Some Useful Tips In Using Cut Pile Fabrics

  • The cut pile fabric is delicate. You will have to use the utmost care to these fabrics – in handling, washing, ironing and sewing. Even your hands can damage some pile.

    Pile fabric is very much prone to pilling -pilling happens when the fabric surface comes into contact with other surfaces and little balls of fiber comes out of the pile fabric surface. If it is a low quality pile fabric it will be pilling in loads. You can check this by rubbing your hands in a circular motion over the fabric surface. If you get those small balls in plenty, avoid!. Check out this post on dealing with pilling.

    When cutting pile fabrics / napped fabrics for making clothes you will have be aware of the direction of the nap or pile. With hairy pile, it is better if the pile is running down. Velvet looks richer and darker when the pile is up, so you may wish to cut this way. When cutting corduroy usually nap is down.

    At all cost avoid cutting different pattern pieces with nap running in different directions. As already said the pile / nap looks different in the direction of the nap and against it . So if you cut differently there is this effect called shading which will ruin the look of the garment.

    Pile fabrics are sewn in the direction of the nap.

    Most of the pile fabrics are thick ( though there are thin ones like velveteen). So you may not be able to use pins on them. The deep pile will swallow the pins – if you have long pins, use that.
    You also need very sharp scissors to cut pile fabric

    Never press pile fabric with hot iron – all that beautiful pile will be crushed and will be beyond repair.Applying heat can damage the pile. Faux fur is one fabric you can never iron. Matting of the pile, tufting etc are damage to pile

    Your best bet is to use the steam settings. If you have to iron, iron from the wrong side after keeping the pile on a similar pile surface like a terry cloth. If you have short pile fabrics you can iron from the back on a surface covered with another pile fabric like velvet.

    Most of the pile fabrics are bulky – you may have to use seam techniques which would not add too much bulk. Choice of fastenings, like zipper buttons, hemming all will be influenced by this avoidance of bulk.

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