Other than cotton fabric...

ritaweedaAugust 29, 2012

I posted on the sewing forum and am copying here, too. I'm thinking of branching out into other fabrics other than cotton, particularly Sari fabrics. I know nothing about working with this type of fabric. Can anyone give me some pointers on what type of thread, needle, tension, and special handling of these types of fabrics? I just want to branch out and play around with it but don't want to ruin it with lack of knowledge.

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I am not an expert but in my opinion one would have to know the fiber content and weave before understanding the answer to your questions. Do you have that info.?

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 1:00PM
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I apologize, I should have researched the fiber content. I've included a link to what I'm talking about. I happen to have a couple of these, they were in the remnant bin at Joann's a long time ago and I picked them up. They carry them all the time I've noticed. According to the ad they are 100 percent polyester, they are very slick and silky, not anything that I'm used to working with. The very expensive types of sari fabrics can be silks, brocades, etc. also but I've never run across those.

Here is a link that might be useful: Sari Fabric

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 1:49PM
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I think there's a bit of experimentation involved. First, do you want to be able to wash the quilt or is it a wall hanging never to touch water? Test the fabric in water if it's to be washed. I think most threads would work. I'd use cotton for natural materials and poly for others. Any batting should work with either. But, tension and handling requires a test. Make a small sandwich of fabric and batting and try out a few things. It's easy to spot tension problems and find the proper settings.

You are the best judge of all of these. Go for it. We'd love to see your results.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 1:53PM
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A bigger question I had, especially since you posted this on the sewing forum, what do you intend to make with this fabric? Clothing, home decor, etc? or quilts and wall hangings?
Having alot of fabric and sewing experience, I would recommend using a ballpoint needle and polyester thread, and a single hole needle plate. You may need to adjust the pressure foot tension, and lengthen the stitch a bit. You do not want it to pucker at all! You also want to watch out for nap or shading that makes the fabric look like a different color - definitely treat this fabric as a one way design. It really, really matters what you want to make out of this fabric.
Ironing and pressing is different also -much lower temp, lighter hand, use a pressing cloth and probably no steam.
Do not over press.
It is pretty and will be fun!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 2:10PM
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I was really thinking of small items such as pretty pillows, little bags, etc.,(grand-daughter loves shiny, glitzy stuff) - things that won't be washed. This fabric is very slidey and silky, it's not knit. I had always thought ball-point needles were for knits, but that just shows how little I know. My machine doesn't have a single hole needle plate, though. I guess I'll just have to get out what I have and experiment on it.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 2:24PM
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A Ball point needle is used when you do not want the stitch to pierce the thread of the weave. The ball point will allow the needle to slide over that thread and go between the weave - or knit - best way for me to describe it.
Try stitching with out the single hole needle plate (I am a huge fan!). You don't want the fabric to dip down into that hole. SNP makes for a better stitch.
Look in your accessories at the different presser feet. You don't want anything that will snag the fabric.
Sewing something shiny and girly for a G'daughter is perfect for this fabric for the first time - even if it is for her to play dress-up. Have fun!!!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 2:43PM
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If it's going to be for a purse, maybe use a lightweight stablizer on the back????? Would help with it being a bit easier to work with......I used to make lingerie....some of the sewing was down right ugly but they fit!


    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 3:59PM
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I once tried to make a dress with sari fabric... It ravelled like crazy!! I would suggest some sort of stabilizing stitch (maybe a small zigzag) along the edges, before you cut if possible.

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 5:41PM
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The fabric is gorgeous and I love your idea. MRG has given you good advice in handling this type of fabric, along w/ the stabilizer suggestion from Jennifer. I haven't touched this type of fabric in...dare I say 30 plus years. I used to make clothing,but got over that once I worked in retail during college days. Looking forward to seeing the results!

    Bookmark   August 29, 2012 at 7:01PM
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Hi Folks,

Perhaps we might slow down a bit here, too much misinformation floating in the area.

SARI = the style of dress &/or wrap of fabric for said style of dress, traditionally made of 6 yds. of cloth (I've seen them being screen printed so I know the length). Traditionally, they were cotton or silk. I see them still in NYC, tho' don't know what they're made of.

Can also indicate (like the link) the nature of the print, especially the printed edge (designed that way for the sari & how it will wrap).

This name 'sari fabric' bears no indication whatsoever of fiber content. That would be key.

I can't imagine what polyester made in India might feel like.

(PG) Karen,
the Recovering Textile Designer/stylist & engineer

I don't wish to be a party pooper, just aiming for best possible info (or least posssible mis-info). It'd probably a fun project, but would take a lot of experimenting, have fun!

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 5:59PM
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Pirate girl~ There is no misinformation given here. No need to slow down. Rita asked advice about sewing on this fabric. Yes, I have seen it, and am very aware of its look, feel and hand. She is planning on sewing for a child for fun. All the information given to her regarding technique is accurate for this fabric.

Rita bought this 'Sari' fabric at Joanne's - named Sari as described in the link. It is 100% polyester. It really has nothing to do with the actual traditional un-stitched Sari cloth wrapped dressing in either style, or fiber. It is just an interpretation of a quasi fancy poly that Joanne's marketed as a Sari - type look. All information shared is accurate for sewing on this type of fabric.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 8:37PM
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Excuse me, I got that "just an interpretation of a quasi fancy poly" sort of after the fact; my mistake.

    Bookmark   August 30, 2012 at 10:43PM
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