The back and the lining are nice and easy - just various linens and lightweight aged cottons.
It's the fronts that's gonna be the problem.
This is machine woven, which is not how the real waistcoat is made.
I’ll have to look a bit harder.
A lot of what I've found use a limited palette of around three or four colours. Looking a the real thing there're are a good Wight, maybe ten in there, making it difficult to match off the shelf.
There may be an alternative, which radical as it sounds, could really be the only option: find somewhere to get it redone, hand-stitched to match.
This type of design is TYPICAL of work done in India, so I need to find a company who deals with weavers there, or find a direct link to one myself.
Initial enquiries appear promising, having found a website that specialises in Crewel Work, and boasts the ability to make custom orders. Perfect.
Coromandel Crewel Fabric | Crewel Embroidery | Home
However, discussing it further, they demand that clients take a minimum of 200 metres out of a 500 metre run, and since what I need is so specific, they want me to take the entire 500 metres!
Are they mad?
Despondent I look further, and find precisely what I need - a company in India who can work direct from good quality images provided, and do it to a more reasonable minimum run - AND they'll do a test metre so i can see and check out their work and ability to match what I give them. Even better!!
Having negotiated the price and terms, I next need to assemble a high quality image of the to fronts so the have usable source reference to do their thing.
This is where a scanner, Photoshop and the wonders of the Internet come into their own!
I supply them with the files, and they seem happy with what I sent, so I requested a test metre, which after a month, has arrived (see below).
Finally, here is a quick comparison between the real waistcoat and the work I have had done.
A couple of the colours need to be revised, but overall I am very happy with the results.
Check back again soon to see some more comparison images of both sides of the waistcoat.