Happy Veterans Day from STI!

At STI and Revolution Performance Fabrics, we value the American hustle, the American spirit, and determination to get it done ourselves; to have the utmost care, work, and enjoyment out of everyday living. As an American manufacturer of upholstery fabric, we are proud to stand behind our veterans that allow for the freedom of enterprise and collaborations between our workers and textile facility. Today I want to honor those veterans that make a direct impact every day.

We would like to honor (left to right) :   Matt Maples  – US Airforce Electrical and Environmental Systems B - served 4 years   Greg Hinson  – US Air Force Sergeant served - 4 years   Mike Johnsonbaugh  - US Army Signal Corp Antennae Maintenance - served 2 years   Donald Garret  – Army -1972-1974   Thomas Berryann  – US Navy Plane Captain - 1992-1996

We would like to honor (left to right) :

Matt Maples – US Airforce Electrical and Environmental Systems B - served 4 years

Greg Hinson – US Air Force Sergeant served - 4 years

Mike Johnsonbaugh - US Army Signal Corp Antennae Maintenance - served 2 years

Donald Garret – Army -1972-1974

Thomas Berryann – US Navy Plane Captain - 1992-1996

Van Smith  – Army Military Policeman 1971-1974

Van Smith – Army Military Policeman 1971-1974

Keith Hamrick  – US Army Sergeant - served 14 years

Keith Hamrick – US Army Sergeant - served 14 years

Francis Coleman – 505th Kings Mountain National Guard Engineer - 6 years of service

Yannis Helms  – North Caroline Army National Guard – Specialist Carpentry Masonry – served 6 years

Yannis Helms – North Caroline Army National Guard – Specialist Carpentry Masonry – served 6 years

Brian Todd  – Combat Aircraft Bomb and Missile Loader/Supervisor – 1992-2012

Brian Todd – Combat Aircraft Bomb and Missile Loader/Supervisor – 1992-2012

We want to thank all veterans for protecting freedom and serving our country. Without you, we wouldn’t be where we are today. From all of us at STI, THANK YOU!!

Revolution Design Ambassador: The True House

Revolution is excited to welcome Alyce Lopez to the Design Ambassador team! Alyce was first introduced to Revolution through Bassett Furniture, who is a preferred furniture vendor of hers and a longstanding valued customer of STI, the makers of Revolution. Alyce would post beautifully designed rooms on Instagram that frequently featured Basset sofas in Revolution and after learning about our trade program, Alyce started using Revolution even more! Her fun personality, relaxed and “real” approach to design made her a great fit as a Revolution ambassador. “Alyce designs for people who live in and love their home and we really appreciate that about her,” says Jill Harrill, Marketing Manager at Revolution Fabrics.

Alyce Lopez owns and operates The True House, a full-service interior design firm that specializes in designing for the busy, young family. Alyce began her career in interior design after purchasing a fixer upper with her husband. The two navigated through renovations on a 1950's rambler maximizing their creativity and pocket change. The True House came about organically after documenting their home renovations on social media.

Alyce Lopez, owner of The True House

Alyce Lopez, owner of The True House

Alyce always incorporates durable and low maintenance materials in her designs to accommodate the lifestyle of her clients, which is what ultimately led her to Revolution Performance Fabrics. “I was drawn to Revolution because of their sustainability. My clients no longer have to worry about wine spills, pet stains or active young children. They’re free to entertain and enjoy their spaces, even with a white couch!  Revolution has delivered an excellent PFC chemical-free product with extraordinary and unrivaled customer service.”

The True House is the top reviewed interior designer in south San Diego. She has been featured as a style spotter for industry shows and published by SD Voyager. She is widely recognized by her involvement in the community. When Alyce isn't designing, you can see her enjoying time with her family by the beach or at the happiest place on Earth, Disneyland! 

Check out the photos below of some of The True House’s recent projects that include Revolution Fabrics! To see more of Alyce’s designs, follow her on Instagram @TheTrueHouse!


The One Room Challenge by 9Ten Design

Lenora DeMars, owner of 9Ten Design

Lenora DeMars, owner of 9Ten Design

Week 1 - One Room Challenge, Healthy Master Bedroom by 9Ten Design

Hello, I’m Lenora, this is my blog and I’m an interior designer based in Orange County, California. My firm is 9 Ten Design, I design in and around Orange County and Los Angeles. I’m passionate about creating beautiful spaces and incorporating healthy materials when possible. Healthy materials are materials that are not harmful to human health.

It’s been several years that I have known about the One Room Challenge.  I’ve admired others that have participated in the past. Finishing a room in 6 weeks seemed crazy to me! I mean seriously! My process, I “MARINATE” on ideas before pulling the trigger. Especially when it comes to my own home. Unfortunately, the marinating process sometimes becomes my paralysis.

Today, I’m officially throwing my hat into the mix. I will be featured as a Guest Participant and will complete our Master Bedroom makeover in 6 weeks! Eek! Not only that, I have also given myself another challenge… to create a room that is NON TOXIC. Meaning I will only be using materials that are not harmful to human health. Hence, the “Healthy Bedroom Makeover.” I will get into the specifics of what that means as the project evolves. Stay tuned! I have a feeling your jaw will drop when you find out how many harmful chemicals we surround ourselves without knowing.

In late 2009, my husband Steve, son Emmett, and our dog and cat moved into our “FOREVER” home. I was also 6 months pregnant with our youngest son Wyatt at the time. Like most others, we brought over what we had from our old house, regardless if it went or not. Our budget was spent on getting into the house and furnishing 2 rooms that had nothing. Now almost 10 years later, we have done NOTHING to our Master Bedroom!

To read the full Week 1 blog, click here

The Master Bedroom PRE - challenge

The Master Bedroom PRE - challenge

Week 2 - Healthy Bedroom Makeover, The Plan

The Master Bedroom space plan

The Master Bedroom space plan

We are fortunate to live in warm and sunny, Southern California. To be specific, we live in Orange County, California. Both my husband and I are transplants as we both grew up in cold climates, at least in the winter time. Que up “California Dreamin” by the Mamas and the Papas. I’m originally from N.J and my husband is from Minnesota. We both enjoy all that California has to offer. We can visit the beach, dessert and the mountains all in one day! Each of these beautiful landscapes will be the backdrop for our Healthy Master Bedroom Makeover.

Californians are also known to be health conscious. With that in mind, I will be incorporating some healthy material choices to use. Our master bedroom is the best place to start. A sanctuary with the intention to rejuvenate, regenerate, and recharge.  When making selections I will be mindful of selecting furniture and building materials that do not contain harmful chemicals. Such as Formaldehyde, Acetone, Flame Retardants, Antimicrobials, Fluorinated stain treatments, and PVC… whew, that was a lot! Sadly, there are more then what I have listed. Since the 1970’s there have been 80,000 chemicals that have been invented. 15,000 chemicals are in high use one way or another. Some of which are harmful to humans. Okay, enough of the scare tactic.  This is a light-hearted design challenge that I’m thrilled to be a part of.  I’m ready to create a killer room without the killer chemicals.

Revolution Fabrics pattern, Bopper. Shop it  here !

Revolution Fabrics pattern, Bopper. Shop it here!

For the Master bed, I knew LONG ago I wanted to go with an upholstered bed. Not the best thing for my environment since I have asthma and bad allergies, but I’m OVER hitting my shin on the corner of the bed. I have a permanent scar from all the times I’ve hit the corner... IT HURTS! Our new upholstered bed will be much more kind to my shins. 

I’ve selected my fabric for the bed and it’s from one of my favorite vendors, Revolution Fabrics. They are amazing!  The fabric is 100% upcycled, made in the U.S, stain resistant without harmful fluorinated stain treatments. Added bonus, they are Green Guard certified! They are definitely my go-to fabric for families with kiddos and or dogs. Check out their video and see how easy it is to clean. Even permanent marker stains are cleanable! Their fabric meets both my eco story and my non-toxic story. Once again another win! Did I mention the selections are off the charts amazing? If not, they are off the charts amazing! So many prints and textures to feed all of my desires. Since I wanted to bring more light into the space I decided to go with Bopper Natural. I LOVE the texture! The bed will look and feel luxurious. Don’t you think?

To read the full Week 2 blog, click here

Revolution Bopper has arrived!

Revolution Bopper has arrived!

Week 3 - What is it made of?

The design plan “California Dreamin” vibe was born last week, but the plan to create a Healthy Master Bedroom was from the get-go. This week is about planning yep, MORE planning! Yeah, it’s great I’ve got all the design elements picked out, but NOW the REAL work starts. I need to place orders, confirm shipping dates, expedite materials, and coordinate all of my trades. All the while, coordinating in the order that makes sense for this room to come together without a hitch. It would be SUPER silly of me to have my brand new custom drapes hung before getting my walls primed and skim coated for the wallpaper. In all interior design projects, there is an order to the process.

In this world of Eco-Friendly, Non-Toxic, and Green design there is a lot of crossover and misinformation out there. There is also this thought process that if it’s green or non-toxic it will cost more. I’m here to say it’s NOT always the case. In my quest to better inform others, I will be building a good, better, best option when it comes to green and eco-friendly. In most cases, there is not one material that checks off all of these needs or wants. But there is a way to create a good, better, best and reach our goal. Whether it’s to be green or create a healthy home.  It’s possible to have a killer room without the killer chemicals.

To read the full Week 3 blog, click here

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Week 4 - One Step Forward, Two Steps Back

There was some progress and without fail some hiccups that came up along the way. One was out of my control and the other completely within my control (changed my mind). Yes, that happens!

Before I get into what didn’t happen let’s review some PROGRESS. My custom drapery and roman blinds were completed and installed in a week! That is unheard of. Working with multiple trades can get tricky. Aligning everyone’s schedule and getting the material on time is magical. Check out below and my facebook video

In the last 4 weeks, I’ve accomplished the following.

  1. Design (including colors and most pieces picked)

  2. Ordering all materials, plus art, and nightstands

  3. Coordinating the materials in coming and into trades hands

  4. Got my accent wall prepped for wallpaper

  5. Drapes and roman blinds produced

  6. Drapes and roman blinds installed

  7. Waiting, Waiting, and more Waiting.

What I’m patiently waiting for

  1. Art to be made and sent to me.  This should be sent on October 30th.

  2. Custom upholstered bed to be made. This should be completed October 26th and installed on October 29th.

  3. Nightstands to be made and sent. This should be on its way by October 25th and received by October 31 or November 1st.  This one is traveling from the East Coast.

  4. Wallpaper to be installed. This should be installed by October 27th or 28th.

Onto Week 5! Next up is bedding and décor. Not going to lie, I’m having a tough time nailing down organic bedding that I like. Luckily, I know someone that will be creating a bedding line SOON! For now, I may need to get something that is NOT organic at least for the shams and duvet. Wish me LUCK! Only 2 more weeks left. Eek!

To read the full Week 4 blog, click here

Bopper at the beach!

Bopper at the beach!

Week 5 - An Unexpected Turn

Before I get into the unexpected turn, I’d like to share with you that my roll of Revolution fabric arrived and was ready for an adventure! Bopper traveled all the way from North Carolina to sunny Southern California. She had never been to Huntington Beach before and wanted to catch some surf and sand. First stop was Pacific City then head to the beach for the Airshow. A day at the beach was the perfect thing to do right before she is transformed into a non-toxic custom Upholstered bed.

Since the bed is a custom piece, I have complete control as to what materials are used. No nasty petroleum-based foam will be used. Instead, I’ve swapped it out using GOTS certified latex. Plus, Bopper is Greenguard certified so it passes my healthy room maker over. Not only is she green guard certified, she is 100% upcycled! She is a win for air quality and the green movement! I’m super happy to align with Revolution fabric and use them for my projects. Oh my goodness,  I almost forgot to mention ALL of Revolution fabric is stain resistant and easy to clean. Check out the video and see with your own eyes how amazing their product is. The BIG reveal will be Week 6!

When you think you’re cruising and all of a sudden there is an unexpected turn. Week 5 presented a sharp turn or rather a SHARP PAIN. It all started  Monday night after dinner, I started to have some stomach pain. I chalked it up to something I ate, no biggie. I had a client meeting that evening too. It started out fine, but soon after I arrived I realized I better get this meeting wrapped up quick. Thankfully I was able to wrap it up and get home. I headed straight to bed and some visits to the bathroom but NO relief. The pain persisted and the pain got worse the next day. By Wednesday I knew I needed to head to the E.R. Within a couple of hours I was diagnosed with a ruptured appendix and needed an emergency surgery. Out went with the appendix and in went the tubes, pain meds, and a constant drip of antibiotics. It all went pretty quick. Since it did rupture I was ordered to stay at the hospital for an additional 2 days. Finally, the doctor released me on Friday evening.

Onto Week six! I have some packages to open and get some bedding washed, sewn, and art hung this week. Most importantly install the custom bed and the nightstands.  Oh my goodness, I cant wait!

To read the full Week 5 blog, click here

Week 6 - The Final Deadline

Thank GOODNESS the final deadline is Sunday night. Week 6 of the one room challenge definitely presented its challenges. While resting after my appendicitis surgery, I was still in communication with my upholsterer. We planned to install the bed on Tuesday the day before the initial deadline. I was ready and excited, I also had coordinated with my photographer to take photos the next day. I would have received the photos that day and posted my blog on the same day in time to hit the initial deadline. BUT my upholster used the WRONG fabric for the bed! He used the fabric that was planned for a decorative pillow. You should have seen my face!  I was speechless. I had no words but, “what happened?!” After getting upset, I really didn’t care how this mistake happened. I texted my upholsterer and simply said the bed is in the wrong fabric.  The bed along with the RIGHT fabric is coming back to you. Fix it!

The next day it was fixed and the bed was installed. Like I said at the beginning of the challenge there will ALWAYS be something that goes wrong with a project. When there is a problem, there is a solution. This profession has taught me that when problems occur to roll with it and get it resolved. There is a lot that happens behind the scenes that my clients NEVER hear about. They just get to enjoy the fun process and the final outcome.

After 6 weeks of running around pulling samples, making quick decisions and coordinating with all of my trades. I can finally CHILL in my newly re-done healthy bedroom.

Now for the BIG REVEAL!

The Final! Healthy Master Bedroom

The Final! Healthy Master Bedroom

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is the official media sponsor of the One Room Challenge

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How Do I Find An Eco-Friendly Fabric?

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When shopping for new furniture or looking for a fabric to recover a cherished old sofa, the term “eco-friendly fabrics” is likely to be seen everywhere. This is a direct result of consumers becoming more aware of the harmful effects highly-fluorinated chemicals have on our health and environment. Environmental groups, universities, and government agencies are releasing information to the public about the large amounts of earth’s resources we are using to make natural fibers into upholstery fabrics that will end up in our homes. Consumers demand fabrics that are safe for their families to live on and safe for the environment, thus what should consumers look for and what should consumers stay away from when searching for an eco-friendly fabric?

What should I look for when searching an eco-friendly fabric?

1. Did you know many eco-friendly fabrics such as linen, wool, cotton, and polypropylene are listed and ranked under the Higg Index? The Higg Index was started by the Sustainable Apparel Coalition and allows brands, factories, and chemical manufacturers to score the sustainability of their products. So, if you want to know if cotton is more or less environmentally friendly than wool, the Higg Index is a great resource. Below, you can see the Higg Index and how it reports the environmental impact of materials used in home furnishings, apparel and footwear. The more sustainable the material, the higher the score.

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2. If your fabric sample is stamped as Greenguard certified then that fabric has passed the world’s most extensive standard for low emissions of volatile organic compounds, which are known as VOC’s into indoor air. This means the fabrics are acceptable to be used in environments such as schools and healthcare buildings. 

3. A fabric is eco-friendly if it has passed the Global Organic Textile Standard (GOTS). The GOTS strives to produce only organic textiles from the harvesting of the raw materials and to use only socially and environmentally responsible manufacturing practices. To become GOTS certified, a textile product must have a minimum of 70% organic fibers.


What should I stay away from when searching an eco-friendly fabric?

An example of water beading on a fabric containing PFC chemicals

An example of water beading on a fabric containing PFC chemicals

1. Highly-Fluorinated Chemicals, often known as PFCs, have stain and water-repellent properties. These chemicals are used in industrial applications and in consumer products because they achieve cleanability. You will see PFCs in furniture, carpets, clothing, and cosmetics. PFCs are harmful for the environment because they do not breakdown. Worldwide, PFCs are discovered in many environments, even in whales! As you and your family sit on your sofa, you are exposed to these chemicals that can cause major health concerns. A few possible harmful side effects are high levels of cholesterol, thyroid problems and testicular cancer. 

2. Antimicrobials can be found in furniture textiles and can possibly cause developmental, hormonal, and reproductive problems. These chemicals are added to products to destroy or inhibit the growth of microbes. In the home, products containing antimicrobials are typically washed down the drain, then flow into the water stream. Antimicrobials make their way into aquatic environments, which can be toxic to aquatic organisms. 

3. Flame retardants are added to fabrics in order to meet flammability standards, yet these chemicals can be harmful to our health and environment. These chemicals are meant to prevent fires, but some can cause lowered IQ and hyperactivity in children. Flame retardants can upset hormone disruption in adults. The environment is can be damaged when flame retardants are released from products and seep into the soil, rivers, and oceans. These chemicals are seen as pollutants as they can build up in the marine food chain and become a harmful health concern for the marine life.  

4. Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) are chemicals that come from liquids and solids, which vaporize at room temperature and then enter the atmosphere. This process is commonly known as off-gassing. VOCs can cause indoor air quality issues such as eye, nose, and throat irritation. To name a few, VOCs are found in fabric, upholstery, carpets, and furniture.


Identifying Plaids

From the tartans of the Scottish to Kurt Cobain, plaids have been around a long time. Over time in addition to the tartan or plaid, other distinct types of plaids have been designed. Let’s take a look at a few of them here.

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1) Tartan: A tartan was worn over the shoulder as a kilt accessory for the Scottish in the 1500s. The tartans were hand woven with pre-dyed wool. The appearance of the tartan was different according to the availability of dye or yarn in the region it was woven. Later these differences translated into identification of Scottish Clans or communities. All tartans are plaids. All plaid are not tartans.


Revolution pattern, Rothbury. Buy it  here !

Revolution pattern, Rothbury. Buy it here!

2) Buffalo Plaid: This is an all over check pattern with big squares formed by the intersection of two different colored yarns. How did it get to America? Big Jock McCluskey was a Scottish Highlander who came to Canada. The red and black check tartan he wore was from his clan in Scottland. McCluskey survived by hunting buffalo. Eventually he decided trading with the Indians was a better way to live. He traded his red and black checked tartan for buffalo pelt. Sioux and Cheyenne warriors referred to it as buffalo plaid.

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3) Gingham: A gingham plaid is a small balanced check. There are a lot of countries who have used  this fabric in the earlier. It is hard to determine who invented it. For me it will always be the fabric that made Dorothy’s dress in the wizard of Oz.

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4) Madras: Madras Plaid originated in Chennai India. Chennai was formerly known as Madras. The fabric was handwoven with yarns died with vegetable colorings. In India they were associated with the peasant class.

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5) Window Pane: The windowpane plaid looks like a grid created by the panes in a window.

As you can see, the plaid is as diverse as America! Which one is your favorite?

History of Doffing

A word often heard on the weave room floor is the word “doffing.” The origin of this old English word goes back to the 14th century and was actually a contraction of the two words “do off.” According to Johnson’s dictionary published in 1755, the word was “obsolete and rarely used, except by rustics.” The term was often used when referring to an article of clothing, and more specifically a hat. To “doff one’s hat” meant to remove it, and the antonym “don” meant to replace the hat on one’s head (contraction of the words “do on”).  Although this word almost became lost in time, it came back into vogue thanks to Sir Walter Scott, author of works like Ivanhoe, Rob Roy, and The Lady of the Lake. The popular Scottish author used these words frequently, and he and his readers kept doff and don alive.

Doffing in textiles refers to the removal of a bolt of fabric once a specific pattern has completed its run, or once a full roll of fabric has been achieved. In the early days of textiles, this job was often done by children as young as 8 years old! It required little technical skill, and was the perfect job for those newcomers to the textile mills. The photo below was titled, “Man with Doffers” and was taken at the Cliffside Mills in Rutherford County around 1910. As you can see, these boys appear to be around 12 to 14 years old. Doffing is still a vital part of textile production, insuring the looms can continue to weave without “down time.”


Woven vs. Knit Fabric

Textiles are defined by the yarns and threads that create them. Historically speaking, textiles have been used for the last 100,000 years, all the way back to the stone age. The earliest instances of cotton, silk, and linen being used, dates to 5000 B.C. Two different manufacturing processes of textiles emerged as the main types… woven and knitted. What’s the difference between woven and knitted fabrics? When choosing textiles, one of the main questions to ask yourself is whether you need a woven or a knitted fabric. The best way to answer this question is to understand the difference between the two types. In this blog I’d like to discuss the difference between woven and knitted textiles and some examples of each to help you understand what’s the best option for your project.

Example of a woven fabric - Revolution pattern, Barkcloth

Example of a woven fabric - Revolution pattern, Barkcloth

Woven Fabrics

Woven fabrics have been developed throughout the ages by “weavers” and their predecessors. Weaving textiles involves the interlacing of two or more yarns to create fabric. In weaving, the warp and the weft are terms to describe the direction of the yarn compared to the loom. The warp is the yarn that runs up the loom vertically. They act as the beam or center that the weft, or the horizontal yarns, are interlaced through. A shuttle is a tool that neatly carries the weft thread through the warp repeatedly to crate your finished textile. Woven textiles are easiest to spot due to the crisscross pattern. They are also easiest to use because they do not unravel if you cut them.

Woven Fabric Types

Woven fabrics can be created in a variety of ways. The most common type of woven fabric is plain weave, also called tabby weave, linen weave, or taffeta weave. This is a style of weaving that alternates weft threads, or yarn, over and under the warp threads, or yarn. Plain weaves are most used in clothing and home textiles due to their durability.

A sofa covered in a twill weave fabric by Revolution called Slipcover Twill

A sofa covered in a twill weave fabric by Revolution called Slipcover Twill

Another type of woven fabric is the twill weave. This woven textile is created by weaving weft threads in a diagonal pattern up the warp. This technique is known to add more durability to the textile and are preferably used in garments/textiles that will undergo wear and tear. These types of fabric are commonly seen in shirting and suits as well as durable upholstery furniture.

The final type of woven fabric is the satin weave. This is by far the more complicated weave out of the three types. Satin weave involves longer “floats “of the weft yarn or thread, exposed on the surface to create shiny and reflective effects. This type of weave is most commonly used in higher end garments and textiles like jackets, athletic shorts, nightgowns and blouses.

Example of a knit fabric

Example of a knit fabric

Knitted Fabrics

Knitted fabrics are a little different than woven. Knitted fabrics are made by one continuous thread, much like continuous yarn in handknitting. Knitted textiles are created by a single thread or yarn, assisted by needles, to create interlocking loops, instead of the multiple warp yarns used in woven fabrics. The knitted fabric is a single yarn or thread that loops up and down the knitting machine. The easiest way to tell the difference between woven and knitted fabrics is knits create loops in the braided pattern vs the interlacing weave. Knitted fabrics are preferred in clothing due to their stretchiness and temperature control they provide. Knitted fabrics can also be a little tricky. If you cut a knitted textile, the fabric can unravel because it’s interloping single yarn or thread. Knitted fabric must be glued on the cut edge to prevent it.

A loom creating woven fabrics

A loom creating woven fabrics

Woven Fabric vs Knit Fabric


  • Woven fabrics are created on bigger weaving looms

  • Knitted fabrics are created using a knitting machine or loom

How They Stretch and Move

  • Woven fabrics are less stretchable

  •   Knitted fabrics are stretchable in many directions

How They Are Used

  • Woven Fabrics are more durable and less likely to lose their color (upholstery preferred)

  • Knitted fabrics are preferred in warmth, comfort, and wrinkle resistant applications (garment preferred)


  •  Woven fabrics are less likely to shrink when washing

  •  Knitted fabrics shrink when frequently washed

Whatever your project may be, like knitting a hat or reupholstering a sofa, I hope this blog can help you further understand the key differences in woven vs knitted fabrics and gives you base guidelines for choosing a textile.

The Power of Paisley

John Lennon and his paisley Rolls Royce

John Lennon and his paisley Rolls Royce

The paisley pattern may be identified as a contemporary design due to the bright, swirling, psychedelic style popular in the mid to late 1960’s. Paisleys were on clothing, wallpaper, and home furnishings. It was so popular that Fender made a pink paisley version of the Telecaster.  Why did the 1960’s culture embrace the pattern? It is likely due in part to The Beatles who were influenced by Indian spirituality and culture. John Lennon even painted his Rolls-Royce with the paisley pattern!


The paisley originated long before the free love of the 1960’s. Although the exact origins are disputed, the familiar shape can be traced to an adaptation of the yin-yang symbol from ancient China, Celtic metal work from the Iron Age in Britain, ancient Babylon in present day Iraq, and notably the Kingdom of Kashmir.  The motif itself is a curving teardrop shape which combines a stylized floral spray and a leaning cypress tree symbolizing strength and resistance. 

An example of a Kashmir paisley shawl

An example of a Kashmir paisley shawl

The ancient pattern became fashionable in Europe in the 18th and 19th centuries due to the import of luxurious Kashmir shawls by the East India Company. The beautiful shawls were very costly… some the price equivalent  to the price of a small house! To see Kashmir shawls and learn more, check out this blog by the Gilded Griffin. Soon, imitation Kashmiri shawls were manufactured in Europe. The weavers of Paisley in Scotland were highly skilled and used Jacquard looms to produce paisley designs with multiple colors. At its peak the town of Paisley employed 6000 weavers.

Due to the shawl production in Paisley, Scotland, the pattern became known as a paisley although the name is not international. It is called palme in France, bota in the Netherlands, and bootar in India.

This season we have been working on a few paisley introductions for our Showtime in December.  Here is a hint of what we will be introducing.

Pattern, Abbey Road

Pattern, Abbey Road

Pattern, Regency

Pattern, Regency

History of Textiles: Spotlight on Earl Scruggs

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Ever wonder if any famous people began their careers in textiles? One such individual stands out in Cleveland County (home of STI and Revolution Performance Fabrics). The county, founded in 1841, was largely agricultural, dominated by cotton farming, and became the home of many mills making cotton cloth, yarns, and thread beginning with the re-industrialization of the South after the Civil War. By the 1940’s there were 20 spinning mills in the Shelby area, dominated by the yarn and thread company, Lily Mills, where a young Earl Scruggs worked.

On December 1, 1945 at the age of 21, Earl Scruggs took the stage at the Grand Ole Opry with Bill Monroe and his Blue Grass Boys and history was made, as bluegrass music made its debut. Descriptions of how the audience reacted vary, but one thing is almost certain—no one had ever seen his style of “three finger” picking on the banjo, and no one had ever heard so many notes flowing from a banjo before. Scruggs joined the Blue Grass Boys shortly after leaving his job at the Lily Mill. Prior to this, Scruggs had played in numerous local “front porch pickings” around the region, including frequent trips to Rutherford County where he is reported to have learned this famous picking style from a fellow picker, Rex Brooks. 

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According to Wikipedia, “Despite considerable success with Monroe, performing on the Grand Ole Opry and recording classic hits like "Blue Moon of Kentucky", Scruggs resigned from the group in 1946 due to their exhausting touring schedule. Band member Lester Flatt resigned as well, and he and Scruggs later paired up in a new group called "Flatt and Scruggs and the Foggy Mountain Boys". Scruggs' banjo instrumental called "Foggy Mountain Breakdown", released in 1949, became an enduring hit, and had a rebirth of popularity to a younger generation when it was featured in the 1967 film Bonnie and Clyde. The song won two Grammy Awards and in 2005 was selected for the Library of Congress' National Recording Registry of works of unusual merit. Flatt and Scruggs brought bluegrass music into mainstream popularity in the early 1960’s with their country hit, "The Ballad of Jed Clampett" — the theme music for the successful network television sitcom The Beverly Hillbillies — the first bluegrass recording to reach number one on the Billboard charts. Over their 20-year association, Flatt and Scruggs recorded over 50 albums and 75 singles."

Earl Scruggs passed away March 8, 2012.  On January 11, 2014, the Earl Scruggs Center opened in the renovated county courthouse in Shelby, NC. Here, one can tour a museum which celebrates his life as well as the unique and engaging stories of the history and cultural traditions of the region.

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Click the video below to listen to Earl Scrugg’s country hit The Ballad of Jed Clampett