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Melton Wool Fabric
Just got a bargain what do I do?
LDT2011
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LDT2011
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Date: 8/23/13 9:02 AM

I wandered into the local fabric shop on the off chance to you know..*ahem* window shop and found they had some navy blue melton wool fabric for a bargain price (looks like it was end of a roll clearance). I seized the opportunity and bought 2 metres of it. Thinking perhaps of using it for a cape.
Now I've never sewn with anything other than cotton/poly cotton and cotton/poly twill (dabbled in an unknown tartan). Most of my fabric has not cost me any more than 7.50.
I have NEVER sewn with wool before. Where do I start?
I don't usually pre-treat my fabrics (and have been fine) but I suspect wool is a different matter.
And swing any tips (I have no problem hand sewing).

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'The purpose of most fashion is to be ostentatiously non-functional.'

annekecaramin
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annekecaramin
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In reply to LDT2011 <<


Date: 8/23/13 4:13 PM

Definitely pretreat it, if you are prepared to spend some money you can get it steam-pressed at the drycleaners, or do it at home if you're a cheapskate (hello!). Wool can shrink quite a bit when it comes into contact with steam, and since you'll be needing steam to press the seams, it's vital to preshrink it.

I got into the habit of using a damp press cloth and a hot iron (my old iron had a steam function but it was busted). Dunk the press cloth (this can be a piece of muslin) into water, wring it out until it's damp and move an iron over it (don't press too hard) untill all the moisture has evaporated. Repeat for the entire piece.

Sewing with wool is pretty straightforward, just be careful with some seams since things can get bulky. Never place an iron directly onto the fabric! I'd suggest you find a good pattern with extensive instructions. If things like welt pockets or bound buttonholes show up it's best to make a test on some scrap fabric first. Wool is easy to manipulate and stretch into shape, I think you'll enjoy working with it!

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NancyZL
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In reply to LDT2011 <<


Date: 8/23/13 10:20 PM

Yes, as suggested you may want to steam it although if its a good quality wool shrinkage should be minimal . Am thinking
an easy lined jacket or cape with few details . I do think wool is easy to work with , very forgiving. And, yes, use a press cloth & a light touch with the iron.

NonieA1
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Date: 8/24/13 5:43 AM

I made a Kinsdale Cape out of melton wool and lined it with cotton twill. I had no problem working with the fabric. Since the cape is long and very warm to wear in the cold weather, be aware, at least for me, it is heavy. I found working with wool very enjoyable.

Kathleen Fasanella
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Kathleen Fasanella  Friend of PR
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Date: 8/26/13 9:07 AM

I have many years of experience making wool and leather coats (manufacturing), Melton is easily my favorite due to its working properties.

In the factory, nobody worries about pressing it (all coats had welt pockets), fusing it and all that. By all means test a piece but please, don't fear it.

As to pre-processing, it depends on the desired result. If you like the smooth sheen and want to keep it, you'll always need to dry clean it. Welton will shrink a small bit in pressing but not much (long story). If you notice the shrinkage in the final garment, that is the least of your problems because a coat made of Melton should not be cut to be so form fitting and with so little ease that you'd notice.

For my personal coat projects (as opposed to a factory setting), I prefer to prewash the melton. Yeah I lose the sheen and smooth hand but that's okay because I will then be able to wash it once it is made up. Also, I mostly use it for casual stadium (letternmen) type jackets as opposed to anything dressy.

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LDT2011
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LDT2011
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Date: 8/29/13 6:27 AM

ooh, thanks everyone. I'm thinking of making a cape. I do have a cape pattern. But wonder if I should go for a simpler design.

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'The purpose of most fashion is to be ostentatiously non-functional.'

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