There are certain types of information that are very difficult to come by these days, unless you are a specialist of some kind. In-depth information about textiles is one of those, I think.
That is when hunting down vintage books can really come in handy. This particular book, a volume on sewing materials published by The Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts and Sciences in 1923, is an incredible reference on all sorts of laces, fabric, embroidery, and findings.
My favorite section in the book is the lace. There are over 80 types of lace cataloged in this book, and the photos really get the creative juices flowing for a lace-hoarder like me. It’s funny, I only sew with lace occasionally, but I remain obsessed with it.
Other fabrics are described in great detail, with many types and weaves listed, each described in detail. There are literally hundreds of fabric types described.
The book wraps up with a section on economy and mending, demonstrating that despite the incredible level of detail, this was a book aimed at the average homemaker and dressmaker, not necessarily a professional. All of it is rounded out with a useful glossary of fashion and textile terms.
I highly recommend hunting down a copy as a reference if you’re at all interested in textiles! There are copies on Amazon, along with several other books from this publisher.