Homespun fabric is fabric that is woven in a style similar to the fabrics that primitive women used when weaving their own fabrics at home. Thus the name "homespun" was phrased.
Homespun fabrics will typically have small imperfections and nubs woven into the fabric. This is considered a characteristic of the primitive nature of homespun and is not a defect. Occasionally there will even be slight color variations in the threads but that is usually not noticable with plaids and stripes. As with all fabrics, our homespun colors will also vary from bolt to bolt depending on the dye lot.
While today's homespuns are usually manufactured in factories, the unique style of weaving colored threads together to form a pattern still remains the primary characteristic of all homespuns. A homespun fabric is usually all cotton and can be identified by the fact that there is no front or back to the fabric. The design is in the color of the threads so both sides are the same. True homespuns are always either plaid, stripe or solid.
Homespun fabrics are very durable but will eventually fade when exposed to direct sunlight. As with all cotton fabrics, they should be washed in cold water. Adding about 1/4 cup of table salt to the wash water will help the fabrics retain their rich colors and prevent more fading.
Homespuns are perfect for the rag style quilts demonstrated on this web site because of their wonderful fraying ability. All the products you see on this site have only been washed once. When using a homespun for rag stitching, there is no need for multiple washings. Some flannels will fray nicely also, but the problem with flannels is that they often "pill" after being washed.
Many people use printed cottons for ragged style but these will not fray well at all. You will need to use several layers of the printed cotton to have a nice effect and even then, the result is more "fringed" than "frayed".
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