Feature Friday: Burnley & Trowbridge

This month's Feature Friday is Burnley & Trowbridge of Williamsburg, VA. I visited them earlier this month for our Mini Market, and had a chance to check out their new warehouse full of historical fabrics, notions, threads, trims, and goodies.

"B&T" was started decades ago by two people with a truck of linen, a dream, and a scheme. Over the years they've built a thriving business that's supported a family and provided needed products to the historical community. They weathered the transition to the digital age and the recession. That's super inspiring (also, I'm impressed by any couple that can keep a marriage AND a business going successfully, because that's hard, yo).

Today, the're known as one of the premier sources for historical fabrics and notions in the world, supplying everyone from the costume hobbiest to feature films and Broadway shows (Master and Commander and Hamilton, anyone?). They're also one of the only vendors of genuine German-made synthetic whalebone in the US. 

Angela is an expert on 18th century textiles, and she applies that scholarly experience to their merchandise, so you know you're getting the right stuff. Plus, they provide great customer service. That's one of our favorite things about supporting small businesses--the owners are directly involved and care deeply about every customer. 

Their warehouse is not open to the public except for special occasions--they are primarily an online business. However, you can catch them at a few reenactment/historical events throughout the year, such as Fort Frederick.

You've probably seen their wildly popular neckerchiefs about on social media. Angela designs these directly from historical sources. It's amazing how well they work in a modern or vintage-inspired wardrobe as well. 

Visit their website to see the full range of their fabric, notions, books, trims, accessories, etc. 

In addition to their products, Burnley & Trowbridge created the Historic Fashion Workshop Series in 2000. These high-quality workshops teach historically accurate dressmaking and tailoring with well known teachers in the field. They primarily focus on the 18th century but just started a new "Time Traveling" theme, dipping in to the 1860's. I was honored to teach the inaugural workshop on 1860's Corsetry while visiting this month.

You can follow Burnley & Trowbridge:

On Instagram @burnleyandtrowbridge

Facebook @burnleyandtrowbridge

And on Youtube where they share historical fashion sewing tips, tricks, and demos.

1 comment

  • I follow B&T but didn’t know about the syn whalebone – thanks for the tip! And it’s on my bucket list to make it to a workshop – especially breeches! The construction bewilders me still! Thanks again for the article: very informative and interesting!

    Lola Groves (MissDC Seamstress)

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