FAQs

 

What is the minimum amount I can buy?

The minimum length we cut in store is 25cm. If the fabric is less than £10/m then the minimum is 50cm.

The minimum cut on all of our trimmings is 50cm.

 

Can I have fabric samples?

We are happy to offer a small selection of fabric samples for free, either from our Soho store or by post.

If you would like to request samples from our Soho store by post please write to us at Cloth House, 47 Berwick Street, London, W1F 8SJ

Please include a note of the samples you would like and a stamped self addressed envelope so that we can post the samples back to you. We recommend sending an A5 envelope with a large letter stamp.

Samples are limited to around 3 per person so please bear this in mind and try to be specific about fabric types, colours and weights.

More information on sampling and mail orders are available here.

 

Is your warehouse shop the same as your store in Soho?

Our warehouse shop is totally different to our Soho store. The fabrics in the warehouse shop are discontinued rolls from previous collections and are not available in our Soho store. Our warehouse shop does not provide a mail order service.

 

Do you sell gift vouchers?

We do sell Cloth House gift vouchers in our Soho store and via mail order. Gift vouchers can only be used in store, we cannot accept them as payment for mail orders. Gift vouchers are not available from our warehouse shop but they are accepted there.

 

Do you offer trade discounts?

Currently we are unable to offer wholesale prices.

 

Do you offer student discount?

All students who show a valid student card at our Soho store will be entitled to a 10% discount on purchases of £20 and over. This applies to fabric only, we do not offer it on the vintage trimmings, buttons or other items we sell. We do not offer student discount in our warehouse shop.

 

Are your fabrics suitable for furnishings?

We do not sell certified furnishing fabrics. You may be able to use some of our fabrics for curtains, covers and other interior uses. However, this is at the customers full discretion as none of our fabrics are treated to be fire-retardant, nor have they had furnishing rub tests carried out on them.

 

What are the care instructions for your latex?

Storage & Use:

Protect latex from prolonged exposure to light, particularly bright sunlight and strong UV light, as it can cause it to discolour.
It is advised to store latex garments in a black plastic bag, in a cupboard or drawer.
Avoid contact with metal, as this can discolour the latex. It permanently stains brown in contact with copper, copper containing alloys, brass or bronze. Pale coloured latex can even stain brown if handled after handling copper coins, so take care.
Avoid contact with oils, solvents and greases, which will destroy natural rubber.
Store below 26°C and away from heaters. Avoid damp storage conditions.
Keep latex away from sharp objects and fire.

Washing:
Wash latex clothing immediately after wearing. Gentle hand wash in warm water, do not use soap or detergent. Take care not to scrub or wring the latex as this may damage it. Rinse well and pat the latex with a towel to get rid of excess water and moisture.
Air dry flat, and lightly dust with talcum powder before putting away.
Silicone spray can build the shine of latex.
Do not tumble dry, iron, or dry clean. 

 

What are the instructions for the Indigo dyes?

If you have bought our Indigo cakes from our Soho store, you will need to follow one of the dyeing methods below.

 

Method No.1 - 1-2-3 FERROUS VAT (good for cotton)

 75g Indigo cake (1 part)

150g Ferrous sulphate (2 parts)

225g Lime (3 parts)

30 litres water

 

30 litre Plastic bucket with lid or

30 litre Earthenware pot

1 large and 1 small wooden/stainless steel spoon

Jam jar with lid

1 litre mixing jug

Old dishcloth

Thick rubber gloves (from a garden centre)

Clothing hangers or washing line

Clothes pegs

Ph testing paper

White vinegar/acetic acid

 

PREPARING THE VAT

Take 30 litres of water and almost bring to the boil (95 degrees) add to the plastic bucket or earthenware pot.

Crush the indigo cake into powder and add to the jam jar with some of the nearly boiled water. Put the lid on tightly and shake to hydrate. Add the indigo to the vat and stir.

Dissolve the ferrous sulphate in some of the hot water from the vat, then add to the vat and stir.

Dissolve the lime in some of the hot water from the vat until it is a paste then add to the vat and stir.

Wait for the vat to turn greenish-yellow (this will take between 1-3 hours) Check for a brown surface with dark bubbles. The vat should be ph 11-13

 

PREPARING THE YARN OR CLOTH FOR DYEING

Wash your yarn/cloth in natural soap and hot water to remove all starches and stiffeners.

Cotton can be almost boiled with the soap solution. Wool and silk must be soaked overnight in warm soap solution. Leave overnight and wash in cold water the next morning.

 

USING THE VAT

Take your washed yarn/cloth, squeeze until damp.

Take out half a litre of the vat liquid using the measuring jug and keep to one side.

Put on the rubber gloves, and fully immerse the yarn or cloth in the vat, squeeze out all surplus air and gently open out the yarn /cloth underneath the surface of the vat and gently move it around for about 10 minutes.

Take out of the vat and squeeze to remove most of the liquid. Let the excess liquid drip into the vat until the dripping stops. The colour should change from greenish yellowish blue to blue. Dip in water to oxidise. Hang for 5 mins until excess water has dripped away.

Repeat dyeing once more.

Hang on hanger or peg to washing line in the shade.

Put the half litre of vat liquid in the measuring jug back into the vat. This rebalances the vat with the original enzymes.

 

Use the vat again next morning to repeat the process.

Repeat until the desired colour has been achieved.

Finally hang yarn/cloth for 4-5 days in the shade so the colour will be strong.

 

Rinse yarn/cloth in warm vinegar water mixture; 10 litres water to a capful of vinegar. Do this 2-3 times, or until the water runs clear. This helps to balance the ph of the dyed yarn or fabric.

Give a final rinse in cold water. Hang to dry

 

Technique No.2 - NATURAL INDIGO VAT FOR 20 LT. VAT - ADVANCED

 This vat will keep on going if maintained

180g Dry Indigo cake

70g Lime

105g Carbonate of soda

55g Dates (un pitted)

20 litres Water

 

25-30 litre Plastic bucket with lid or

25-30 Earthenware pot

1 Large and 1 small wooden / stainless steel spoon

1 saucer

1 litre mixing jug

Old dishcloth

Thick rubber gloves (from a garden centre)

Clothing hangers or washing line

Clothes pegs

Ph testing paper

White vinegar / acetic acid

 

PREPARING THE VAT

DAY1

Take a 20-25 litre earthenware pot or plastic bucket. This will be the vat. Half bury the vat in the ground if it is hot, or wrap with straw/blanket if it’s cold for insulation. Keep the vat in a shady spot out of direct sunlight.

Fill the vat with plain water: 19 L

ADD:

15g Lime

35g Carbonate of soda & stir

 

DAY 2

ADD:

15g Lime

35g Carbonate of Soda & stir

 

DAY 3

ADD

15g Lime

35g Carbonate of Soda & stir

 

Total Quantities for above 3 days are:

45g Lime

105g Carbonate of Soda

 

In the evening, soak 90g of indigo cake in water in a saucer. The water should be enough to moisten the dry indigo cake.

 

DAY 4

In the morning, grind the indigo to a paste with a little bit of water. Add to the vat and stir well

Then soak another 90g of Indigo cake in water in a saucer.

In the evening, grind the second lot of indigo and add to the vat and stir well

 

DAY 5

In the morning, boil in an old saucepan:

25g Lime

55g Dates

500 ml water

 

With enough water to cover, boil it down for about 15 minutes until the liquid is a dark yellowy brown.

Add this mixture to the indigo vat while it is still hot and stir a couple of times.

 

DAY 6

When the vat is ready there will be a bluey-green foam on top. In a hot climate the vat will be ready on the 6th day. If it’s cold, it will take a few days longer.

 

PREPARING THE YARN OR CLOTH FOR DYEING

 

Wash your yarn/cloth in a natural soap in hot water to remove all starches and stiffeners.

Cotton can be almost boiled with the soap solution. Wool and silk must be soaked overnight in warm soap solution. Leave overnight and wash in cold water the next morning.

 

USING THE VAT

 

Take your washed yarn/cloth, squeeze until damp.

Take out half a litre of the vat liquid using the measuring jug and keep to one side.

Put on the rubber gloves, and fully immerse the yarn or cloth in the vat, squeeze out all surplus air, gently open out the yarn/cloth underneath the surface of the vat and gently move it around for about 10 minutes.

Take out of the vat and squeeze to remove most of the liquid. Let the excess liquid drip into the vat until the dripping stops. The colour should change from greenish yellowish blue to blue. Dip in water to oxidise. Hang for 5 mins until excess water has dripped away.

Repeat dyeing once more.

Hang on hanger or peg to washing line in the shade.

Put the half litre of vat liquid in the measuring jug back into the vat. This rebalances the vat with the original enzymes.

 

Use the vat again next morning to repeat the process.

Repeat until the desired colour has been achieved.

Finally hang yarn/cloth for 4-5 days in the shade so the colour will be strong.

 

Rinse yarn/cloth in a warm vinegar water mixture; 10 litres water to a capful of vinegar. Do this 2-3 times, or until the water runs clear. This helps to balance the ph of the dyed yarn or fabric.

Give a final rinse in cold water. Hang to dry

 

TIPS

 The vat should ALWAYS be covered when not in use, but so it can breathe. If you are using a plastic bucket, drill several holes in the lid. If you are using the traditional earthenware pot, cover it with a cloth or a woven basket.

The vat’s ph level should be between 10 - 13

Always cover the vat when not in use as direct sunlight weakens the vat

 

TROUBLESHOOTING

If there is white foam, add 60g of lime

If the vat feels too soapy/ limey, add 50g dates

If not fermenting, put your hands down to the bottom of the vat and give the mixture a good squeeze.

To rest the vat when not in use add 100g of lime

To get the vat going again, boil up 30g of lime and 60g of dates in 500ml of water. Add to the vat when hot and stir.

 

RECHARGE RATES

 

Recharge for equivalent of 5m of fabric

32g Indigo

37g Carbonate of soda

19g lime

37g dates

 

Dilute the carbonate of soda into a paste then add to the vat.

Add a little hot water to the lime and make into a paste. Crush the dates, add to the lime mix, then add to the vat. If the water in the vat has gone down by a litre or two, dilute the date and lime mixture with the 1-2 litres of hot water, then add to the vat

Crush up the indigo into a paste using some water from the vat. This helps the indigo to dissolve. Add to vat and stir. The vat should be ready the next day.

 

Technique No.3 - FRUIT VATS

 

BANANA VAT

30 old small bananas- riper the better

75g indigo cake

75g lime

28 litres water

 

PAPAYA/PEAR VAT

2.5kg ripe papaya or pears (skin and all)

95g indigo cake

55g lime

25 litres water

 

25-30 litre Plastic bucket with lid or

25-30 Earthenware pot

1 Large & 1 small wooden / stainless steel spoon

1 saucer

1 litre mixing jug

Old dishcloth

Thick rubber gloves (from a garden centre)

Clothing hangers or washing line

Clothes pegs

Ph testing paper

White vinegar / acetic acid

 

PREPARING THE VAT

Soak 100g of indigo cake in water in a saucer. The water should be enough to moisten the dry indigo cake.

Peel the bananas, chop the bananas, papaya or pears, add a splash of water and mix in a blender until almost smooth. Add a cup full of water and gently bring to the boil and simmer for 5-10 mins.

Heat up the water until boiling. Add this to the vat, then add the banana pulp and stir.

Mix the lime with a bit of water into a paste and add to the vat and stir.

Grind up the indigo into a powder/paste, add to the vat and stir. Gently stir again after 10 and 20 minutes.

The vat will be ready when it has cooled down to warm and there is a blue foam formed on the surface.

 

PREPARING THE YARN OR CLOTH FOR DYEING

Wash your yarn/cloth in natural soap in hot water to remove all starches and stiffeners.

Cotton can be almost boiled with the soap solution. Wool and silk must be soaked overnight in warm soap solution. Leave overnight and wash in cold water the next morning.

 

USING THE VAT

Take your washed yarn/cloth, squeeze until damp.

Take out half a litre of the vat liquid using the measuring jug and keep to one side.

Put on the rubber gloves, and fully immerse the yarn or cloth in the vat, squeeze out all surplus air and gently open out the yarn/cloth underneath the surface of the vat and gently move it around for about 10 minutes.

Take out of the vat and squeeze to remove most of the liquid. Let the excess liquid drip into the vat until the dripping stops. The colour should change from greenish yellowish blue to blue. Dip in water to oxidise. Hang for 5 mins until excess water has dripped away.

Repeat dyeing once more.

Hang on hanger or peg to washing line in the shade.

Put the half litre of vat liquid in the measuring jug back into the vat. This rebalances the vat with the original enzymes.

 

Use the vat again next morning to repeat the process.

Repeat until the desired colour has been achieved.

Finally hang yarn/cloth for 4-5 days in the shade so the colour will be strong.

 

Rinse yarn/cloth in warm vinegar water mixture; 10 litres water to a capful of vinegar. Do this 2-3 times, or until the water runs clear. This helps to balance the ph of the dyed yarn or fabric.

Give a final rinse in cold water. Hang to dry

 

TIPS

The vat should ALWAYS be covered when not in use so it can breathe...If you are using a plastic bucket, drill several holes in the lid and put the lid on the bucket. If you are using the traditional earthenware pot, cover it with a cloth or a woven basket.

Vat’s ph level should be between 10 - 11

Always cover the vat when not in use as direct sunlight weakens the vat

 

RECHARGE BANANA

15 ripe old small bananas

55 gm indigo cake

40 gm lime

 

RECHARGE PAPAYA/PEAR

900g ripe papaya/pears (skin and all)

70g indigo cake

35g lime

 

RECHARGE PROCESS

Use 1-2 litres of nearly boiling water instead of 28/30 litres full amount. Follow the instructions above for preparing the vat and add the recharge mix into the existing vat. Give it a stir, leave overnight. The vat is ready to use next morning.

 

STORING STUFF

Indigo cakes, lime and ferrous sulphate should all be stored in air-tight containers away from sunlight on the back of a shelf or cupboard in a shady/dark spot.

 

If you have any questions please contact our shop: 47@clothhouse.com.