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You have purchased your fabric carefully and naturally you are excited and eager to start your new garment, however take time with your fabric preparation before commencing.
|Fabric Preparation||Printed Fabrics||Plain Woven Fabric||Synthetic Fabric||Yarn Dyed Fabrics|
|Knitted Fabrics||Pre Shrinking||Pressing||Pressing Rules||Press as You Sew Guide|
|Pressing Equipment||Iron||Ironing Board||Ironing Board Cover||Ironing Board Pad|
|Seam Roll||Ham||Pressing Mitt||Press Cloth||Brown Paper Stirps|
Make sure that your fabric is not off grain as a fabric that is not square or grain perfect will not hang correctly in the finished garment. Remember that all woven fabrics are constructed on looms that are straight, they are then rolled onto tubes or double folded onto boards. This can cause the fabric to appear off grain. To rectify this problem follow this easy set of rules:
can at times be a problem as the print can be off grain to the woven base cloth. In this case you have to make a decision whether to follow the design or to use the grain straight. If the design is not to far off grain (less than 20mm) then it will most probably be okay but if the design is to much off the grain (more than 20mm) then you must TRUE the fabric.
Made from natural fibres such as wool, linen and cotton do not have a permanent memory and normally can and must be straightened. Tear across the grain both ends or pull a thread and cut across the open space left by the missing thread, do not be alarmed if the fabric appears to be off grain at this point. Fold the fabric in half across the width, you will see that the ends do not meet perfectly. Take the two short ends and pull on the cross, this will bring the fabric back level. You will have to pull a little towards the centre and you will need to check to ensure that the fabric has recovered. When you have the ends level press your fabric to make sure that it will stay in shape.
Many plain synthetics have a memory and the TRUING method is advised, however you can try the pull and press method first as often the fabric will recover.Back to top
If you intend to wash your garment then you should ensure that it is washable from the CARE LABEL. As many fabrics are labelled dry clean only, you should follow the manufacturers instructions and take the fabric to the dry cleaner.
However if you want to take the risk and wash it, first test a small sample piece, cut a piece of paper the same size as the sample, then wash, dry and iron the sample. By comparing the sample to the piece of paper (place on over the other) you will see the rate of shrinkage and the condition of the sample and so can then make your decision whether to wash or not.
If you decide to continue and wash the fabric then you should immerse the fabric in cold or tepid water so that the finish in the fabric will not be removed, make sure the fabric is thoroughly wet, gently spin dry, spreading the fabric around in the washing machine , with as few creases as possible, then fold the fabric over a rack to dry, again with as few creases as possible. Always keep the drying fabric away from direct sunlight, and iron the fabric before you cut your pattern.
PLEASE NOTE: It is necessary to pre wash all other fabrics used in the garment including the lining, interfacing, zipper, bias binding, etc. to be sure that the rate of shrinkage is controlled. It a great idea to pre shrink your fabric before you put it away, so that it is ready when you have the urge to sew.Back to top
Pressing is as important as accurate stitching. In fact if you want a professional finish you can not do one without the other.
|Acetate||Light||Very low||Dry iron||Use Press cloth on right side.|
|Cotton||Light & Moderate||Moderate to High||Dry or Steam||Press with steam iron. For more moisture, dampen fabric and press with dry iron. to avoid shine on dark colours, press from wrong side or use press cloth on right side.|
|Linen||Light to Heavy||High||May need press cloth on right side; test first|
|Nylon||Light||Low to Moderate||Little or no ironing required|
|Polyester||Moderate||use press cloth to prevent shine and water spots.|
|Silk||Press light to medium weights with a dry iron. for heavy weights, use steam iron and dry press cloth to avoid water spots|
|Wool||Light to moderate||Moderate||Press with steam iron. for more moisture, press with dry iron and slightly dampened press cloth. Use press cloth on right side to prevent shine. press crepe with dry iron.|
|Blends||Press according to requirements of the more delicate fibre||..|
|Crepe||Light||Low to Moderate||Dry iron||Use press cloth on right side.|
|Deep Pile||Finger-press||Moderate||Steam iron||See Pressure, above, for finger pressing.|
|Glossy||Light||Low||Dry iron||Same as crepe.|
|Nap, Pile||Light or finger-press||Low to Moderate||Dry or steam iron||Press fabric over needle board, using light pressure; or finger press.|
In addition to your ironing board there are a host of aids to provide pressing surfaces that simulate the curves of the body as well as to allow you to press small detail areas without creasing the rest of the garment.
Don't think that you have to rush and buy all the equipment listed. Start with a seam roll and a good press cloth. Then add items to your range, as you require them.