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Variety of fabric. From the left: evenweave cotton, velvet, printed cotton, calico, felt, satin, silk, hessian, polycotton.

Terms[edit | edit source]

the right side of the fabric
finished edges
Raw edge
unfinished edges
the direction of the nap

Preparing Fabric[edit | edit source]

Always wash and press all fabric before sewing with it. New fabric will usually shrink a certain amount. Marking of patterns must be done on quite flat (well-pressed) fabric, as creases will distort the shape of the chalked pattern.

Types of Fabric[edit | edit source]

There are two groups of fabric, natural and synthetic. Synthetic fabrics are man made, while natural fabrics are either from a animal protein, like silk or wool, or a plant fiber, like cotton or linen. Fabrics can either be knit, or woven.

Natural fibers[edit | edit source]

Natural fibers are known to be more expensive than synthetic, but can drape beautifully and keep one cool in a way that synthetic fabrics often cannot.

Cotton Muslin[edit | edit source]

It is recommended that beginner in sewing get started with a cheap natural fiber such as cotton muslin. This is un-dyed unbleached cotton that is useful for making mock-ups and undergarments. It is a woven fabric so it has little stretch.

Cotton Jersey[edit | edit source]

Cotton jersey is a knit fabric. It is stretchy, soft, and does not wrinkle or pucker. It is another good beginner fabric, however it can be pricy. Its often used for activewear.

Cotton Flannel[edit | edit source]

Cotton Flannel is a warm, soft, medium weight fabric. Its weave is loosely spun. It's good for cold weather clothing.

Linen[edit | edit source]

A type of woven fabric made out of the flax plant. Very good for keeping cool in summer.

Wool[edit | edit source]

Wool is a protein fabric made from the hair/fleece of camels, goats, alpacas and other animals. It's very good for cold weather.