The Sturdy Girl™ fabric is one of our two best-selling heavy duty 100% cotton fabrics. They are the foundation of everything we produce at Adelene. They stand up to everyday life like they were made for it – because they were.
The Inspiration for Sturdy Girl™ Fabric
When Darva Hirsch, founder of Adelene Simple Cloth™, was a little girl, she loved visiting her maternal grandmother, Ada Modisette in the little rural town of White Oak, Texas. One of the things that Darva always looked forward to were the bed sheets. Something about those sheets made Darva feel cozy and safe. Much like Ada herself, they were thick and sturdy, without being too heavy. They were also incredibly soft and soothing. They weren’t fancy or expensive (Ada herself wasn’t fancy or wealthy), but they were elegant in their simplicity. The bed sheets definitely felt special and different than other sheets in a way that was hard to pin down. They felt like a grandmother’s hug!
Those sheets became an inextricable piece of Darva’s memories of her grandmother, and they would forever shape the way Darva thought and felt about fabrics. For years, Darva tried but just never could find cloth that felt like those sheets, and then she went to France on a “picking” trip to find items for the home accessories boutique in Atlanta that she owned in the late 90s.
Parisian Antique Market
At an antique market in the countryside not far from the outskirts of Paris, Darva came across a merchant. They were selling vintage linen bed sheets that were well over 100 years old. These weren’t sheets that had been hidden away and then got discovered sitting unused in some closet decades later (what they call “New Old Stock”). These were bed sheets that had been in regular use for over a century, and they still looked and felt fantastic! Their dense fabric was amazingly soft and supple in a way that only comes from long, hard use. However, they remained incredibly sturdy and felt like they would stand up for another hundred years! Most notably, touching those sheets momentarily made Darva feel like she was back at Grandmother Modisette’s house.
Darva bought every one of those sheets the merchant had, then looked all around France for more, but she couldn’t find any of comparable quality. For a long time, she searched for new fabric with the same qualities as those sheets. Unfortunately, she couldn’t find any.
How Adelene Simple Cloth™ Was Born
Fifteen years later, Darva founded her own textile company with her husband, Rick. Darva and Rick decided to use a “mash-up” of the first names of her grandma, Ada, and Rick’s paternal grandmother, Elene, to name the company. That was how Adelene Simple Cloth™ was born!
Grandmother Modisette’s sheets and those sturdy French vintage linens that brought back memories of being a little girl at grandma’s house became the inspiration behind the first line of fabrics produced by Adelene Simple Cloth™. When it came time to name the fabric, it was a very natural decision to call it “Sturdy Girl™” fabric.
The Development of Sturdy Girl™Fabric
As Darva developed that first fabric line for Adelene, she had a very clear vision of what she wanted. On a mechanical level, she wanted to create fabric made to stand up to everyday life, designed and woven with simplicity, longevity, quality, and usability in mind. As for on a visual level, she wanted to offer fabric in unexpected colors that would be vibrant but not too bright or overbearing. On an emotional level, she wanted to create fabric that would speak to your heart. Most importantly, she wanted it to grab you and make you whisper “yes, that’s the one…”. Sturdy Girl™ fabric is that fabric.
It is understated cloth of exceptional quality that will not only last a lifetime, but actually gets even better with time and use! Fabric that’s soft and tough, sophisticated and relaxed, beautiful and comfortable. Like all Adelene products, Sturdy Girl™ that’s “broken in” … is Sturdy Girl™ at its’ best!
The Progression of Sturdy Girl™ Fabric
Today, Sturdy Girl™ fabric is one of the two signature lines that comprise Adelene Simple Cloth’s™ best-selling fabrics. The other being its sibling line, Sturdy Boy™. It is used to make many of the company’s most popular products. The truth is, even if it weren’t our biggest seller, it would still hold a special and unique place in our hearts. It’s the fabric that started it all. The original expression of Darva’s creative sensibilities, captured in cloth. Sturdy Girl™ is the foundation of everything we do and make here at Adelene™. And because of its rare combination of qualities, it remains the ultimate product ambassador for the company. It’s also, Darva’s personal favorite!
Superior Fabric Construction
Sturdy Girl™ fabric is woven in a 4th generation fair trade mill that specializes in canvas in a region of India that is globally renowned for superior cotton weaves and magnificent dyeing techniques. It is 100% yarn dyed, ring-spun cotton that is similar to Army Duck, but with the tightest of weaves, because the tighter the weave, the sturdier the fabric (hence the Sturdy Girl™ name!).
The construction of Sturdy Girl™ fabric was inspired by those antique bed sheets Darva found all those years ago. Like those sheets, Sturdy Girl™ fabric is made for real-life use. It’s woven only with superior long-staple cotton fibers for finer and stronger construction, so the more you use and wash it, the softer it gets! Even though Sturdy Girl™ keeps getting softer with use, it won’t lose its shape. No matter what you put it through. Bottom line, the 10oz Sturdy Girl™ fabrics are soft and supple, but tough as nails. And, if that’s not tough enough for you, there’s always Sturdy Boy™, the 18oz version of the cloth, which is nearly indestructible!
Adelene’s Sturdy Girl™ Color
Sturdy Girl™ is yarn dyed with high-quality fiber reactive dyes in a color palette designed to be unexpected. Sure, vat dyeing would be a lot cheaper and easier (that’s why it’s the norm for most companies), but when it’s an option, yarn dyeing is the best way to get deep, rich, vibrant and consistent colors that won’t fade.
Yarn dyeing is one of the reasons Sturdy Girl™ looks just as good (if not better) wash after wash after wash. We sell the most yardage from the neutral end of the Sturdy Girl™ color palette, like Starch, Porcelain and Oatmeal, buts it’s often the rich and vibrant colors like Berry Cobbler, Blue Hen, Prickly Pear and Carrot Top that first catch peoples’ eyes and initially draw them to the Sturdy Girl™ line.
Sturdy Girl™ Products
We use cloth from the Adelene Sturdy Girl™ and Sturdy Boy™ collections to make many of the company’s leading products. Just like the fabrics they are made from, our products made from Sturdy Girl™ cloth actually improve with time, relaxing and molding themselves to fit your life the more you use, love and care for them – like well-worn jeans that have been washed a hundred times and are more wearable and comfortable than ever. That is true of everything we make, from our prettiest pillows to our heaviest duty tote bags, as well as all our other products including floor cushions, table linens, zippered pouches and other accessories.
The Adelene Simple Cloth™ Mission
Everyone at Adelene™ is devoted to making the finest fabrics you can find, from upholstery and pillows fabrics to table top fabrics. We created Sturdy Girl™ and Sturdy Boy™ because we believe you shouldn’t have to choose between a fabric that looks and feels delightful and a fabric that’s tough enough to last 100 years. Adelene fabrics are always both.
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