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Since 1976, Folkwear has offered unique sewing patterns based on ethnic costume and vintage fashion. Each multi-size pattern includes full-size pattern pieces ready to trace or cut out; easy-sew and special construction techniques clearly explained and illustrated; historical lore that sets the garment in its own time and place; and instructions for traditional embellishment.
-Kate Matthews

Mission:  We believe that ethnic and historical garments have a lot to offer in the way of inspiration, imagination, and design details, as well as aesthetic and functional beauty. When you combine historic or ethnic styles with modern materials and innovative fabrication, the resulting garments become unique expressions of the maker's vision. Folkwear is proud to contribute one element to each maker's creative process.

Location: Asheville, North Carolina, USA
Online shops: Folkwear patterns can be found at The Dealer Locations page of our web site links to the web sites of Folkwear dealers around the world.
Languages spoken: English

Tags: costume, ethnic dress, historical clothing, central asian, japanese, victorian, edwardian, cultural clothing, peasant dress, fisherman's pants, clothing for men


  1. Folkwear is what started me on my journey exploring all the possibilities with thread and cloth----KUDOS for still being here and being the best!

  2. In 1980 my family moved from Brazil back to the United States and I started college at St. Olaf in Minnesota. I went with some friends to Minneapolis where we went into an ethnic store, my first import shop experience. I felt like I had come home! Little did I know that I would spend over 20 years working with ethnic handicrafts.... There was a big basket full of Folkwear patterns and I remember thumbing through them, ideas flooding my head. At that time, I didn't sew so I didn't buy one. But, over the years, I have gotten several of the patterns.

    My favorite is the Afghan nomad dress. It was fun to make (I used silk) and I wore it out. I'm so glad that they are still around and thrilled to have Kate here on TAFA!


“Drive a nail home and clinch it so faithfully that you can wake up in the night and think of your work with satisfaction,- a work at which you would not be ashamed to invoke the Muse”
-Henry David Thoreau

In our case, it would be the needle or other fiber tool. Drive it home! And, we all thank you for your words, left here to these good folks. Invoke your Muse!


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