Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Do You Like Your Velvet Shiny?

A few more thoughts on velvet today, following up on yesterday's post. I got several emails on the velvet slippers - I'm so happy to let you know about Stubbs & Wootton - their shoes are works of art. Check out the Scalamandre zebra slippers below.

I figured out the color velvet I want. I love this minky taupe color - a great neutral.

I had such a funny (as in strange) experience with my velvet shopping trip yesterday that I just had to share it. So here it is, my first store review.

A fellow blogger raves about Haute Fabrics located in Marshall, Virginia and Arlington, Virginia. Marshall is so far out of the city I don't know where it is and don't even want to know where it is. I don't like Arlington - I avoid it like the plague even though it's the next city to me. There is no parking and I always get lost. But at least it's close by. I headed to Arlington and finally found Haute Fabrics and the "Parking in Rear" consisted of one customer parking space sandwiched between an Enterprise, a car dealership and a dumpster. My Audi was totally unamused. I had to promise it a car wash on the way home.

This is the only photo I could find of the shop
You enter a dark, dreary, and crowded galley space only a few feet wide lined with hundreds of bolts of fabric on ancient dirty carpet, a sole employee on the phone, and a sleeping poodle who looks very old and bored on a very funky dog bed. It is terribly depressing. The bolts are without tags as to manufacturer, pattern, color, fiber content, and most have no price tag. I'm glad I was not looking for Chinoiserie fabrics - there was not one in the place.

When the salesperson finally got off the phone she asked me what I was looking for and I said "velvets." She asked what kind of velvet and I said it could be cotton, linen, mohair, wool, or a blend. She responded, "I meant do you want it shiny?" I responded, "Do you mean like silk velvet?" And she responded, "No, like rayon."

She led me to her favorite shiny rayon velvet. Elvis would have loved it. When I asked for a swatch so I could take it and get the hell out of there, she was shocked that I wanted a swatch instead of just buying the shiny fabric on the spot. She cut me a swatch the size of a postage stamp and when I asked her the price out of curiosity since the bolt was of course unmarked, she checked out my outfit very carefully before responding that it was $28.00 a yard. I clearly should not have been wearing a Louis Vuitton handbag.

After escaping back to civilization in Alexandria, I popped into Calico Corners in Old Town on my way to get my hair done. In five minutes I found exactly the velvet I was looking for and even know the pattern name, color name, fiber content, width, country of origin, and price. And they were having a sale. And the swatch was huge. And the store was immaculate. And the velvet's not shiny.

I have learned something in my life I try to always remember. If you live in a wonderful community as I do, you will find the best of everything right in your own backyard. No need to traipse to Oz in search of it.

So I give Haute Fabrics 0 stars.


  1. Ha! Love it Beth! That is a new one!
    I love the way she looked you up and down before giving you the price!

    I have two pillows out of antique mohair velvet in that mink shade with French houle trim...they are from Mary at MJH Designs.

    I am dying over those Scalamandre slippers!

    The Arts by Karena

  2. No , no shiny velvet here, only ones that glisten!!
    That was so funny!

  3. Could you please share the fabric choice? I'm looking for the same minky shade of velvet to recreate the chairs from my last design board. I'd much appreciate it.

  4. Dying for the needle point Stubbs and Wooton slipper. Web site is fantastic. Hoping to have these beauty's under the tree!

  5. So funny about the velvet! I agree that sometimes looking for a bargain costs more in time, emotions, gas and stress! And in the end, not worth it!

  6. Oh, my! Arlington is NOT a city...it's county. franki

  7. Merlin - It was much easier to say that Arlington is the next city than to explain that there is the city of Alexandria and the Alexandria that is part of Fairfax county and that Arlington is a county and not a city and that Falls Church is an independent city but there is also Falls Church in Fairfax county and that the city of Fairfax is an independent city not part of Fairfax county even though the Fairfax county courts are there. Way too confusing for a post about velvet.

  8. OMG, I am adding those Scalamandre zebra slippers to my Christmas list... They are FABULOUS!!!

    The Glam Pad

  9. Why do people start businesses like this if they don't know or care to be good salespeople with decent stock?

    You've got to wonder...

  10. That story is a riot. Wow......shiny velvet, humm.....Stubbs and Wooton on the other hand, I love. Own one pair and adore them...they make me so happy when I wear them.

  11. Love Stubbs & Wooten. The Chinoiserie slippers are 50 percent off and they have every size in stock. I purchased the brown ginger jars--already have navy Chinois fans. A great investment for a shoe-a-holic! The mink velvet is divine, Beth!

  12. Love your review! Enjoy your calico corners, we had one in Nashville that closed about a year ago and I miss it.