GG Knows – A Dictionary of Textile Terms

Meet GG, one of the beloved founders of Chicago Canvas & Supply. Although she’s no longer with us, her vast knowledge of industry terminology lives on in this textile dictionary! Each month, we’ll pull from GG’s personal collection of terms—don’t miss out by subscribing to our blog over on the right-hand side of this webpage.

Ready to learn something new? Let’s get started!
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Ultimate List of Fabric Scrap Projects

Anyone that works with fabric knows there are always a LOT of scraps. Why throw them away? Instead, save them, store them and take them out on a rainy day for some fun projects. This ultimate list of fabric scrap projects has a bunch of ideas to get your imagination going. Have something to add to the list? Leave it in the comments below! Be sure to bookmark this page for later and check back for updates.

Note: If you’d like to learn how to turn scraps to yardage before you start your fabric scrap project, see The Sewing Loft Blog for a complete tutorial.

60 Fabric Scrap Ideas

Décor

  1. Bows
  2. Wreath
  3. Fabric banner
  4. Picture frame
  5. Christmas ornaments

Pets

  1. Toys
  2. Bows
  3. Collar
  4. Pillows
  5. Blankets

Home

  1. Pillows
  2. Coaster
  3. Lanyard
  4. Curtains
  5. Floor rug
  6. Drink sleeve
  7. Table runner
  8. Quilt/Blanket
  9. Coffee/tea cozy
  10. Seat/floor cushions
  11. Embellish towels or blankets

Baby

  1. Bib
  2. Fabric baby mobile
  3. Toys (blocks, animals, etc.)

Fashion

  1. Scarf
  2. Brooch
  3. Hair bow
  4. Headband
  5. Fabric Jewelry
  6. Embellish clothes

Fun

  1. Ribbons
  2. Flowers
  3. Magnets
  4. Bean bags
  5. Cake flags
  6. Bookmarks
  7. Patch collage
  8. DIY bobby pins
  9. Fabric feathers
  10. Animal figurines
  11. Fortune cookies

Useful

  1. Belt
  2. Baskets
  3. Hangers
  4. Pouches
  5. Keychain
  6. Cord wrap
  7. Bags/Totes
  8. Pencil case
  9. Pot holder
  10. Book cover
  11. Glasses case
  12. Scissor cover
  13. Heating pad
  14. Earbud holder
  15. Pincushion
  16. iPad/Kindle case
  17. Sew-in interfacing
  18. Water bottle carrier
  19. Duster/Swiffer cover
Summer DIY Party Banner Via blog.chickabug.com
Summer DIY Party Banner Via Blog.Chickabug.com/2013/06/summery-diyparty-banner.html
Dog Toy via http://www.marymarthamama.com/crafty-cat/diy-fleece-dog-toy-tutorial/
Dog Toy via http://www.marymarthamama.com/crafty-cat/diy-fleece-dog-toy-tutorial/

Learn How to Upholster with Dropcloth

Dog Toy via http://www.marymarthamama.com/crafty-cat/diy-fleece-dog-toy-tutorial/
Dog Toy via http://www.marymarthamama.com/crafty-cat/diy-fleece-dog-toy-tutorial/
Fabric Flowers via http://snowybliss.blogspot.com/2010/06/long-stemmed-fabric-flowers.html
Fabric Flowers via http://snowybliss.blogspot.com/2010/06/long-stemmed-fabric-flowers.html
DIY Cord Keeper via http://leafytreetopspot.blogspot.com/2013/05/tutorial-diy-cord-keeper-from-fabric.html

Need More Scraps?

Browse Our Remnant Sale

Your Complete Guide to Fabric Care

Fabrics are an investment! We know you want to keep them in pristine condition as long as possible. Just as every fabric has its own purpose, they also have their unique characteristics that need to be considered. Get the tips you need on all types of fabric care with Chicago Canvas & Supply’s ultimate guide.

Fabric Care Tips

We all know the sinking feeling of ruining a fabric, whether it be using the wrong chemical on it or shrinking it to a comical-like size. You can use these fabric care tips to help avoid some common mistakes.

Shrunk your fabric? This is the ultimate guide to fabric care that you need.

1. Do your research.
You have a lot of options. Everybody has a unique situation with different limitations, whether it be budget, space, or certain fabric qualities (waterproof, flame retardant, sound absorbing, etc.). Make sure the fabric you want to buy will best accomplish what you want within your limitations.

2. Get the right fabric for your application.
Many fabrics, like tarps, for example, have several different varieties. You need to make sure you do your due diligence when shopping to ensure what your getting will accomplish what you need.

3. Talk to an expert.
We understand that, with all the fabric choices, finding the right one can be overwhelming. So, why struggle? Talk to a fabric professional about your needs to save time and get the fabric that’s best-suited for your project.

Have a fabric question? We can help.

Fabric Care FAQs

After being in business for over 75 years, we’ve pretty much heard it all. We’ve put together some of our top fabric FAQs to help your project go off without a hitch.

What’s the right way to store fabric?

Store fabric is a dry, cool place and avoid storing in direct sunlight. Always ensure fabric is dry before putting it away.

Which fabrics shrink?

Cotton, flannel, wool, linen and silk will shrink, so always wash these in cold water.  Synthetic (acrylic, polyester, nylon, spandex) and tight-knit fabrics are less likely to shrink.

Can I wash this?

  • Do you wash fabric before sewing? It’s recommended to pre-wash all fabric before sewing, especially if you’re using multiple fabrics. A yard of fabric may shrink up to half an inch, so keep that in mind when ordering.
  • How can I pre-wash my fabric? Get the specific washing instructions for your fabric.
  • Can I wash synthetic fabrics? Yes; Machine-wash synthetic fabrics in warm water with mild detergent.
  • Can I wash muslin? Yes, at home with cold water and mild detergent. You will get creases after.
  • Can I wash drop cloth? Many opt to wash and bleach their painters drop cloth before use to loosen up the stiffness of the fabric. Find out how here: Dropcloth Upholstery 101
  • Can I wash wool? Treat wool with care. It’s known to shrink even more than cotton, and even after multiple washes. You can wash wool by hand and let it air dry. It’s best to take fine wool fabric to the dry cleaner.
  • Can I wash linen? Yes, you can wash linen in your washing machine, but expect wrinkles.
  • Can I wash rayon? Rayon can be hand washed with cold water and mild detergent or taken to the dry cleaner.

Don't order your fabric without reading this.

What’s the best way to clean tarps?

Vinyl, poly and canvas tarps can be hosed down. For tough stains, add some vinegar or mild detergent and clean with a sponge or scrub brush.

Learn more about the best way to clean tarps here: Tarp Repair Maintenance Tips

Can I iron my fabric?

Usually, it’s recommended to iron your fabric to ensure everything is neat and tidy for what you’re doing.

Need to know the right temperature? Thespruce.com has some tips you can refer to.

Which cleaners can I use?

Some stains require chemicals to remove. Always be sure check to see if the cleaner you want to use doesn’t have bleach. The milder the solution, the better.

Will the color bleed/fade?

Fabrics usually fade when they’re exposed to sunlight/heat, washed too much, or treated roughly. Color bleeding usually happens when the fabric has been washed in water that’s too hot. So if you’re worried, wash in cold water.

Have a unique project?

CCS Teams up with National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc for Breast Cancer Awareness Month

Chicago Canvas & Supply is proud to support the National Breast Cancer Foundation for breast cancer awareness month. Throughout the month of October, CCS will be running a promotion to help spread awareness for breast cancer research, prevention, and education. 10% of all sale proceeds will be donated to the National Breast Cancer Foundation, Inc. This cause is extremely important to Chicago Canvas and Supply, and we are honored to be able to support awareness efforts.
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FR vs. IFR for Stage Curtain Fabric

What Is The Difference Between Flame Retardant And Inherently Flame Retardant Theatre Fabric?

Fabrics are an important element in theatre and arts. However, determining the proper type of fabric can sometimes be challenging, especially when it comes to differentiating between Flame Retardant and Inherently Flame Retardant.  While they only differ by a few letters, there is a definite difference between the two.

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Comparing Fabrics for Theater Curtains

Guide to Selecting the Ideal Fabric Type for your Theater Curtains

Let me set the stage for you. Big production coming up and your job is to buy the fabric to make theater curtains. You are clicking from site to site, trying to figure out which fabric is going to be best-suited.  So many choices! There is also a budget to stay within. Isn’t it also always the case that these were needed yesterday?  Ya’ know… just to keep it interesting.  Let us save you some time with a simple chart comparing theater fabrics so the next time you are in need of fabrics for your stage curtains, you will know exactly what to order.

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Chicago Canvas Theater Fabrics at Stage Expo

Chicago Canvas had the pleasure of exhibiting at USITT’s Stage Expo March 19-21.  From costume displays to gorgeous fabrics, the Stage Expo always provides a dynamic hands-on environment to learn about the latest happening in the entertainment industry, including audio, lighting, set designs, and media. We even saw art being created on canvas with the artist standing up and using paint brushes with long 3′ handles on. Cool!
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Chicago TV Shows Pop in for Cut Yardage Orders

Columnist Michael Sneed recently made mention of 3 TV Series currently being filmed right here in Chicago: “Chicago Fire,” “Chicago P.D.,”  and “Empire.”  Each of the sets for these TV shows uses fabric from Chicago Canvas & Supply. We have provided these shows with 9′ – 20′ Natural Color Muslin (flame retardant and non-flame retardant), Flame Retardant Bleached White Muslin, White Sharkstooth Scrim, and Flame Retardant Grey Muslin.
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