The Touch of Fabric

When I was a little girl, I would go shopping with my mom and I would wander through the racks of clothing, touching everything. No, really, everything. Every skirt, dress, top and pair of pants. Every blanket, towel, quilt and duvet had to be felt by my little hands. While I didn’t understand it at the time, I felt drawn to each garment, needing to know the texture and hand feel of the fabric. Tops that were a drape-y knit made me stop in my tracks. I loved the softness of the material, and I was mesmerized how it fell, draping down in an almost fluid-like way. Cashmere made me stop too, but my mom would grab my hand and always say, ‘you have champagne taste on a bologna budget. Come on.’

20 years later and I spend most days doing the same thing. For those of you that don’t know, I work in the retail fashion industry. It’s literally part of my job to locate fabrics that we need for our products. I get fabric swatches in the mail and I feel them, are they soft or too rough? Can a wash be added to make it softer or should we have it brushed? My team wants wool, but I know the cost of wool is going up, and we’ll never get a soft handfeel with only wool. Let’s find a wool blended with nylon or poly. If I need a low price, add in acrylic yarns, as those are among the cheapest of yarns.

There is an entire world of fabrics, yarns and fibers, that the average consumer never even thinks of. When you go shopping and buy a top, you’ll never never know how much thought went into it, down to the very fibers within. The fiber is the smallest component, spun into yarns. Yarns are then woven or knit together to make a fabric. Some fabrics can retain heat as seen in outerwear, while some are made to allow for breathe-ability or moisture wicking, most often found in active wear. But, to me, the most important thing about a fabric will always be how it feels.

via Daily Prompt: Fabric

Does it get Better?

Last month, my grandfather passed away. At 24 years old, it was the 1st time I ever had to deal with death. To say that I cried is an understatement.

I cried because he is no longer on this earth. Who would I share peanut butter cups with? Who would sing me songs that had my name in them? Who would tell me I was his favorite granddaughter (I was his only granddaughter)?

I cried because I felt like a jerk for being sad about his death. He had been sick for awhile and was no longer in pain; wasn’t it better this way? I also felt like a jerk, because death is not a unique situation. It happens to everyone and we all have to deal with it multiple times over the course of our lives. I wasn’t special for losing someone.

I cried for my grandmother, his partner of over 70 years. They danced together, laughed together, and held hands every night as they fell asleep. They were lifelong companions, still as in love with each other as they were on the day they were married. It was hard to imagine her living a life without him. I will never forget my grandmother’s hand in mine as we stood next to his casket at the cemetery and she asked if she had to leave, if she had to say goodbye.

I cried for my father and my aunts and uncle. They no longer had their father on this earth, and I was so sad for them. The man who had raised them, the man they all could tell hours of stories about. That great man they all admired and loved for 50 odd years was gone. I also cried for my cousins and brother; like me, they had lost someone important, someone who had always been there.

I cried because for 24 years, he was my biggest fan. He came to every soccer game and tennis match and stayed until the very end. Every school play, choir recital or school ceremony, he was usually in the font row with a big smile on his face. Who would be there now?

I can’t say that things are better. Every time I see a peanut butter cup, I feel a tinge of sadness. I still hear his laugh in my head and I fear for the day when I can’t hear that sound, my favorite sound.  Even as I write this, my face is wet with tears and I feel a dull headache forming. I have cried so much, I think my sinuses wish they could extricate themselves from my head, just for some peace.

When do I stop feeling sad? Is it just one day, I’ll wake up and it won’t hurt? I won’t feel my own hurt and the hurt of others in my family? I don’t want to forget him, but I wish I could stop feeling sad. When is it going to be better?

via Daily Prompt: Better