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Message Board > Fabrics and more... > Silk Organza for interfacing ( Moderated by CynthiaSue)

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Silk Organza for interfacing
Why silk?
solveg
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solveg  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/30/12 12:23 PM

I see very cheap nylon organza in many different colors, but I know you guys are very clear when you specify SILK organza for interfacing, which is harder to find.

Why? Especially since I've read in other threads that the stiffness comes from some type of plant residue and can be washed off, while the nylon organza stays stiff after washing?

heathergwo
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Date: 8/30/12 12:32 PM

If you hold a sample of SILK organza in your hands vs. a cheap POLY organza, you will immediately feel the difference.

The silk is much easier to work with, has more shape, smooths easier and is just plain so much better to work with that it is definitely worth the difference in price.

I took a class on bound buttonholes and it told us to bring silk organza. Well, JA didn't carry any, so I bought the cheap stuff to go to the class. The instructor ended up giving me some scraps of her silk because mine was so terrible it just wouldn't work the right way to complete the class.

You can get decent prices online... it makes a great interfacing or interlining for certain projects.

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solveg
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Date: 8/30/12 12:40 PM

Ah. Thanks. I'm following everyone's advice, but I just wanted to know why. Especially when I found out it probably wasn't washable.

Sue Anfang
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In reply to solveg <<
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Date: 8/30/12 12:55 PM

you can wash silk no problem.

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marymary86
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In reply to Sue Anfang <<


Date: 8/30/12 1:29 PM

Heather nailed it.

But seriously - order an 1/8 yard of poly and then get some silk. Sew up some samples.

You won't order more poly if there's any way you can afford silk.

------
Mary


solveg
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Date: 8/30/12 1:29 PM

(edit: response to Sue. MaryMary sneaked in there--and yes, I'm sticking with silk. Just was curious.)

Well, that's what I was curious about. In this other thread the second post reads:

Snitched from the back cover of Threads magazine, Nov. 2005, #121:
"The crispness of silk organza is due to the natural gum left on fibers during processing; in man-made polyester, the stiffness is engineered."


Which sounds like something that can be washed out and you might not even notice once it's sewn in. But now I understand that it's the actual stitching part that makes silk so critical.
-- Edited on 8/30/12 1:30 PM --
-- Edited on 8/30/12 1:31 PM --

marymary86
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In reply to solveg <<


Date: 8/30/12 1:39 PM

Take my comments with a grain of salt (I've never used silk organza for underlining - I'm familiar with it from my heirloom sewing days where it was often used as ribbon for a baby's bonnet for example.)

If you were underlining an entire garment (let's think of a skirt for example) would you want that "engineered" stiffness or would you want the body that would come from the silk? I'm dying to take the Susan Khajle couture class (and I hope I spelled her last name correctly - I'm too lazy to look right now.)

To me, it seems like the initial stiffness of the silk would be divine during construction and then the skirt would get even more fabulous after it's hand washed or dry cleaned.

Again - I don't know for sure but that's just how it seems to me from the little experience I have.

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Mary


Nikki
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Date: 8/30/12 2:03 PM

Degumming silk is something of a chore - it needs to be simmered in a bath with some chemical agents. The organza may degum over time and multiple washings, but there is usually not a huge change in the hand after it is washed a few times. Usually items that are underlined with silk organza aren't tossed into the washing machine on a weekly basis either...

If you want to underline entire garments, I do recommend buying a small bolt of organza still on the tube - it stores nicely that way and you can often get a bulk discount (look for sellers like Thai Silks or Dharma Trading).

------
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Elona
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In reply to solveg <<


Date: 8/30/12 2:08 PM



Quote:
Snitched from the back cover of Threads magazine, Nov. 2005, #121:

"The crispness of silk organza is due to the natural gum left on fibers during processing; in man-made polyester, the stiffness is engineered."

Which sounds like something that can be washed out and you might not even notice once it's sewn in. But now I understand that it's the actual stitching part that makes silk so critical.


It's true: Washing does remove some of the stiffness from silk organza--not all, because sericin gum is mostly a protein, and it takes strong chemicals and heat to denature it. (If anyone is interested in how to de-gum silk yarn, here is a link to that.)

That characteristic crispness will be fully maintained only by dry cleaning.

Personally, I use silk organza for small, very specific things like bound buttonholes or welt pockets, rather than as an interfacing or underlining (I wash almost everything I make). This fabric is so user friendly and shape-able for functions like these that you wouldn't believe a side-by-side comparison with most synthetics.
-- Edited on 8/30/12 2:12 PM --
Debbie Lancaster
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Date: 8/30/12 2:50 PM

I once used silk organza for interfacing a stand-up collar on a silk crepe dress (one of those "it seemed like a good idea at the time" moments), and it became limp after just a few runs through the washing machine. So, no, I wouldn't use it where stiffness is needed and the garment would be washed.

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Debbie

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