Sourcing Linen and Wool

Hi all

I was wondering if anyone knew decent places to source heavy wool (coating, melton weight-ish) and plain linen fabric? I’ve found linen for about £7/m and wool for £10-12/m, which would make costume making for all four of us quite expensive…

I’ve found it a bit cheaper to buy my linen by weight rather than length; I usually buy in-store from Abakhan (abakhan.co.uk/).

I’ll second that vote for Abakhan, if you live near one.

To be honest those prices are pretty normal, you can hunt around on ebay and so forth and sometimes find things cheaper but it’s luck of the draw what colours they are where as at £7 metre you can get most colours of linen. Wool varies more price wise and can get a lot more than that if you want something specific.

Places like Adekhans are great if you can get to them of course.

Thanks all.

I will try to do it bit by bit and have a look for a bargain or two!

I don’t know how useful Re-enactors fares are for buying wool (I don’t know if it’s cheaper cos you can get bargains or more expensive because they add a premium because they’ve paid for a pitch at a fare!) but certainly going along to one to get contact details for wool and linen sellers is a thing I found useful :slight_smile:

We’re getting ours from Bernie The bolt, which I think is 9 for the linen (2 weights) and 12 for the wool (really nice melton). The benefit for us as a large Highguard chapter is we can get more of exactly the same shade later on.

Best to get a look at his stuff at a fair, but once you know what you want can order over email or the phone.

calltoarms.com/bolt/

I have found cheaper stuff on occasion, but it’s buy it when you see it and a bit pot luck on the colours.

I’ve bought wool from here: classhistory.co.uk/Herts%20Fabrics//store/ (note standard flat rate delivery charge of £10 so worth buying stuff all in one go).

I’ve not found pure linen for cheaper than £7. I’ve bought linen mix fabric (usually either blended with cotton or rayon) for £5, but that’s off a stall in Stevenage market - the weight varies massively from colour to colour depending on whatever they can get. I’m sure there are similar places about though.

I try hard not to pay more than £6/m for pure linen, and do sometimes get it for 5, so it is possible, but it’s a matter of keeping your eye out, and buying a tonne of the stuff when you do find it. We got some, for example, in the Abakhan sale for less than a fiver, and bought the whole roll on the spot. You can find good bargains at reenactment fairs (and it is that time of year) too.

I’ve had very good experiences with Fabric Land. Note they also do a flat rate delivery. Be warned, however, their website is… deeply, deeply… unique.

Fabricland is indeed unique, wear sunglasses ! they are far better than their site leads you to believe.

Herts fabrics, linked above is good for linen and some wools, they tend to stick to re-enactment colours. Re-enactment fairs are good and prices are generally reasonable.

Keith of Ceolred Monger is very helpful and do some good wools depending what he can pick up from his contacts at sensible prices.

Would probably be worth having a sticky thread which lists suppliers and what they are good at on this section of the forum?

Do folks have a good source of material with paterns in for making dawnish kit. So nice bold colours but with inbuilt pattern.

Woody try look at curtain fabric, the woven in pattern sort rather than printed mostly.
I have got some fabulous stuff from the millshop online and they do a nice range of silks as well. Customer service has always been excellent too. Sometimes the upholstery stuff is good too depending what you are making, check the details to see how thick it is or ask them. The patterns they have in vary over time and check all the different sections.

Picked up some nice ones beginning of this year from Abakhans in their online sale as well but more hit and miss.

Linen’s wise and indeed other fabrics there is a german company I’ve had good experience with, all the linen for the ref jackets came from them. atmlable.com

There is another german company called myfabrics.co.uk from whom I have also got some nice linens BUT I can’t honestly recommend them as their communication is very poor and their deliveries sometimes take ages to arrive so use with care and only if you don’t mind waiting.

There’s an actual Fabric Land store about 100 metres away from where I live, it’s where we get most of the fabric for our kit.

If you are in London, then the London SCA Shopping Directory is worth looking at
thamesreach.org/visitors-info/shopping/
The Guide to Fabric Shopping is half way down.

for myself, Classic Textiles on Goldhawk Road is where I’ve bought all my wool and most of my linen.

Useful list - I’ll have to check out Green St.

Green Street is indeed fab.
The shop opposite Upton Park tube has a great range of wools and linens (including the red wool they use for palace guards) and the market is really good for silks and other light decorative cloths and trims and costume jewelry. Good prices too.