Wool is a wonderful upholstery and furnishing fabric to work with, whether you’re a beginner or an experienced sewer. It comes in a variety of weights, blends, weaves, and patterns, making it suitable for a wide range of crafts. Wool, on the other hand, has its own set of eccentricities, so if you’ve never worked with it before, check out these pointers to make your weaved crafts go smoothly.
Tip #1: Select the Correct Needle
For woven upholstery and furnishing fabrics, a ball-point needle is usually the best solution. The rounded tip glides through the strands without snagging or cutting them. This is especially important when working with wool because pointed needles frequently acquire little barbs on their tips that can grab on the highly textured wool fibers.
Tip #2: Minimize Bulk
Wool can be thick, particularly if you use felt or a heavyweight woven wool upholstery and furnishing fabric. Finishing techniques such as French seams should be avoided because they are stiff and unpleasant. Instead, take use of wool’s lack of fraying and use pinking and grading procedures to reduce bulk and keep seams flexible.
Tip #3: Select the Appropriate Pattern
Knowing which sorts of cloth are ideal for different patterns is an important part of any sewing project’s success. This doesn’t simply apply to the final product—while wool materials are excellent for outerwear, not all coat patterns will function well in wool. Choose simple shapes with few complicated seams in general. These can become bulky, making it difficult to attain a neat, completed appearance.
Tip #4: Use a Press Cloth
Heat does not agree with wool. An overheated iron can sear the fibers, and that damage is irreversible. Always put a press cloth between your iron and your project, and use the woven setting on your iron. Because heat or steam can cause dye to transfer from the upholstery and furnishing fabric to your item, it’s best to use a light-colored or undyed press cloth. Choose a worsted wool cloth, which will equally distribute heat without causing damage to your clothing.
Tip #5: Getting Involved
Wool is commonly mixed with other fibers to create garments with distinctive characteristics. Look for wool that has been mixed with Lycra or Spandex for extra stretch. Wool/silk blends are softer, smoother, and less scratchy than 100% wool, and have a rich shine and lovely finish, making them ideal for dresses and skirts. Wool can also be blended with synthetic fibers such as nylon and polyester to create clothing that are lighter in weight but yet have a woollen texture.
Tip #6: Be Prepared for Shrinkage
Wool’s capacity to shrink is its most well-known feature. When felting a knitted product into its final form, this is sometimes the desired result. Occasionally, though, the shrinking is unintentional. Some of this can be avoided by purchasing “needle ready” or preshrunk wool, or by preshrinking your own yarn. It should not be washed or dried like regular materials. Run it through a low-temperature dryer cycle with a moist cloth to preshrink it. This will give your finished project just enough shrinkage to fit, but not enough to feel the fibers.
Tip #7: Is it Better to Knit or Weave?
Wool upholstery and furnishing fabrics can be knitted or woven, much like other fibers, and the resulting upholstery and furnishing fabric’s qualities are determined by the process used to create it. Knitted wool materials, such as jersey, are often soft, warm, and very stretchy. Cut edges on boiled wool and unfelted knits, on the other hand, are fray-resistant, requiring minimal maintenance for a completed look. For neat, structural clothes such as tailored suits, jackets, dresses, and skirts, woven materials are preferred. They keep pleats and folds in place nicely and can withstand a lot of wear and tear. Learn more about fabrics here!
Tip #8: Silk Thread is a great option.
In general, the fiber in the thread you’re using should be matched to the fiber in your cloth. This implies that seams will respond to washing, drying, and wear in the same way that the rest of the garment does. However, with wool, this is not an option. Try silk thread instead, which has similar characteristics. It’s not technically necessary; in most cases, a polyester-wrapped cotton thread will suffice. Silk thread, on the other hand, gives a superior finish to lightweight woollens, especially when decorative stitching is used.
Tip #9: Think About Your Lining
Wool is warm and inviting, but some people find the texture too harsh on their skin. Lining projects helps to eliminate this problem while also protecting any bare edges. Silk is a wonderful alternative for lining your garment if you want to use a natural textile. Silk may offer structure as well as a gorgeous interior finish, whereas charmeuse is buttery soft. Polyester and rayon are less expensive alternatives. Use a patterned lining to finish off your clothing for a delightful surprise.
You’re all set!
Wool is available in a variety of weights and mixes. Always check for the ‘Woolmark’ label on pure sewing wool. This is a textile emblem that can be found on objects produced entirely of fresh wool. It is regarded as a high-quality product on a global scale. Wool blends may be a lot of fun to sew with and can save a lot of money for home sewers. It’s time to pull out that perfectly prepped upholstery and furnishing fabric and your carefully selected design. You’re well on your way to sewing wool upholstery and furnishing fabric with those newly sharpened shears. You’ll always be a creator of excellent wool clothing and patterns if you prepare well.