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Tips & Techniques > Cutting slippery fabric

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Posted by: Debbie Lancaster
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About Debbie Lancaster star
CA United States
Member since: 9/18/02
Reviews written: 70
Sewing skills:Intermediate
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tips added: 26
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Posted on: 11/12/02 0:33 AM
Review Rating: Helpful by 3 people   Very Helpful by 10 people   
I picked up this tip from the Threads forum. When working with slippery, slithery fabric such as rayon challis or silk georgette, wash and dry first, then saturate the fabric in a strong starch solution. I use liquid starch straight out of the bottle. Let dry. Then spritz or sprinkle with water, roll up and put into a plastic bag until uniformly just damp. (Actually, I can remember my mother doing this with pillowcases and shirts and the like when I was little, but she used cake starch.) Then press, being careful to align the grain correctly. This treatment makes the fabric much easier to lay out and cut. Release the stiffness by crumpling the fabric in your hands for sewing. You can get a weaker effect using heavy spray starch, but the saturation effect seems to work best. This is only for washable fabric, of course!

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2 Comments
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Sharon Smith said... (11/19/02 5:29 PM) Reply
Thanks for the great tips, Debbie and Georgene. I have some projects coming up for Christmas where this will really come in handy.
said... (11/14/02 1:31 AM) Reply
Another way to deal with fabrics that move around is to use an "underlay." You can use any paper that is (hopefully) the same width of the cloth, roll it out on the table first, then put your cloth on top. When you cut out the pattern, cut the paper at the same time along with the fabric. This helps to keep the fabric from lifting up and moving around. The paper lifts up instead and carries the fabric with it, keeping the grain straight in the process. This assumes that you respect the straight grain while laying out the cloth!
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