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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Chanting on a Budget...




I've loved Lulu DK's Chant for quite a while.  The diamond pattern has almost a cross-stitch aspect that makes it feel modern yet vintage at the same time.

In dramatic red on entryway walls:

In navy on chair seats in Ruthie Sommers's shop:
Ruthie Sommers

On a loooonng sofa and loveseat in what is probably my favorite room ever featured in Metropolitan Home:
Metropolitan Home

In Barrie Benson's gorgeous den:
Domino

The bedding version in red:
Gracious Home

On a cozy chair in this Anne Coyle living room:
Anne Coyle

In chocolate brown on a throw pillow:
Vanessa de Vargas

In navy on a French chair in a children's room:

So for the budget part...  I've been doing a little work here and there on my downstairs den.  It's the room with a big tv, a room you only see if you are a really good friend.  We have a big tan leather sofa there- it's not my favorite piece in the world, but it is comfortable and durable and holds up well to a dog, a baby, and a husband.

The other sofa we have down there is the incredibly impractical off-white sofa I had in law school.  I don't know what I was thinking when I covered it in off-white, but it shows every possible stain and after a dog, a baby, and me, it looks terrible.  I am using navy, red, and white in the downstairs den, so I thought Lulu DK's Chant in navy would be perfect to recover my off-white sofa.  Perfect except for the $170+/yard price...

Knowing that Chant was way out of  my budget, I headed across the Catawba to Mary Jo's, a HUGE fabric store in my hometown.  If you sew, it's a dream because they have a fabulous notions section.  They also have some great fabrics- P Kaufman, Braemore, Robert Allen, etc. Of course they have some not-so-great ones too, but I've always had really good luck there. 

I don't fully understand the whole fabric manufacturer/ designer/ wholesaler/ distributor/ retailer relationship, but I do know that at least in the past, Mary Jo's has offered great prices on certain fabrics they bought directly from the textile mill (often located here in NC).   By buying from the manufacturer, Mary Jo's could avoid the mark-up associated with licensing a certain fabric to designers or wholesalers and pass those savings on to the consumer. 

Today, many of our NC textile mills are gone, either out of business completely or having relocated overseas in search of cheaper labor and fewer regulations.  Mary Jo's has very few fabrics now that come directly from the mill.  In fact, my guess is that any they have are left over from the past and not any new arrivals.

But on Friday, I found one of those leftover fabrics from a mill.  Here is the camera phone pic I excitedly sent to MoS Washington from Mary Jo's:


$10 a yard.  Marked Cone Jacquards, in navy and white.  I did a little research, and it looks like Cone Jacquards isn't around anymore- they filed for bankruptcy in 2004 and were purchased by International Textile Group, based in Greensboro.  ITG still has some productions in the US, but the majority of its mills are located in Vietnam, China, and Central America.

Doesn't it look a lot like Lulu DK's Chant?  Like Chant, it's also reversible- I am debating which side I will use.  I bought all the navy at Mary Jo's for my sofa, but knowing what I have since learned about the fabric, I was able to find it in red and green online, also at $10/yard.  I am resisting the entrepreneurial voice in my head that is telling me to buy and re-sell.  It's a struggle, for sure.  But I have resisted, so here you go:

It's known on this website as Hollin Gate Mengikat Cherry:


The photo quality of those isn't great and makes the pattern look a bit blurry, but in real life it's not blurry at all.  Is this Chant, before it was known as Chant? 

12 comments:

Kelly Green said...

i spied this this week too - a great buy! am very jealous of the navy blue - can you spare a yard??? KG

Tonia of Chic Modern Vintage said...

I'm thinking I like it.

Fran said...

Unbelievable find! It makes you wonder, huh? Great post!

Jeannine @ Small and Chic said...

$10 per yard? Amazing! What a great find.

I wonder what the profit margin is on those fabrics being made abroad and being sold here for well over $100 per yard.

Pemberley said...

Great find! Yeah that fabric food chain is a mystery to me too. I would love to see both fabrics side by side and see if there is any difference btwn $10 and $170.

Anonymous said...

A gorgeous fabric and fantastic that you found it at a price that suits your budget! A reminder that if you search in the right places you can find what you are looking for at the right price

The Girl and the Cupcake said...

I have thought the very same thing about the way the industry works .... big mystery, huh?

Whatever the reason, that fabric is very Chant-ish and it will look lovely.

Boo said...

by the way, the blue fabric on barrie benson's sofa (the one featured in domino) isn't actually chant... she used a knock off from ballard designs for her kids' room... i think it was called blue ikat on their site. i've gone back on and off again hoping they'd restock.

LiveLikeYou said...

I love your great detective work1 It's amazing how you can find the "same" fabric really cheap if you just look around.

Averill said...

Thanks for passing this along! The navy blue would be perfect for the cushions on the built-in benches I'm putting in my family room.

Hope you enjoy the upcoming long weekend -- off tomorrow for vacation (hurrah!).

traci zeller designs said...

That was a great find!! You never know what you might find at Mary Jo's ... and you totally scored. Fun, fun!!

Jessica Honegger said...

OH MY!! I have been googling lulu dk "chant" for 2 years now and for the first time actually found an alternative!!! but I want the chocolate or navy. Any leads on that?!?! PLEASE email me! jessica@jhresidential.com

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