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Forum > Creative Sewing > hemming a "dupatta" or scarf from India ( Moderated by Lynnelle)

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hemming a "dupatta" or scarf from India
what thread or needle to use on this material
Massachusetts USA
Member since 4/17/09
Posts: 9
Skill: Intermediate
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Date: 4/17/11 7:17 PM

Can you ladies from India help me? Or you experienced seamstresses? I have a few dupatta's from India, purchased a few years back. Have not really worn them because they are too wide to wear in the current style around the neck. They are very sheer and not very practical as shawls.
I have cut them in half, hoping to make scarves out of them. My question is, do you have a recommendation for size of needle or type of thread I should use? My husband (from India) and I cannot make out whether they are silk or polyester.
I would appreciate any helpful suggestions or tips. Thank you...javascript:emoticon(':rolleyes:')

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New Jersey USA
Member since 4/4/05
Posts: 611
Skill: Intermediate
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Subject: hemming a dupatta or scarf from India Date: 4/18/11 8:48 AM

Did you cut them in half the long way or the short way? If you cut them across the narrow width of the fabric you can use traditional finishes. The traditional finishes I've seen are either a simple hand-rolled hem or hand knotted fringe. You might get away with a serged rolled hem or using a narrow rolled hem foot on a regular sewing machine. You can do a simple rolled hem by hand, possibly do a serged rolled hem, or ravel threads and make a knotted fringe (cross-wise only).

If you sew the hem, suit the needle and thread to the fabric - finer needle and thread for finer cloth. Also a hand finish would most likely look better on fine cloth.

Best way to test fiber is to do a burn test. If you do a google search on "burn test fiber identification" there are lots of sites with instructions. This one appeals to me because it's got a chart instead of paragraph descriptions: Be sure to hold the fiber sample with tongs or long tweezers when doing the test - don't use your fingers!

You might look around for double layer scarf patterns too - silk or similar on one side with soft wool or fleece on the other. The duppatas could make a lovely lining without overwhelming you with too much yardage. If the colors are coordinated show-through won't be a problem or the thin fabric could be underlined with a complimentary or contrasting color.
California USA
Member since 10/27/06
Posts: 319
Skill: Advanced Beginner
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Date: 4/18/11 10:08 PM

A teacher once told me the rolled hemming is easier(on a serger or a sewing machine ) if you spray starch and iron the edges a few times. Also,tailors in India often have a machine that does a 'picot hem', as they call it. You can take a length of sheer fabric to them, and they do the 'picot' which looks like a neat, narrow, rolled hem, for a very nominal fee, and within minutes. I wish I had looked at what attachment they use on their machines for these!
Hoe this helps.


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