Store and Fabrics Review: Atelier Brunette

Category: Fabrics 26 March 21

This post is not sponsored. No matter how delighted I might seem. It is not.

You can find links to stores & fabrics mentioned here at the end of this article. Though that doesn’t mean you should jump right there.

The Prologue

While most of the stores selling non-essential goods remain closed in Germany and the majority of people staying in their homes, it is no wonder that e-commerce was experiencing a rise in 2020. According to the number of parcels I agreed to hold in my place until the neighbours pick them up, the sales must have increased dramatically.

I am no stranger to online shopping, and I appreciate how easy it might be to get this skin-care from Switzerland or that yarn from Norway in just a few clicks, but when it comes to fabrics, I would always choose an offline purchase over an online one. There are so many parameters that make up a great fabric: touch, drape, shine, the actual non-filter colour, how that colour matches the complexion, the size of the print and the overall feeling you get when you run your fingers on the fabric’s surface. And a couple of words and pictures cannot describe everything. But when the times change, we should adapt to survive.

Having decided that my summer wardrobe needed an update, I closed my eyes to the previous unsatisfying online purchases and spent an evening browsing through European online fabric stores. I don’t remember how exactly-it must have been nothing less than destiny—I landed on a page of a French fabric brand called Atelier Brunette.

Atelier Brunette Fabrics

The Online Store

The minimalistic design of the web-site and pastel coloured photos of fabrics, shimmery elastics and cute little bobbins of piping made my heart melt. It was a pleasant surprise to see that the store comes in French and English versions; this made my online-wandering there a lot easier. Yeah, I have a google-translate add-on, but it’s not that elegant.

The shop offers fabrics, haberdashery, Vlieseline interfacings, and many sewing patterns by various brands and some other goodies. This post will concentrate my attention on textiles, as sourcing quality materials is crucial for me. Especially online, especially now, when I still need to build this new base of good fabric stores that will nourish my soul.

Once I opened the fabrics’ page, I knew I wouldn’t leave without buying—I couldn’t stop staring at those delicate shades and prints presented by gentle close-up photos. The overall mood and vibe of the web-site and photography reminds me of a French clothing store Sézane, which I often online-visit for a healthy dose of inspiration.

The Fabrics Range

Atelier Brunette Fabrics

Please note, that I bought these beautiful Amann sewing threads at Yavas store in Berlin and not at Atelier Brunette.

Atelier Brunette is not just a store—it is a brand that designs its fabrics with all those fantastic colours and exclusive prints. And they do it responsibly, encouraging the slow fashion moment. Most of their materials are designed in France and manufactured in India. The brand sells high-quality cotton lawn, rayon viscose, french terry, viscose crepe, gauze and jacquard fabrics. All of them will perfectly match late spring–early autumn projects. Though that might depend on the climate you, dear reader, live in, I am speaking for myself here.

Every listing has a detailed description of the fabric properties, composition, weight and width and the overall feeling it gives. It also features a care guide and suggests the garment types in which the fabric can be used, for example, summer dresses, shirts or blouses. If the material comes in various colours, the listing will have links to other colour-options too.

I especially liked the way fabrics were organized because every listing has a clear short description that helps navigate through colours and weaves or prints. First of all, every fabric type has its name, let’s say “Dobby”—the weave or a print might define it. Also, it has a signature colour, let it be “Maple” for example. So now we have “Dobby Maple”. After looking at this fabric, you may stay sure other materials with the word “Dobby” in their description will have the same weave, print or finish, and all “Maple” ones will have the same colour. If you are completely charmed by the “Bush” colour but would like it to have a little bit of print, you can switch to “Twig Blush” instead of “Dobby Blush” and so on.

As the store seems to be pretty self-sufficient when buying everything for your project, this colour coding is critical when picking matching haberdashery. You can choose the fabric and then find matching threads, trims, closures and other trims by typing the colour name in the search bar.

The Pricing

You might be surprised by the relatively small prices that start at 1.5 Euro, but don’t get too excited as this is a price for a ten centimetre-long piece. So the costs for a full meter vary from 15 euro for cotton ribbing to 35 euros for cotton-polyester jacquard, which I find adorable. The average price holds at 18-20 euros per meter for crepe or twill fabrics. You can order any yardage that is a multiple of ten centimetres.

As for March 2021, the store offered free shipping in France for orders above 70 Euro and half-price shipping for the same order amount for the rest of the world.

My Order

In March, I designed patterns and 3-D models for three summer dresses. After spending a day pondering and applying various colour and print samples to those 3-D models, I finally picked three fabrics and matching invisible zippers; I will present them all to you in a moment.

As online fabric-purchase is quite disturbing for me, I was pleasantly surprised by the opportunity to pick five samples; these don’t include jacquards, unfortunately. I quickly loaded my cart with more stuff than I intended to buy—I swear I hardly remember anything, as I was way too excited—and clicked pay. The order was shipped the next day; I had a track-code to monitor the parcel’s movements and study France and Germany’s geography. The shipment arrived at my door five days later. And let me tell you, it felt like an eternity, but I’m just picky; I know it is rocket-fast.

And if you thought it was magic before, let me show you the fabrics; that’s where the magic comes.

The packaging

Apart from the average cardboard box and tissue paper, the fabrics arrived carefully packed in a fabric-pouch, which I will probably cherish throughout my life. The zippers and fabric samples were wrapped in a paper envelope, which ensured they wouldn’t scratch or pull the fabric threads.

Atelier Brunette: My order

My Fabrics

Puzzling everyone who knows me, this time, I ordered blue and green shades instead of pink or lilac. Who would have thought? I was charmed by Atelier Brunette’s Shade Cobalt, Crêpe Storm and Dobby Cactus viscose fabrics, so I decided to add a fresh cold note to my wardrobe. It was very kind of the seller to send slightly bigger yardage than I ordered; this made sure I would have enough fabric after pre-shrinking. Though next time I will consider shrinkage and will go for a bit larger yardage.

Now, let’s take a closer look at these beauties.

I pre-washed and steam-pressed all three fabrics to calculate the shrinkage and see how they would behave. Please note, when wet, the material becomes slightly rough, which is typical for viscose—once it dries, it’ll get back to normal.

I took all the measurements for yardage and stretch by hand with a tailor’s tape, so please forgive some variance.

Shade Cobalt

Atelier Brunette Shade Cobalt

Fabric's Specs
  • In-store fabric name: Shade Cobalt
  • Colour: off-white background with Cobalt print
  • Composition: 100% high-quality viscose, certified
  • Type by manufacturing technique: woven
  • Width: 140 cm
  • Weight: 120 g/m²
  • Yardage ordered: 2.3 m
  • Yardage cut: 2.36 m
  • Shrinkage: approx. 2.5%
  • Stretch, if there is: tiny. Warp—0.25%, weft—0.5%, bias—1%.
  • My garment suggestion: flowing dresses and skirts, blouses.

This rayon fabric has body and weight to it; it flows beautifully and forms lovely drapes and gathers. For a viscose fabric, it doesn’t wrinkle that easily. It is not transparent, but it is a bit see-through at the off-white areas, especially when the light is shining from behind—that’s why I’ll add lining to my future dress. There’s no need for a lining if you are making a blouse—a skin-colour bra will do its magic.

The print resembles palm tree leaves’ hand-painted shadows, but it is abstract enough not to make you look like walking wallpaper. You can also find this print in other colour-options: Cactus and Ochre. The photos presented by Atelier Brunette are pretty close to how this fabric looks in real life, though their appearance might depend on your screen settings, so be careful.

Crêpe Storm

Atelier Brunette Crepe Storm

Fabric's Specs
  • In-store fabric name: Crêpe Storm
  • Colour: light-blue with a cloudy undertone)
  • Composition: 100% high-quality viscose
  • Type by manufacturing technique: woven
  • Width: 140 cm
  • Weight: 118 g/m²
  • Yardage ordered: 2.8 m
  • Yardage cut: 2.92 m
  • Shrinkage: approx. 3.4%
  • Stretch, if there is: tiny. Warp—0.2%, weft—0.6%, bias—1%.
  • My garment suggestion: flowing dresses, blouses and tops.

I expected this gorgeous pastel fabric to be slightly thicker and have more weight to it, given that its weight almost matches the Shade Cobalt’s one. Still, it is beautiful and chic; it is soft, silky and fluid; it drapes and has a delicate but noble shine. The mixture of cloudy-grey, powder-blue and a tiny bit of cobalt teal undertones gives rich colour, and the crepe weave brings gentle highlights and shadows. The store-photos present a true-to-life colour, though watch your screen settings. And what’s impressive is that there are eighteen Crêpe colours more to play with.

Since the material is not dense or thick, it is a little bit see-through when it comes to light. Like many viscose fabrics, it frays and wrinkles a bit too easily—so I still haven’t decided if it matches my design.

Dobby Cactus

Atelier Brunette Dobby Cactus

Fabric's Specs
  • In-store fabric name: Dobby Cactus
  • Colour: pastel green with a grey undertone
  • Composition: 100% high-quality viscose, certified
  • Type by manufacturing technique: woven
  • Width: 140 cm
  • Weight: 120 g/m²
  • Yardage ordered: 2.0 m
  • Yardage cut: 2.13 m
  • Shrinkage: approx. 2.3%
  • Stretch, if there is: tiny. Warp—0.2%, weft—0.5%, bias—0.5%.
  • My garment suggestion: flowing dresses, blouses and tops.

A green colour-pallet is not a typical choice for me, so I had to be careful when picking its shades. The store photos showed the piece with a cooler powder-blue undertone, while the fabric I received had way more of a mixture of pale teal and myrtle-green to it. By a lucky chance, it still matched my eyes, so I was not too disappointed. Also, the store offers eight more colours to try, and each one of them is beautiful—so I might not resist the Off-white and Blush options. And maybe the Night one too.

The fabric itself is fantastic; the tiny embroidered dots—or are they woven? I cant tell—bring a romantic and a bit rustic look; they reflect the light beautifully. This fabric has a body and a bit of bounce to it and will look perfect in gathers in flowing summer dresses. You might have noticed gathers are my go-to choice for viscose fabrics because, hey, they need to float and flutter in the wind.

I would say Dobby in medium and dark colours is not see-through, but I might want to sew a skin-colour camisole to accompany the dress and avoid awkward moments in the sunlight. And yes, the fabric wrinkles, but not too heavily. Well, that’s the price we pay for wearing viscose garments, I guess.

The Samples

The five samples were attached to a brand craft-card; every piece came in an 8 x 10 cm size, which is very kind of Atelier Brunette, as it lets you see what the fabric is like, how it drapes, and wrinkles and how large the print is.

Once, I made an online order in another store and the seller offered samples too. Guess how big those samples were. Three centimetres by one and a half. Who calls that a sample?

This time, my choice fell on Crepe Maple, Twig Blush, Tabby Shell, Shape Red and Dobby Off-White fabrics, as I was afraid the powder-blush shades would blend with my skin. And every one of them turned out to be perfect, even better than I imagined after looking at the pictures. I will include a couple of these fabrics in my next order. And you can see the samples that charmed me so much in the photos below, in case they catch your attention too.

To prevent you from jumping from page to page and paragraph to paragraph, I collected all links to the mentioned stores & fabrics here. Enjoy.

Stores: Atelier Brunette, Yavas Berlin

Atelier Brunette Fabrics: Crêpe Storm, Crêpe Storm, Dobby Cactus

I am still in disbelief I managed to write this much out of pure good spirit, but as you see, I did. And you can’t even imagine how hard I fight myself not to buy all of their fabrics right now. It’s pure luck that not every colour matches my pale complexion, and I don’t have an unlimited bank account.

#fabrics #fabric-store #review