White Triangular Taylor’s Chalk
Several pictures of 17th and 18th century tailors’ the chalk is illustrated as being triangular. Artists frequently used red chalk and shop advertisements do advertise red chalk. Because of this, at historic events and sites red and white triangular chalk may be preferred. Tailors’ chalk is used to make temporary marks on cloth. Use a chalk that will contrast with the color fabric you plan to mark. Red works well on white as well as most colors whereas white works well on colors. In the The Proceedings of the Old Bailey, London the proceedings of a theft trial in 1767 included “The pattern, and the quality of the cloth and my mark was the same as we lost, with the length of yards. My mark was on the outside. (Produced in Court; he points to the mark he made.) I bought the piece myself, and I made this mark on it. It is the letter B, which I always make with red chalk.”
For those new to sewing, marking straight seams with chalk makes it easier to sew in a straight line. Chalk works well for marking and laying out buttons and buttonhole spacing. Usually, seasoned tailors use chalk for marking a garment on a person to be sure the fit is perfect for that individual.
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