What’s in the Name?
Minky fabrics often play a big part in making handmade baby quilts extra special, but few who use the super-soft cloth and those who get minky baby quilts as gifts have any idea how it got the name.
Guess that the luxurious feel of a mink coat is the inspiration for the name, and you’d probably be wrong. Legend has it that the cloth manufacturer who introduced it named it honor of a quilt he had when he was small, but the company declined to verify, so the mystery continues.
Super soft, and textured to boot. Minky fabrics have dimples and puckers that add interesting detail to unusual baby quilt designs.
Most are made of 100 percent polyester, and are available in a huge variety of colors and patterns, so whether someone is looking for a blue baby quilt for a shower or a pink baby quilt for a newborn keepsake, minky fabrics can easily be integrated into the design.
So Many Variations
Colors, patterns and textures make an almost endless choice for baby quilt makers to express their homemade baby quilt ideas. The pastels and darker colors work well for toddlers and cuddlers of all ages.
Fabrication Can be Challenging
Although it is wonderfully soft, and versatile in character, the nature of the fabric makes it challenging to incorporate in baby keepsake quilt patterns. Cutting it produces considerable residue, and a tendency toward stretchiness causes many savvy quilters who produce hand made baby quilts from flannel to wash it before sewing. They also recommend pinning more closely than with other fabrics.
But wash well it does, and once it has been sewn into an adorable handmade quilt for a new arrival, it becomes a durable element in a keepsake baby quilt that will be enjoyed by crib dwellers, toddlers and the next generation.
Where Are They?
Minky fabrics can be accessed from many on-line sources and local fabric stores, such as Jo-Ann Fabrics stores and Beautiful Quilt Fabric in San Dimas, CA., which sells in-store and on-line. Store manager Melanie says she’s been carrying minky fabrics for about a year, and the response has been very positive. “People tell us they love them,” she says, “because they are so soft.”
At Shannon Fabrics in Los Angeles, marketing manager Ellen Mickelson explains that the 20-year-old company that specializes in soft fabrics has its own line of high quality minky fabric called Cuddle. “It’s a significant part of our business,” she states. Mickelson says there are dozens of solid colors in the Cuddle line and numerous patterns.
Not All Minky Fabrics Are Created Equal
She explains that discerning quilters will appreciate the distinctive features of Cuddle fabrics. “Better embossing techniques make for richer textures. You can really feel and see the dimples on our Cuddle Dimple®. And our fabrics have less stretch, making them much easier to work with. Our Cuddle stretches only one way, on the cross grain, with the exception of Cuddle Dimple®, which stretches both ways.”
Folks who plan to buy handmade baby quilts might like to inquire if they have Minky components. There are many unique baby quilt ideas being fabricated into baby quilts for sale, but those with Minky fabrics may deliver something just a little bit extra special.