Sewing with Silk: Our Top Tips
Silk is an ancient fabric, originating in China in the Neolithic period sometime during the 4th millennium BC. For three thousand years, silk production remained in China until, at some point during the later part of the 1st millennium BC, the famous 'Silk Road' opened. Often referred to as the 'Queen of Fabrics', silk will be forever associated with luxury.
Sewing with silk can be challenging but it is extremely rewarding. The super-soft material is especially versatile and can be used to create all sorts of garments from simple scarves to divine dresses, from tempting tops to superlative skirts. It's also ideal for a wide range of craft projects. In this article, we'll be sharing with you some great tips to get the best results when working with this exquisite fabric.
- When you receive your chosen silk from Croft Mill, you'll be tempted to get to work right away. Be patient! First you'll have to wash your new fabric (machine wash on the delicate setting or hand wash in cool water)
- Cutting the fabric is your first challenge. Silk is notoriously slippery so place it between two sheets of tissue paper or scrap fabric. Serrated shears will also improve your grip
- If you've not worked with silk before then use a small piece to practice on. Get used to the feel of the fabric, its tension and its texture
- Marking the fabric is best achieved using pattern weights, which will keep your fabric in place and won't leave any permanent signs. If you choose to use pins, be certain that they are especially sharp to make sure the holes are as small as they can possibly be. This is also true of your sewing needles: brand new ones are best
- If there are any stray threads, snip them off before you start sewing. Otherwise they may get in the way of stitches or even get caught in your machine
- If you need to press your fabric, place it face down on your ironing board in case of watermarks. The first step of washing the fabric helps to prevent these
- Using French seams is best, letting you encase the edges within the seam and prevent fraying. Seams that need structure, such as those on the neckline of a garment, need stabilising to prevent them from sagging or drooping
- Don't rush! Go slowly, one step at a time and you'll soon be a silky success!
There are lots of silk fabrics to choose from here at Croft Mill, along with all of the haberdashery items you need to achieve the best results. Browse our website now and get ready for a trip to silk heaven.