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Camel hair coating
How to pretreat and press?
rosannec
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rosannec
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Date: 1/3/12 11:29 PM

I purchased a delectable dark green 100% camel hair from FabricMart. My plan is to make a maternity voat with it, figuring that it won't get too much wear so i should be able to alter it later to non-maternity sizing.

However, I've never sewn with camel hair and i am not sure how to pretreat the yardage. I'd love to try Pam's method (Off the cuff style Blog ) where you steam wool by using a hot damp towel in a hot dryer.

Also, I've been reading the boards and some have suggested not actually pressing the camel hair, but only use lots of steam and finger pressing. That said, I only have about a week to construct the coat so lots of pad stitching and couture methods are not really an option just now.

Suggestions? Words of wisdom? Am I foolish to thing i can make Burda 7318 in around 8 hours? I was planning on view B, car coat length with a hood.

MarinaVK
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MarinaVK  Friend of PR
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Date: 1/3/12 11:42 PM

I just looked up in my copy of 'All About Wool' and it says that camel's hair should be always dry cleaned - "washing by hand tends to speed up the matting process." The author recommends the following: "use a dry iron or no iron at all. Heat and steam will damage the fiber."

Claire Shaeffer recommends sewing and pressing it like wool flannel or melton. (medium heat, steam; wool press cloth, clapper, point presser, seam roll, needleboard)

Hope this helps!

------
My blog: http://frabjous-fashion.blogspot.com
What I am working on now: one couture garment a month for my Burdastyle Couture Wardrobe Challenge at burdastyle.com

rosannec
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rosannec
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Date: 1/4/12 0:30 AM

Thanks so much for posting that reply! I have decided to follow Claire schaeffer's advice and treat it like wool melton or flannel for two reasons:

#1: I got the yardage at an extrme discount ($9/yd!!) and so its not so dear as to make me too leary to forge ahead

#2: I live in the desert, which means I'll only be wearing this coat for a short while. And by short, that could mean only 7days worth of travel to D.C. in mid-January.

#3: I know I said 2 reasons, but there are more! This is to be a maternity coat with the possiblity of future conversion to regular wear. If it doesn't work out, I'm actually okay with the limited use (see reason #1)

So, right now the yardage is in the dryer with two hot damp towels and i am hoping for the best. I'll be updating with the results for anyone who reads this in the future.

rosannec
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rosannec
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Date: 1/4/12 1:20 AM

R : after proceeding with the dryer steam shrinking method, I can see no discernable change in the yardage save for expected shrinkage!

Original width: 64 inches. Original length: 3 yds 19.5 inches
Post dryer width: 62 inches; length is now 3 yds 18 inches

The yardage has a bit of static, but thats okay. It was velvety soft to begin with and seems to have retained this quality. The wrong side seems just *touch* fluffier while the right side (with directional nap) is unchanged.

I'm happy with this method on the first try. I will update once I star testing fusible interfacing. I have Pro tailoR delux in store and also hymo ready for testing..

annsew65
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annsew65
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Date: 1/4/12 5:42 AM

I would be very careful how you press as you sew. I made DH a very plush black camel's hair top coat a few years ago and I mostly only finger pressed after holding my steam iron over it with a piece of self fabric underneath. It looked pretty good - I thought - but when I took a picture of him wearing it, you could see every seam in it. I'm not sure just why it shows up like that as it isn't noticeable otherwise. Below is a link to the coat and you can see what I'm talking about.

ETA link: https://picasaweb.google.com/106901717808660735440/EverettSTopcoat#
-- Edited on 1/4/12 5:46 AM --

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Sewing in Wild, Wonderful West Virginia
Sewing Room Pics:
http://picasaweb.google.com/annsew65/MySewingRoom#

Kim12469
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Kim12469
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Date: 1/4/12 8:10 AM

I bought the same fabric (I think) and called FabricMart to ask how to pretreat it. I know you said you already did it but their response was and I quote, "You wouldn't run a Rolls Royce through a car wash, dry clean it!"

I also bought mine for a deep discount but I loved it so much that I didn't want to ruin it. I sewed up this coat in it last year. It was wonderful to work with and is so warm!

Review Link

eta: I did do some pressing on it and wish I hadn't. There are some minor marks.
-- Edited on 1/4/12 8:12 AM --

------
http://kimsewsilly.blogspot.com/

Tom P
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Tom P  Friend of PR
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In reply to rosannec


Date: 1/4/12 6:31 PM

The best way to press fabric with a soft, high nap like this is to press it on a needle board. They're kind of expensive, but it's not like they wear out. Press over a seam roll so that the seam allowances won't press through as bad.

Lacking a needle board, press over a terrycloth towel or scrap of self-fabric.

When you invariably do press the nap a little flat here and there, you can raise it back up by steaming the fabric and then brushing against the nap while the fabric is damp to raise the nap back up.

It would be a good idea to practice this on a scrap, first pressing the nap flat, then raising it back up. It'll give you a better idea of how much pressing is too much, and will et you fix any mistakes you make. It's not like pressing the nap flat then steaming it up is totally reversible; the hand of the fabric will change if you do it over and over.

On wool with a lower nap, the corresponding effect is for the fabric to get a little shiny with too much pressing. The shine can be worked out the same way.

rosannec
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rosannec
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In reply to Kim12469


Date: 1/5/12 3:24 PM

It must be the same fabric! How did you interface? I am intending on fusing, but now (frankly) I'm a little intimidated...

Kim12469
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Kim12469
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In reply to rosannec


Date: 1/5/12 3:35 PM

I did fusible. The only issues I had with the pressing was on the back where the seams came together. The topstitching was thick and kind of marked it. I am sure though, I am the only one who can see it. Maybe another sewist but they would have to look.

That fabric as a dream to work with. I bought more of it in grey right after I made this coat I loved it so much.

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http://kimsewsilly.blogspot.com/

rosannec
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rosannec
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In reply to Tom P


Date: 1/5/12 8:45 PM

Great advice Tom! I will proceed with caution and a towel...I will be fusing interfacing tonight hopefully. The fabric is really manageable - probably the finest yardage I've ever sewn with, in fact. I am excited for my new coat!

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