Friday, January 28, 2005

Oh, and I guess Dennis is paying me back for the photo I got of him! (At least the zipper matched my pants!)

I just got the info and fabric samples on the Mitchell Company organic cottons. Their email is The phone number is 800 870 5312. They are only open Tues, Wed., and Thurs. and Mabel is the only person in the office.

She said that no chemicals are used in the processing of the fabric. Some of the samples are jacquard weave and one, a med. large paisley is really incredible--the outlines of the paisleies are raised and woven in tan. These nicer ones are $8.65 for $50 yards but the rest are closer to $5.00 ($1.00 more for cut yardage). Some are definitely too light for slipcovers.

I'll order some samples to test.

New business: Jean Hutchins Chemical Glues and Toxic Fabric Lint Upholstery and Natural Slipcovers, Inc.
Re: (2004 Summit movie clip)

Gee... thanks A LOT! :D "Mr. DeMille, I'm ready for my close up." NOT! :D :D :D

Very nicely done, actually - except for that shot of me struggling on Alicia's machine...

Thursday, January 27, 2005

Slipcover Summit Scholarships

Have you been thinking about attending the Slipcover Summit April 21-24 in sunny St. Petersburg FL but don't think you can afford it? Well think again!

As chairperson of the Scholarship committee, I am excited to announce that Slipcover Network will be awarding 4 (yes that's four) $250 scholarships to be applied toward class fees. This is possible due to several generous donors (who wish to remain anonymous (sp).

Details of the application process are currently being worked out and should be available soon. If you are interested and wish more information write Angie at

Has anyone read about the Scholarhship to the Slipcover Summit? Several of the instructors have put together an opportunity for scholarhships to the Summit in Flordia.

Wow I know this will really help...

Yeah Jeanne...

I am excited to learn more about this cotton, as I too will add it to my list of organic cottons. So let us know when you hear from them
Thanks, Jeannie. Too bad they don't post fabric weights on the site - I guess samples are the way to go, then.

Monday, January 24, 2005

This link brings up a page under the name of Earth Stone Fabrics and it says "Mitchell Company's.

I think this is the same as the Mitchell Company here in NC that is supposed to call me back tomorrow.
Jeannie, I found the following information from the Organic Cotton Directory:

"Mitchell Fabrics is a retail and wholesale business that caters to the general public as well as the wholesale market. We provide over 30 different organic fabrics as well as organic throws. We also provide conventional fabrics such as Hoffman, Moda, Waverly and Wellington Sears to a growing worldwide market."

Unfortunately, the link provided doesn't work. Did you find one that does?

I found a site that linked to the Mitchell Fabrics organics. Finally! Good prices $5.00-$7.00 yard range for 50 yds ($1.00 more for cut). This looks like the source for some of the and's fabrics. When they call me back I'll see what I can find out. 1. Definition of organic, 2. How chemical free, 3. Presence of sizing or finishing, 4. Source of fabric, 5. Dying 6.Anything else?

Many folks will not have time to check out the same resources. I have to tell you I have found many, many organic cotton sites. All have different pricing. I am still looking for a better rate, writing for samples, and then after I get samples I ask if they will sell to me at wholesale. Many are willing to. is willing to, so that means I can still have afforadable pricing for a great fabric.

Yes, you can offer washable service, that is important. Some charge anywhere from $5 to $10 a yard to wash. Do keep that in mind.

So now I'm hooked on checking 2 forums....
Tell me this: what good does it do me to find sources of (organic or ?) fabric on the web, if a customer can do just as well? I suppose I could offer a washing service using my organic (hopefully not too organic), non-chlorinated well water.

I have a call in to Mitchell Fabrics here in NC re their organic line. (Their web site doesn't function) Maybe it's gone overseas...
Hi Shirley--what I did is highlight what I wanted to copy in the blog and then pasted it in a new word document in the "correct " order. (is that what you were asking me?)

Sunday, January 23, 2005

must be hard to sell fabric where all those outlets are.................. Jeaniie, Word Documents ? You can get this over there ?

you'll find " greenies" in numbers at the alergy doctor's.
All this talk about organic, "green" fabrics got me thinking. Maybe this is the kind of fabric niche I can use to compete with the $7/yard store (with GREAT fabric) just down the road. I've cut and pasted the posts with the links to environmently friendly fabrics so I can read them logically and I'll try to do some more research for everyone in the next week or 2 .

(Every time I check out this blog while it is on the forum site I get overwhelmed by trying to follow things backwards. Now I just stick them in a word document if its something I want to follow.)


Saturday, January 22, 2005

Not to devolve into politics, but I think liberal views are being questioned this year. There's enough work for anyone who believes this to be true. Enough friendship to be had for anyone who looks, believing there's plenty to find. The pie grows, it doesn't get cut into smaller and smaller slices. You learn more teaching than you do sittin' home alone.

We all have plenty. Share it, and we'll see where we all go from here.

Friday, January 21, 2005


I am so, so proud of everyone who participated in this thread. It could have easily devolved into a nasty train wreck; instead, it became a powerful and uplifting affirmation of our finest qualities.

We rock.


Thursday, January 20, 2005

recommendations for jobbers books ? Anyone having good luck with a line or two ? Not bolt goods, piece goods, looking to expand line..............
you have to log out in order to get back on ( previously discussed problem ). You can do so from another computer or from another persons "desktop" on your own computer . Someone suggested clearing caches, I did do that, it didn't do it for me. I did however succeed, once, on a new computer, just to have the same problem again, by not signing out. The log out is hard to find, clear your cookies and that should do it.

Wednesday, January 19, 2005

don't panic yet. Took me minutes to get on blogger too. Snow day.......
Quick Poll...

How many people here, right now [Wednesday, January 19, 4:40pm EST], can NOT log onto the CHFI Forum?

Message: "The server is too busy at the moment. Please try again later."

new rewritten color coded methods summary, available this week. Use this address only to ask for copy: anyone who wants an email attached summary may ask for one.
the details don't matter much, the lesson will.

I hope to be able to challenge people to look beyond the method they are already comfortable with to imagine how they can make their lives easier without making them feel bad they don't already know it.

I push the list to suggest this, and some are not open to the way it's said ( by me apparently ) .

I hope the good part ( what's available to learn ) can be the message remembered and not the imperfect means by which the news is spread around.

I read maybe too much into complaints ( elsewhere ) that appear to say " say nothing more ". I'll ignore the possible pissy interpretations of that and just say, this is too important to chance appearing to be biased or personality driven. The information is worth more than my ego, throw eggs, heck, just read the information.

Hopefully, the colors will remove some objections. The message is that we offer to tell you what makes slipcovers a great career and one that you won't regret investing time and energy in learning. Available slipcover learning experiences are not all that common, so I won't hesitate to say again, it's right here.

Tuesday, January 18, 2005


I am not sure that I understand what you are writing about.

I love the idea of color for the methods. Newbies don't understand that there are different methods until they have been around awhile, and then can see the reason for different methods.

That is why the Summit is such a great place to learn. Things are learned in Progression, one step at a time. One method, leads into another method.....

You are such an inspiration.

the list is my child, I am going to nuture it, and no one is going to tell it to go away ( no one here did that ).

I dressed my child in a circle costume. I tolerate conflict pretty well, but people don't get off without a scolding. Again, not here. It was just nonsense.

I did however realize that the world we negotiate in ( the websites we frequent ) have quirks. There were valid points made as well. I won't be doing this : any more . I will mention CHF products I use everyday. I actually buy them.

I wish Angie ( ANGIE ! ) would mention Stephen Covey, we both agree stongly with the principles.

Strong, principled women make slipcovers. Smart women. Compassionate women.

My skeleton crew cut, joined and put the bucram ( nearly all ) on 140 widths of drapes in three days. They push me out of the way, now I need a epidural block in my back. I do have free time.
Re: Color System for Slipcover Methods

"What is nice ( I hope ) is now methods can be talked about more freely on various websites, discussing when and where they are taught, even if privately when someone expresses an interest. The colors may help neutralize some hurt feelings." [Shirley, from "another site"]

I'm glad you're doing this, Shirley (in your non-existent free time...). There's obviously a need, but I've given up trying to understand WHY there is a need. I'm dumb as a post, I admit it, and my head hurts trying to make sense of any of this. You're a better woman than I am for even trying.


Monday, January 17, 2005

Slipcover Press for Winter 2005 is online. Go to then click on the Slipcover Press.

K with SA
New site looks good, I like the title.

Color system ( three days old ) was the byproduct of discussing some uncomfortable feelings expressed by persons advocating one system of cutting over another.

I always knew there was a chance people would infer more into a methods list format than was intended, so I made it a circle. No start, no end, no beginners, no advanced.

Instead of a list that I try to describe by naming people, it's a circle with six wedges. Color them so we can talk about them , yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, green.

The colors were assigned as: Karen's green, Pat's, Janelle's and Alicia's yellow, double on half orange, single on half and muslin pinning red, from an old slipcover is purple, and all methods ( measuring and chalking a muslin ) which come from observations not cutting on the piece, they are blue.

This I hope actually leaves room for more to develop, you can say you do Green~blue for instance.

I decided the occaison maybe also called for expressing my own hopes that people share stories, anectotes about their own paths, there's no history in a circle, the wealth and value is in each persons path and story. I hope people tell some. No circle or graph replaces this.

What is nice ( I hope ) is now methods can be talked about more freely on various websites, discussing when and where they are taught, even if privately when someone expresses an interest. The colors may help neutralize some hurt feelings.
Shirley what color system? What is this for?

Fabric? Paint?

I would like to know more.

Methods of Slipcovering?

I have a new beginings of a website, all about on going course in slipcovering.

Thanks DEE

Congrats on the new site link - looks good!
anyone wanting to be clued in on a color system now being used to talk about various methods, post here.

remember there are videos available to make everyone's life a little more simple, and the purchase is well worth the time and money spent.

Live teachers are available to support you in a new career as well, be certain to ask.

Thursday, January 13, 2005

Wow, Karen - impressive research! Just when I think I have it all figured out... :D
Organic fabrics...... are grown here in the USA. These are not treated with chemicals. Wow it is amazing what they use on non-organic cotton. Organic cotton is pesticide free, and no chemicals have been added when weaving the cloth.

Hemp is usually organically grown, but it is not allowed in the USA. I did read the other day something about it being grown in Kentucky however, so I am not sure about that. Most of it does come from other countries. I have been doing more research regarding hemp fabric. But did find www.hemptraders in LA who has it available to us at a good price. Meaning we can make some money if we sell it to consumers for slipcovers. They will give us a great price at 500 yrd pricing, but we don't have to buy 500 yards. You can get samples from them to see what they have. I liked what I saw.

Linen too is woven organic, and there can be a mix just like hemp/linen, or cotton/linen.................

Green is a word that is being used lightly..... Organically green is the real tamale. But it all depends on what someone wants in their home or what we want to work with.

K with SA
Read these websites

PBDE more about Flame retardents.

You will find more links to other sites from these sites.

Let me know what you think
Hemp fabrics.

I have used the fabric from Dream On Futon, and it washed up well.

Just got new stuff from check them out.

Shirley how long ago did you do this hemp fabric? It would be great for you to wash and discuss at the Summit in your fabric workshop.

New fabric (not Z-Tex)Textile Plus check it out.....
I have pricing that Jim has quoted me. If you like what you see write me for more information.

K with SA
Found two retail sources for (reasonably priced) organic upholstery-weight fabric: (see: Organic Fabric)

NOTE: "Green" fabric is not necessarily "organic" - it just means the fabric isn't chemically treated (ex. Homespun is "green" but is not organically grown).

There's more out there - Karen have you found anything yet at the wholesale distributer level? I'm assuming the majority of organic fabrics are imported, hence the need for domestic distributers.

I really need to get a life...
Re: hemp fabric

Has anyone tried the hemp fabric offered by Dream On Futon Co.? They advertise in the Slipcover Press - I haven't ordered anything (yet), but Rachel is a delight.

I found the Green Guide on the web, it only gives one paragragh without subscribing, about PBDE's and breast tissue absorbtion.

Was that the issue, and are there larger blurbs to read ?
oh Karen. Please tell me more about your sources for info about flame retardant. I just brought a commercial job into my house.............240 widths drapery..............all FP. WE got babies here.......

I do know my one experience ( each ) with linen and hemp were a bust. They both washed poorly, different suplliers. The Dharma Trading hemp pilled, ( maybe it was my ammonia method ) and the washed linen ( prewashed ) continued to lose fiber in the wash water, after three washings. It looked fine, but the wash water was always full of fiber, a scary amount.

I stopped then, figuring this is some kind of inherent behavior. Anyone find this not to be true, even if a more costly choice ? I first looked to keep it inexpensive, and stopped there.
re: "denim fabric insulation"

Karen, are you talking about that batting-like insulation material made from denim scraps? I've seen it in magazines, but never in person. Does it have upholstery/slipcover potential?

see: for more information.

Wednesday, January 12, 2005

I have been doing much research regarding "user friendly materials" to be used in our businesses for our "customer's interiors".

There has been much written and talked about fire retardants being toxic to our interior environment, plus the dyes that are in our decorator fabrics being safe, plus the foam we are using in our cushions and furniture (these are made from petroleum based product and will one day become very costly)

Is there anyone out there using alternative types of products like organic cotton, wool batting for fillers, new denim fabric insulation for cushions?

Anyone have any good linen or hemp suppliers for fabric?

Karen with Slipcover America Inc

Wednesday, January 05, 2005

10% off at the Pillow Lady website

It's a New Year Special. Check it out, you will love her videos.

Karen, no problem submitting an article. I've already done most of the research. I'm assuming you're looking for thread characteristics: construction, fiber, strength, etc. as they apply to slipcover fabrication. Anything else you want to see?

What is the deadline for submission?
Slipcover Summit 2005 is online and ready for registration....

12 workshops will be offered over the 4 day retreat. You can come for 1 day or stay for all 4. It is up to you. Summit is for beginners through experienced slpcover pros. So if you think you are wanting to know more about making slipcovers, or want to learn more tips and tricks, or just stay educated this is the event for you.

This year is in ST Pete's Beach, Florida.

Read all about it at, then click on Summit 2005. Also there is a link right here on this blogger page, that will take you right to the sight.

If you or anyone you know may want a brochure, call and I will be happy to send to them snail mail.

Need to book your hotel no later than Feb 28th to get the summit discount. We are encouraging folks to share rooms to keep the cost down.

Also Southwest is having a deal to St Petersburg, Florida Featured Destination need to book by the 6th of January.

Questions do call me at 800-267-4958

Karen with the Slipcover Network
Hey Alicia ( it is about time your joined us on this blog...
How is CAlifornia? I heard there has been lots of rain there?
More rain than we get in Washington.
It is cold here and they are saying snow?
NO WAY>>>>>>>>

So are you sewing yet?

Hey Dee this is cool about the thread... Would you like to write this info up for the next slipcover press issue to come out in March? There are many out there who may want to get in on this too, that don't get online regularly.

Way to go. You are a pretty savvy business gal

Tuesday, January 04, 2005

Who knew thread could be sooooo fascinating??!! :D

If you didn't already order thread cards from American & Efird, you can call their industrial division directly: 1-800-438-5868. The colors are GORGEOUS! And the people are very nice and helpful. Right now, as a group we seem to be concentrating on Anefil nylon and poly, and D-Core and PermaCore; for details, go to:

I should hear about wholesale pricing in a few days, but if we can't get it, A&E's list prices are still better than any distributer I've seen. I'm also still checking to see to what extent we can mix an order (colors, types, sizes, etc.).

Details to follow...

Sunday, January 02, 2005

We were talking about his over there~~~~~~~~~~ but I had mistakenly use tex 24 in heavy canvas washables, only to find out it works fine, wraps quantity on my bobbin for fewer changes, and makes a small puncture to hide well.

Then everyone pointed out my mistake, that tex 24 isn't supposed to hold. Still scratching my head. I've done it for six years and 4000 yards of canvas.

Maybe this is like the problem I had switching finally to mollies from plastic anchors, it worked well enough for 13 years untill I had a huge catastrophy.
hot dang ! I wanna come ! Actually I am pretty broke, bought drapery tabling equipment. You should never have shown me that I had a tacker.

My new years resolutions: begin making more repetitive draperies and limit myself to fun slipcovers. I spoiled my enthusiasm about slipcovers by allowing them to become too repetitive. Somethings must be repetitive to delegate work. My slipcovers are too much like my quilting and knitting, with slipcovers I feel like I sell my children. Draperies are distant relatives' stepchildren to me, who cares ?

Question: having cleaned up my basement and organized my supllies, does anyone out there still use 0/3 or should I donate this huge box to a shelter ? I have metal zips as well that I will never again use.

Newbies, I will ship to you ! Free ! I hate to give them to a shelter where they perhaps cannot use them.
Hi Gang!
I've been lurking around the blog for a while w/o being able to get on. K sent me the link & hopefully I'll be able to get me together. Am somewhat moved to southern Cal. Where did I get all this stuff? Most is for my workroom. Have been thinking about getting a retail space only to keep all the fuz out of the house.

About the thread thing, usually you have to buy SO MUCH & it usually is a minimum of $5000 & boxes of each color. when I get thread from Atlanta Thread, I usually get 4 for serger & 2 for reg machine, usual box is 10 or 12 so we could split the box of each color.

I will go down into the fabric/fashion area in LA & see what i can find there. It might be about the same price as becoming a dealer. I use dual duty poly core with cotton wrap. Does anyone else use that?

Cheers! Happy Solstice & New Year!