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What makes some knit fabrics
jander
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Date: 2/9/13 12:29 PM

I have sewn with two different knits that grew. One was a bamboo, no lycra, and the other a rayon 97%/ lycra 3%. I pretreated both by washing on cold, gentle and drying on low. Both looked really good after pretreating and I thought I had good fabric. After being sewn into garments the picture changed. The rayon especially grows several inches even while just hanging--haven't dared to wear it. This is a top. I made a dress from the bamboo and most of the growth occurs at the back hemline. I know other people have experienced this problem. Has anyone come up with a method to prescreen for this? Does it have anything to do with lycra content? Or is it just a function of the weight of the fabric? Any thoughts?

Miss Fairchild
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Subject: What makes some knit fabrics "grow"? Date: 2/9/13 7:23 PM

It has to do with how loose the threads are woven. If you've ever knitted and used large needles, you'll understand.

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simplystitches
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Subject: What makes some knit fabrics "grow"? Date: 2/9/13 9:39 PM

I sew a lot of knits and I don't think it's a quality problem that's causing the stretch. It's because you're hanging them. Some knits just can not be hung on a hanger and especially rayon knits, at least in my experience. They need to be folded and stored flat. Any of the rayon knits that I've used don't really "grow" when worn and if they do it's such a small amount that I don't even notice it.

I've only used bamboo once and I know a lot of people on this board love it but I didn't care for it so that one I can't help you with other than to say if you're hanging that one that's part of the problem. The bamboo that I had was fairly weighty and in a dress length I could see it growing in length. Somebody else w/more experience with bamboo might offer more help.

Wash and dry the garments and they'll go back to true size, store flat and try wearing the top. You'll see that it doesn't really grow that much when worn.

Debbie

SandiMacD
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Subject: What makes some knit fabrics grow? Date: 2/10/13 6:23 AM

Some knits stretch more in one direction. I use the direction of least stretch for the length. And I do hang mine as I have more closet space than drawer space.
It also depends on the amount of stretch. If a pattern calls for 4-5 inch of stretch and your fabric stretches to 8 in, try going down a size.
And I do hang for a few days before hemming.
Another aspect is recovery. Fabrics with spandex recover nicely and don't tend to grow.

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Subject: What makes some knit fabrics "grow"? Date: 2/10/13 8:15 AM

Just noticed that this is in the Contest Discussions thread...

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Subject: What makes some knit fabrics grow? Date: 2/10/13 2:54 PM

I have used iron-on Tricot interfacing on the entire fabric before cutting and construction.

You could wash, dry and let the garment relax on a flat surface and then do the iron-on Tricot. Maybe the top first and then the dress.

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beauturbo
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Subject: What makes some knit fabrics "grow"? Date: 2/10/13 5:20 PM

Just the knit and the amount and weight of it I think. If you pop it back into the washing machine and dryer, as in getting it wet and then re-dried with heat, it will probably go back to it's more relaxed state, and not all bagged and stretched out. If it does that just hanging in a closet though, then I guess you have to have it not hanging up, until wearing it maybe.

So I think it is the weight and wearing and just not good recovery of the knit. Most times, I feel a bunch of lycra in some knit, way improves that kind of thing, rather than makes something stretch out or bag out even more. That is why I actually like Lycra mixed in with all my cotton knits now often. Because if wearing very light weight just cotton knit pants or such, they often bag out at the knees after even one wearing. Then I have to re-wash and re-dry to even get them back into shape. If even a thin cotton/lycra knit instead, and if pants really still clean after only worn one time, then I can most times wear them at least twice, before even having to put them though the laundry to get the shape recovered.

I think if you really "overcooked" some Lycra mix in the dryer though, at that point you most likely might damage that. But I do not hand wash and hang dry my cotton or rayon lycra mixed clothes at all, unless the color would run or something like that instead.

I think cotton/lycra mix knit fabric is a lot more durable than rayon/lycra mix ones though, but not as soft and drape- able.

I count bamboo just like any other rayon, because it's still a tree.
-- Edited on 2/10/13 5:25 PM --

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Subject: Topic moved Date: 2/11/13 9:48 AM

This topic has been moved from Contest Discussions to Fabrics and more...

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tlmck3
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Date: 2/11/13 12:01 PM

It's true that lycra included in the knit helps the fabric "snap back" into shape after washing, hanging or wearing. It's what's known as "recovery" and the elastic properties of the lycra definitely contribute to better recovery in knits. That's really the whole point of lycra to begin with. That's why you almost always see it in active wear. It stays form-fitting instead of bagging out.

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Date: 2/23/13 10:42 AM

Well, this is an interesting discussion. I always hang my cotton knit tops to dry. In fact, I hang most of my clothing to dry after washing. It seems that I may have to adjust my approach for rayon/Lycra knits.

I have a nearly finished ITY (poly) top that is delayed by indecision. I will be inserting a zipper in the back neckline. Now I am concerned that the fabric will stretch and grow and the zipper will not. I'm thinking of trying to outwit the fabric by hanging it weighted at the bottom, then washing and drying again, and then inserting the zipper.

So many different things to consider when prepping and sewing knits.

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