You are in the fabric shop and wow, the choice! Where to start? These top tips should help you make the right choices.
- Check your pattern for their recommendations. They may specify only to use certain fabric for example, a stretch jersey.
- Unsure what the fabric is? ask the sales assistant for help. Fabrics can have some odd names like pongee* for instance.
- Unroll some of the fabric and hold it up to the light. Look for how it drapes or falls. Scrunch for creasing. Check for a nap (the way the fabric shines in the light e.g. velvet).
- Ensure you know the width of fabric and check with your pattern to see how much is required for that width.
- If there is an obvious pattern on the fabric allow more for matching. To find out the pattern repeat, measure from a point on the fabric pattern find where it repeats and measure the distance to the next same point.
*Pongee is a soft thin woven cloth. In the early 20th century, pongee was an important export from China to the United States. Pongee is still woven in silk by many mills across China, especially along the banks of the Yangtze at mills in Sichuan, Anhui, Zhejiang and Jiangsu provinces. . Generally it varies in weight from 36 to about 50gm/sq m. In lighter variants, it is called Paj. It is used as a blouse weight or lining silk.