I adore walking into a fabric store and wandering around in a kaleidoscopic world of colour, texture and pattern. It is such a tactile experience and I cannot resist fondling the linens and delicate silks, the colourful cottons and fine wools, fingering them, stroking their softness and enjoying the sensuous feel as the fabric slides across my fingers. I can dawdle for hours whilst imagining the fabulous outfits I might create.
I recently visited what was once a favourite central Brisbane fabric store, Gardams and came away very sad. It was such a small store with so few selections of fabrics and accessories that I doubt I will go in there again. I googled the name to see what had happened to the business and I gather there is a larger store at Indooroopilly so perhaps in fairness I will have to visit it, but I am not sure I could stand it. I think it will be like visiting a beloved relative who is slipping into old age and has lost their sharpness and acuity.
I still sew the occasional garment, but perhaps looking at the downsizing of both Gardams and Lincraft others do not. Are we buying all our clothes ready made and is this a skill that is being lost rather than being handed down from one generation to another? I know one of my daughters sews, but I don’t think either of the other two do, or my daughter’s-in-law or sons other than to sew on a button. I think they are missing out on such a creative and fun activity; I remember the hours of fun in browsing the pattern books dreaming of what I might make, then selecting the fabric and then the pride when I had actually made a garment that I enjoyed wearing. The simple pleasure of fabric with its colours, pattern and feel is something I will never forget.