Keep a step ahead, prepare for the cooler weather with lovely wool fabrics.
Wool is a great fabric choice for a coat or jacket because, as a natural fibre, it will keep you warm in the colder months and cooler on the warm spring days. Croft Mill fabrics have some lovely woollen fabrics which are suitable for Coats and Jackets as well as wool mix suiting. Caring for wool fabrics is not that difficult and the benefit of a nice wool mix suit for Winter is just wonderful.
What are the main types of wool fabrics?
Alpaca, Boiled wool, Cashmere, Challis, Coating, Crêpe, Double coating, Double jersey, Flannel, Gabardine, Mohair, Silk-wool mix, Tartan, Tweed, Wool felt, Worsted and a few more.
Washing and preparing the wool fabric -
all fabrics are slightly different so these instructions are quite general but will cover most natural fibre woollen fabrics.
- Fabrics that are made from natural fibres can shrink quite a bit when first washed. So make sure you wash it before you cut it out and remember to buy a little extra fabric to compensate for shrinkage.
- Wash in warm, not hot, soapy water, or dry clean. You should always use a gentle washing detergent specifically designed for woollens, silks or delicate fabrics.
- Gently agitate the garment to wash it.
- Let the garment soak for up to two hours to ensure the fibres are saturated.
- Rinse until the water is clear.
- Do not wring out or rub the fabric. To avoid it stretching with the weight of the water, lay the fabric on a clean towel on a flat surface and gently pull it to the correct shape. Roll it up in the towel and squeeze to take out the excess water.
- Most wool fabrics do not need ironing, but if you need to iron the do so with care. Use a cool to warm iron and an ironing cloth and iron the fabric on the wrong side.
Machine washing woollen items:
- Use the correct detergent.
- Make sure you set the machine to the woollen cycle.
- Check the temperature of that cycle ( needs to be cool) and the spin speed ( needs to be slow)
- Lie the fabric flat to dry.
Things you should not do:
- Iron with a hot iron.
- Tumble Dry.
- Hang on a line to dry if soaking wet.
- Pull it out of shape when wet.
Sewing fabrics which have wool in them
- Wool is commonly used to sew outerwear, suits, skirts and trousers, coats and jackets. It comes in various weights, from lightweight to heavyweight, and is also frequently blended with other fibres. Polyester and viscose to name but two which work well with wool.
- Wool does not unravel or fray and it holds its shape.
- When sewing limit the bulk at seam joints, this will make a nicer less "lumpy" finish. Choose seam edge finishes, such as pinking, that will not add additional bulk to your seams.
- A ball-point needle is usually the best option for a woollen fabric. It has a rounded tip that easily slips through the fibres without snagging or cutting them.
- Choose a pattern to suit your fabric, part of the success of any sewing project is knowing which types of fabric are best for different patterns.
- Use sharp pins as they slip in and out of the fabric without pulling threads.
- Nice sharp scissors will make all the difference.
- Practice on your scrap for the right size stitch.
Linings for all your wool fabric outerwear.
Croft mill fabrics have linings in a wide range of colours so you can either choose a colour that matches the garment fabric or can pick a contrasting colour if you prefer. If you can't find an exact match, go for a darker rather than lighter tone. Lining fabrics usually have a silky surface and are generally made from silk, polyester, viscose, acetate or rayon. When you’re choosing a lining fabric, make sure that its washing care requirements are compatible with the garment fabric – it would be a bit of a pain to put a dry-clean-only silk lining into a machine-washable cotton jacket.
What is lining?
- this is a separate layer of silky fabric sewn inside a garment. It hides raw edges, internal seams and darts and provides a slippery surface which makes clothes easier to get on and off and more comfortable to wear.
- Acetate - a lightweight, soft synthetic fabric which drapes well and has a shiny, lustrous surface. Tends to be dry clean only.
- Polyester lining– lightweight, soft plain-weave synthetic fabric which has a shiny surface and drapes well. Generally machine washable on a gentle cycle.
- Viscose lining - is a synthetic fibre, but drapes and washes nicely. Often have a mixture of polyester and viscose in a lining.
Interesting web links that we particularly like.
Winter Coat - do you sew or do you not sew. Nice blog by Ageberry
Free hooded coat pattern from sewyourtv.com
8 simple jackets from the FOLDLINE
From the Spruce Craft - sewing coats for dogs.
Lana Red Studio has a good tutorial with pictures on how to make a coat without a pattern. Nice!!
Make Cushion covers - This website has links to a lot of different cushion ideas, well worth a look.