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Buyer’s Guide to 18th Century Cotton Floral Prints

One question I receive a lot is, “where do I find appropriate 18th century floral prints?” I realize that it’s taken *years* to source these out, so to save you time (and maybe some money, too), here’s my personal, non-exhaustive, go-to list of vendors selling floral 18th century prints in cotton.

I’ve sorted them by price, though some of these are sold in lengths other than yards (such as the Dutch chintz and the curtain panels), so prices may be a bit deceiving (in either a good or bad way).

Most of these shops have LOTS of other designs and offerings (Reproduction Fabrics, Colonial Williamsburg, and Wm. Booth Draper, for example), so be sure to click through to see the whole range. Many of the shops also have silks, linens, and wool for sale. Links to the shops are listed at the end of the post, or you can click on each fabric swatch image to go directly to that fabric (and consequently the shop)

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Dutch Quilts fabric – € 4,75 or approx. $6.48 per 25 cm or $23.70/yard – does not include shipping
Reproduction Fabrics – $10.50/yard
IKEA – Stenort Duvet cover – $49.99 full/queen, one-sided. Enough to make a gown.
IKEA – Hassleklocka Duvet cover – $24.99 queen size, double-sided, enough to make a gown and petticoat

**IKEA retires and introduces difference duvet textiles regularly, so if the two above are no longer available it is still worth a look at the Ikea website to see if any new 18th century style textiles are available.

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Reproduction Fabrics – $11.00/yard
Reproduction Fabrics – $11.00/yard
Reproduction Fabrics – $11.00/yard
Discount Fabrics USA – $11.81/yard (price may change)
Colonial Williamsburg “Brandied Raisin Chintz” $14/yd
Colonial Williamsburg “Fanny’s India Floral Cotton” $14/yd
Colonial Williamsburg “Francis Open Floral Cotton” $14/yd

When it comes to historical accuracy, the Colonial Williamsburg reproduction fabrics are *the best.* They’re excellent quality, very reasonably priced, and are made from original textiles, many in the Williamsburg collection. See all of the Colonial Williamsburg fabrics here.

Fashionable Frolick on Etsy – $16.50/yard
Discount Fabrics USA – $17.81/yard (price may change)
Waverly “Felicite” Curtains – $19.98/2 84×50″ panels

The famous Waverly “Felicite” curtains are available in ivory, red, black, and in yardage from Joann’s also in blue, and ivory/green. *Note: The Joann’s yardage may be heavier than the packaged curtains from Lowe’s. Be sure to avoid heavy upholstery weight or even medium weight cottons – you want lightweight.

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Wm. Booth Draper – $35.95/yard
Wm. Booth Draper – $39.95/yard
Wm. Booth Draper – $39.95/yard
IKEA – Ingmarie Curtains – $39.99/2 98×57″ panels
Duran Textiles – no price, but tend to be expensive (see how to order link below)
Duran Textiles – no price, but tend to be expensive (see how to order link below)

In the future, some of these fabrics may not be carried by the vendors, so here’s a list of each shop (and a few more) so you can click through and search on your own:

p.s. I am unaffiliated with all of these shops. I don’t get any kickbacks for any of these links.

29 Comments

  • Siusaidh

    May 26, 2014 at 1:50 AM

    It will probably be 2015 before a new reproduction fabric is brought in (we ave 12), but since It starts about 8-10 months out (the long process of choosing the inspiration, having the artwork done, colors approved, sample approved, to receiving the fabric) so my file is opening now. If there are any requests, please let me know, would love to hear the wishes of the community.

    Reply
  • Gina

    May 26, 2014 at 3:49 AM

    You rock. Thank you for sharing this! When I get around to making my 18th Century dress, I shall consult this!

    Reply
  • Karenee H.

    May 26, 2014 at 5:46 AM

    Thank you so much for this! Sometimes I like to just look at fabric, even if I'm not buying. 🙂
    And I did the math for the Den Haan & Wagenmarkers fabric – $6.48 per 25cm comes to $23.70 per yard.

    Reply
    • Lauren Stowell

      May 26, 2014 at 6:28 PM

      Oh, thanks for working it out! I'm going to add that as a note to the post, so people know. Thank you!

      Reply
  • Anonymous

    May 26, 2014 at 8:51 AM

    Thanks for the overview!
    Maybe another to add is Betina Printing. In part the same chintzes as Den Haan & Wagenmakers, but the website you mentioned is the shop and Betina printing is the factory (which also sells directly to consumers!). Sometimes there's more to find on their website:
    http://www.dutchfabric.nl/home/ 🙂

    Reply
    • Lauren Stowell

      May 26, 2014 at 6:34 PM

      Thanks for the tip! I've added Betina printing to the vendor's list, and I miiiight be having to order some cloth from them soon 🙂

      Reply
  • Deb Salisbury, Magic Seeker and Mantua-Maker

    May 26, 2014 at 3:28 PM

    Wow, what a useful resource! I've added a link to this post to my website. Thanks!

    Reply
  • Anonymous

    May 26, 2014 at 4:35 PM

    aaah thanks so much! I've always wondered where people got these without selling a limb, and I've never found the Williamsburgh ones online! Thanks!

    Reply
    • Lauren Stowell

      May 26, 2014 at 6:37 PM

      The Williamsburg online shopping is weirdly hard to navigate. It took me awhile of hard searching to find the page where the fabrics were listed, but now it's found, and linked up, plus they're added lots more fabrics now 🙂

      Reply
    • Siusaidh

      May 29, 2014 at 6:56 PM

      we are working on this, we just put the fabric on the web recently and are working on a home for it. thanks for the patience. type fabric in the search box and it should pull them up

      Reply
  • Katie Lovely

    June 1, 2014 at 7:44 PM

    I've heard (somewhere, can't remember where, so YMMV) that some of the W-burg prints are taken from decorative fabrics rather than from garments. Whether or not that's true, it's still good to research what prints were used for which purposes, since just because something is a historically accurate motif doesn't guarantee it would have been used for clothing.

    Reply
    • Lauren Stowell

      June 2, 2014 at 6:04 PM

      Hi Katie – Yes, I read that too (I think it was on the Hive blog, or on the Larkin & Smith English Gown pattern.), and the advice was to look for the "documented" prints. While all of the Williamsburg fabrics are reproductions, unfortunately, it doesn't say on the webpage which ones are from clothing and which from furniture. Just looking at them, with an educated eye, I would say ALL of them are appropriate for clothing (depending on the scale), and some of the designs that look more "upholstery" in style are indeed from original garments I've seen with my own eyes, which is kindof nutty.

      As with any of these vendors, it's important to "train your eye" by looking at lots of original garments. It helps us find acceptable modern prints (like that Downton Abbey swatch I listed), as well as distinguish between a clothing and furnishing reproduction print.

      Reply
  • Sarah Walsh

    June 3, 2017 at 4:44 PM

    The fabric for my Abigail Adams gown is a hand block-printed cotton straight from India which I got on eBay for $5/yd. No kidding!! They use the same techniques that have been in practice for 200 years. The fabric is lightweight but crisp, never wrinkles, bright and colorful, and has some of those minor printing imperfections that make the fabric unique and feel more authentic. Stock changes frequently, and more often than not, when the yardage is gone it's gone, but it's worth a search! I usually put "Hand block print fabric India" in the search bar and am always delighted with what comes up. Some are better for 18th century and some are better for 19th, but figuring out which is which comes with training one's eye, as Lauren said.

    Reply

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