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Fabricmart Silk Suiting
How to sew, iron, wash this fabric
paulakiss
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paulakiss  Friend of PR
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Date: 2/14/14 1:18 PM

Hi there! Fabricmart sent out an evil enabling email for 30% off sitewide today and I found this beautiful Black Silk Suiting for a steal!

I'm so excited! I've never sewn or owned anything made of silk! I bought it because it's beautiful and it doesn't seem like it would be clingy. And because it said "gentle wash" instead of dry clean. (I usually stay away from dry clean only fabrics.) And I'll probably never see it again and if I do it won't be at that price and I wouldn't be able to afford it... It didn't even occur to me that I have NO IDEA how to sew, iron, or wash silk before I clicked submit order. lol. I'd like to make a nightie and lined blouse out of it because it's semi sheer.

So can you really get this silk wet without causing damage or marks? Can you iron this on low? I'll test a scrap in the wash on gentle and under a cool iron but what are the best ways to handle this? I mean should I only hand wash it? And how do you get a faced neckline to lay flat without ironing or with something between the iron like a cloth? And can I serge the seams? I'm so excited to get this fabric. Sorry for all the rapid fire questions. Thanks in advance for any advice.

frame
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frame
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In reply to paulakiss <<
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Date: 2/14/14 1:34 PM

I wash all my silk. Silk was around long before dry cleaners. :)

If you don't wash silk and it gets wet, you get water spots. If you wash the silk in its entirety, you don't. At least that is my experience. Others may disagree, so be it.

Silk organza makes a great pressing cloth. My iron has a silk setting and that's what I would use. Don't mistake real silk for the "silky-like" polyesters you purchase at - well, anywhere. You wouldn't want to treat those polyesters the same. Oddly, you have to be more gentle with them. :)

If I were you, I would wash and iron a sample. I think you will be pleasantly surprised. Silk is a wonderful fabric. Not as fragile as people think. :)

------
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"I meant what I said, and I said what I meant." - Horton(Dr. Seuss)

paulakiss
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In reply to frame <<


Date: 2/14/14 2:36 PM

Wow! Thanks Frame for the advice. That sounds so much easier than I thought it would be! My iron does have a silk setting. I will wash and iron a sample though first like you suggested! Oh and thanks for the advice on the silky poly fabric needing even gentler handling. I didn't know that! And I have a bunch of that I haven't sewn up yet. Now that I see this fabric is light/medium weight I'm rethinking the nightie, might be too heavy. Maybe a winter one if it's soft enough. I'll have to see when I get it.

PattyE
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Date: 2/14/14 4:31 PM

This might be stiffer than you're thinking...it says 'falls into wide cones'. But if you are going to wash it that will, many times, change the hand of the silk.
Enjoy your silk purchase!

Coconuts
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Date: 2/14/14 4:39 PM

It's silk suiting, not silk charmeuse or even silk twill. That means something closer to raw silk, which is more like linen or even soft burlap.

mmcp
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Date: 2/15/14 8:32 AM

Yes, it actually says it's Raw Silk Suiting, with a "crisp" hand, so Coconuts is absolutely right. I do think of the online fabric retailers the Fabric Mart descriptions are among the clearest. I'll also add-depending on your silk, as PattyE said, washing can completely change the hand, and the appearance, of the fabric. It's worth it to do some research. Here is a good link on how to wash silk:
http://3hourspast.com/2012/03/14/this-is-how-i-care-for-silk-and-a-cautionary-ale/
Also check out her follow-up post on how NOT to wash silk!

paulakiss
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Date: 2/15/14 8:55 AM

I didn't even think about the fabric being crisp or stiffer even though I read it, Coconuts. Linen or burlap? Wow. PattyE, thanks for letting me know about the silk changing a little after washing. Hopefully after I wash it, it'll soften up, otherwise there are lots of other things I can make from it. I've never worked with silk and thought since it was semi sheer that it would be like the softer silks.

MMCP, you're right, I think Fabric Mart has the clearest descriptions too. I just didn't pay enough attention to description in my excitement to get my hands on my first silk fabric. Thank you also MMCP for that link! I'm learning a lot with the little research I've already done! I feel like that lady; if I can't wash it, I won't wear it. And I'll definitely do a test wash and test iron that piece too. I think next time I'll do a little research before buying something I've never worked with. lol.

Thank you ladies!

Andi
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Date: 2/15/14 9:11 AM

Paula, I find when FM says"semi sheer" it means you can see through it, sometimes that means open weave. I find I get so excited with how the fabric looks on my monitor that I forget to read the whole description, so I have no one to blame but myself when I get the fabric!

Andi
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Date: 2/15/14 10:03 AM

My order from FM just arrived with some of the black silk suiting

It is not the typical raw silk. The fabric is open weave, but not really open. It is drapey, unlike raw silk. The threads have more of a sheen than raw silk which is more matt. I bought this for a wrap/cardi loose jacket. It would also work well for a drapey skirt, but I would think you would need to line it. Not a typical suiting.HTH

paulakiss
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In reply to Andi <<


Date: 2/15/14 11:35 AM

Wow. Thank you Andi! Now that you said it's an open weave, I can see that in the pic on fabric mart. Looks like I'm going to make a cardigan and lined skirt with it then. I'm sure I'll find all kinds of things I could make out of it. It sounds beautiful. I can't wait to get it!
-- Edited on 2/15/14 6:51 PM --

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