes of those employed by the mill.

Additionally, the mill owners typically built their own “company store” as well as many other enterprises, including some of the first moving picture theaters, gymnasiums, drug stores, and gas stations. All of the needs of the mill workers were typically within walking distance of their homes, or at the worst, a very short horse and wagon ride. As these small towns popped up in rural areas surrounding the mills, the mill owners began to pay their workers with mill tokens or coupons, often referred to as “scrip.” In essence, the mill owners created their own “micro-economies” where the workers would be paid with mill scrip to be used at the mill stores, guaranteeing the cash flow would stay in their hands. These mill villages created a great sense of community among the workers. They became neighbors and they became friends, working and living alongside of one another.

At STI, there is a strong sense of community.  Each employee is more than just a part of a machine and is appreciated more than they know. Every summer and Christmas, STI hosts employee appreciation dinners for all employees. This gives employees a chance to interact with one another in a relaxed atmosphere, and to have a chance to win door prizes too! I am glad to see the strong community atmosphere at STI, but as for me—I’ll just take my paycheck.  We can leave the “scrip” in the past!

 Above: A sample of Cliffside Mills "scrip"

Above: A sample of Cliffside Mills "scrip"

 Above: Ora Mills "scrip"

Above: Ora Mills "scrip"

 Above: STI employees joining together at their Summer 2018 Employee Picnic!

Above: STI employees joining together at their Summer 2018 Employee Picnic!

History of Textiles

Being born and raised in rural Rutherford County located in western North Carolina, I grew up surrounded by textile mills. Almost every family had at least one member who was a weaver, filling hauler, loom fixer, etc. Working in textiles was literally a common thread woven throughout the lives of local citizens. With the creation of North Carolina's first cotton textile mill around 1815 by Michael Schenck in Lincoln County, this marked the beginning of a long process towards building the state's manufacturing industries. 

By the reconstruction years following the Civil War, soldiers often returned home to a devastated landscape void of profitable work options.  Farms had often times been decimated and unkept, leaving a daunting task for the farmer to attempt to rebuild and regain some sense of livelihood. It wasn't until 1887 that Raleigh Rutherford Haynes began construction on Rutherford County's first textile mill. Until now, self-sustained farms with just a scattering of various merchants made up the landscape of commerce in rural areas such as Rutherford County. With the coming of the textile industry, local farmers began their "migration" into the textile mills, learning new skills, and providing a predictable and guaranteed income for their families.  

By 1899, North Carolina had 177 textile mills with 30,273 workers and by 1923, there were 351 mills in North Carolina, employing 81,041 workers. 

Fast forward 100 years.  While hundreds of mills closed during the late 1990's and early 2000's due to economic strains, STI survived--and thrived.  STI introduced Revolution Performance Fabrics in 2015, which has become one of the most in-demand performance fabrics in the home furnishings industry. Family owned, and in continuous operation since 1964, STI is poised to thrive through innovative products, a dedicated work force, and components 100% sourced in the USA. I am proud to work as a designer for STI, and am excited to know they continue weaving those common threads from long ago with innovation and a vision for the future.

 Above: A group of STI employees standing in front of their new 150,000 sq. ft. plant that opened in January 2018.

Above: A group of STI employees standing in front of their new 150,000 sq. ft. plant that opened in January 2018.

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Patterns Are All Around Us

Patterns are all around us. Our clothing is evidence of that.. a plaid shirt, a striped tie, a floral dress. Our homes may have a decorative tile or a brick pattern, wall coverings, or fabric on the furniture or bedding. While back to school shopping, I saw notebooks, pencils, and binder clips with patterns. Even the book I am reading has a decorative pattern on the cover! How do the basic shapes that are repeated become a pattern? Some may be new, but many have been inspired by ancient civilizations and have been reinterpreted over the centuries. More about the origins of patterns in upcoming blogs...

Sample Time!

It’s the best feeling in the world when the samples come in. It’s like Christmas. The halls are filled with giddy designers because they have a chance to see the fruit of their labor in fabric form.

First thing in the morning I go check to see If I have a 4 yard finished sample of a new pattern. This is called a strike off. The information to create the samples are printed out on orange tickets. The tickets stay with the sample from the time it’s woven, finished and then delivered to the designer.  I can easily spot them wherever they are in the mill. The finishing department puts them in the tubes for identification. It took a lot of time and thought to pick out the perfect spot to put these little jewels so they are easy to find.

The spot is beside the door that leads out into the finishing dept. Well done!

  Above:  THE spot!

Above: THE spot!

Excitedly, I grab my samples and use the testing lab table to review and cut swatches for the design wall and a yard cut to get approval. I also use the testing lab’s scissors, sharpies, stapler and rulers. Sometimes I don’t steal the lab’s supplies and take them back to my office... those are good days.

 Above: Cutting my samples in the Testing Center

Above: Cutting my samples in the Testing Center

  Above:  Today's bounty of samples!

Above: Today's bounty of samples!

The Final Product

People often ask me what I do for a living. They are super excited to learn that I’m a designer of upholstery fabrics. Then, they inquire more about exactly how one goes about designing fabric. During this further explanation, their eyes will glaze over and the color will leave their face like they have front row seats to a Power Point presentation of “The Flight Patterns of the North American Dung Beetle Across the Plains of Nebraska!"

That’s fine. Not everything is as exciting as professional sports or the latest episode of “The Bachelorette." In fact, my wife will often ask me about my work when she has trouble sleeping... I’m like a sedative!

But the final product… that’s what people get excited about! And that’s why I like to do what I do. My challenge is to make fabric that is beautiful, durable, and safe for a family. After all, design style is like art that you live in. And it is so gratifying for our products to be part of your home!

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P.S: The dung beetle is the only insect that flies at night and uses the Milky Way for orientation! For more info on the dung beetle, read here

 Some of the Revolution 'final product' at Showtime 2018!

Some of the Revolution 'final product' at Showtime 2018!

The Workshop

Welcome to Santa’s workshop.

Here are just a few of the components and ideas that go into creating and designing a new texture for upholstery. It can be broken down into 3 basic parts:

First and foremost, trend research; secondly, new yarn developments; and lastly, the weaving drafts.

Once we’re pleased with the outcome, the fabric travels to our testing lab and goes through extensive testing before making it out the door to the public. Oftentimes, the fabric is married to a jacquard pillow pattern to complete a package for retail sales.

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Pattern, Color & Texture

  Above:  Pattern Brooks

Above: Pattern Brooks

We are super excited to offer our jacquard velvets to the trade. Please visit our Revolution Online Store to shop these patterns. If you haven't set up a trade account with us yet, please click here to complete a trade application. 

These styles use cool geometric designs, color and texture from the velvet to create an opulent couture fabric. The combination truly creates something unique and special!

These fabrics are intended to be the accent pieces... the decorative finishing touches like accessories to an outfit.

  Pictured Above (left to right) : Brentwood pattern Cracked, Brooks and Velocity.

Pictured Above (left to right): Brentwood pattern Cracked, Brooks and Velocity.

Mad About Plaid

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Plaids are on trend! They are a classic and never truly go away. Plaids come in all shapes and sizes: gingham, hounds tooth, windowpane, tattersall, bold, tartan, check, madras, glen and faux, etc.

We have all of the above! The true plaid is created when you have a stripe layout in the warp and the weft (filling) and when you weave they “plaid” off. Hounds tooth, four point star, and others are created with both color and weave effects. You can also simulate a plaid with a jacquard weave. It looks like a true plaid , but it is not woven with a stripe layout in the warp.

We offer plaids in Revolution Performance Fabric as well as true 100% polyester plaids. Depending on the type of plaid, they can be taken in many different style directions from lodge, preppy, modern, farmhouse etc. 

We are truly mad about plaid!

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  Above:  Pattern  Hamilton  on the drapes in the Julian Price Show House (room design by Cheryl Luckett of Dwell by Cheryl

Above: Pattern Hamilton on the drapes in the Julian Price Show House (room design by Cheryl Luckett of Dwell by Cheryl

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