Q: What's the best way to care for block print cotton?
A: Hand blocked prints have been popular for centuries, and still are today. Here are some tips to ensure that they look their best for years to come.
Before sewing, be sure to pre-wash and care for your fabric the same way you plan to do so after you finish making your garment. Cotton shrinks under heat, and even when washing cold it may shrink during drying or pressing.
Block prints may bleed and fade slightly in the first few washes. Wash them separately at first. Some like to add vinegar to help set the dye, or throw a color catcher in with it.
Do not use bleach or stain removers
Iron from the reverse side of the fabric or with a pressing cloth.
Q: What's the best way to Hand Wash the fabric?
A: Hand washing is the best way to care for your fabric! Treat it gently.
Wash in cold water with mild detergents.
Do not soak
Line dry in the shade for best results.
Q: Ok, but that's too much effort. Is Machine Washing ok?
A: Machine washing is ok too!
Wash on delicate in cold water using mild detergents.
Do not soak
Tumble Dry on low heat
Q: What's your block print cotton width and longest fabric lengths available?
A: Our cottons are 44/45" wide. German Summer arrived at my doorstep in 5 meter long lengths, while the American Autumn and French Spring prints come in 10 meter lengths. (Here's a super duper secret: I sell in yard long increments and the difference between meters and yards gets eaten up when I add a couple inches to each customer's cut. If you order the max 5m or 10m lengths, you'll usually receive ~5.5 or 10.9 yards instead)
Q: Why do block print fabrics fade and bleed? Can't they use a better dye?
A: Fabric dyes are actually one of the world's major water pollutants! Some of the 'best' colorfast dyes used to produce bright reds (the biggest culprit when it comes to dye crocking) are dangerous carcinogens. Block printers apply create prints by hand with carved wooden blocks. They're up close and personal with the dye and so use safer but less colorfast dyes to protect themselves!
Q: Why isn't the the print perfect?
A: As a handmade artform, block printed fabrics always have some variation. Perhaps a block wasn't placed quite exactly or there's a smudge or splatter? All of these variations are considered normal and even desirable today. They're proof that your fabric isn't just mass produced by a computer controlled printer but a unique, historically accurate piece of textile art! Show it off!
Q: Peas Projects? What projects? Why peas? What kind of vegetal shenanigans are going on and what does it have to do with history or block printed fabric?
A: Thanks for asking! Peas comes from my surname. The decision to chop the 'e' off the end has only confused my extended family and saved everyone else a FAQ on why there's an e in the name! This business is supported by my entire family and while the primary project has been reproducing 18th century block prints, there's a lot more that we're up to! Check our 'Our Projects' for more info!
Q: "Can you sew me a-"
A: Short answer, "No." Long answer, I can actually be bribed into it and generally use the following pricing structure: $2000 "I don't want to do it" fee + $/hr (scales with the hassle of the project) + materials. Only one person has taken me up on it so far and he looks fabulous in his silk velvet Santa suit.
Q: Can you build me a reproduction 18th century harp?
A: Come talk to me.