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Crafty Corner If you are creative, love to knit or crochet, paint, or just enjoy making fun stuff with your kids, this is the forum for you.

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  #1 (permalink)  
Old 08-20-2007, 09:40 PM
Bilby's Avatar
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Sewing terms.

Absorbency: Ability of a fabric to take in moisture. Absorbency is a very important property that affects many other characteristics such as: skin comfort, static build-up, shrinkage, stain removal, water repellency and wrinkle recovery.
Abrasion Resistance: Ability to resist wear from the continuous rubbing of the fabric against another surface. Garments made from fibers that possess both high-breaking strength and abrasion resistance can be worn often and for a long period of time before signs of wear appear.
Appliqué: Fabric design, or shape, stitched and/or fused to the right side of another fabric; style of quilting.
Basting: Large stitches made to hold fabric layers or seams in place temporarily, before final seams or sewing is done. One may also use safety pins or straight pins to baste.
Batting: The layer of stuffing (most thought of in quilting) to add warmth or thickness. May be cotton, polyester or wool. Can also be used in garment construction.
Bearding: When the batting fibers work their way through the top or bottom fabric layers of the quilt. It creates unsightly fuzz. Most often associated with inexpensive polyester battings, bearding can also happen with unbonded cotton.
Betweens: Small, thin needles used for finish quilting. Sizes range from 8 - 12, the smaller number being a longer-length needle.
Bias: The diagonal of the fabric weave. A true bias is at a 45-degree angle from the selvage.
Binding: A strip of fabric sewn over a raw edge to finish, add strength, and/or decorate the edge.
Blind Hem: Stitch used to hold up the hem on heavy fabrics. This stitch can be done by hand or by machine. Also used in appliqué.
Calico: Any small repeated print design on cotton, usually a floral.
Casing: Two pieces of fabric sewn together to form a tube.
Clip: Small cut(s) made in the seam to allow for marking a pleat or dart. Also used to help a seam lay flat.
Colorfast: Color which will not wash out, rub off or fade with normal use.
Directional Print: A fabric with a printed pattern that has a definite "up" and "down", or grain. Care must be taken to match the direction when piecing.
Drapability: Ability of a fiber to bend easily. A flexible fiber such as acetate can be made into a highly drapable fabric and garment. Usually, the thinner the fiber, the better the drapability.
Ease: To make two pieces of different sizes fit together in the same seam. One piece may have to be stretched a little or bunched up slightly in order to get both pieces the same length.
Elasticity: Ability to increase in length under tension and then return to the original length when released.
Grain: The direction of the fabric, along the warp and weft threads. When aligning templates "with the grain" they need to be parallel to the warp, or length, of the yardage.
Griege: From the French "grege" (raw silk) and the Italian "greggio" (gray), also called "gray goods," the term refers to woven textiles as they come from the loom, before they are dyed or printed and sold as finished goods.
Hand: The way a fiber (yarn or fabric) feels when handled. Terms like soft, crisp, dry, silky, or harsh are used to describe the hand of a textile material. The type of yarn, fabric construction and finishing processes used affect the hand of a fabric.
Loft: A reference to the thickness and resilience of batting. A high-loft batting is thicker and fluffier than low-loft batting.
Mitered Corner: Corner (usually of a border) that is joined at a 45-degree angle, like a picture frame.
Muslin: A plain, undyed cotton fabric, available bleached or unbleached.
Nap: Fuzzy fibers on the surface of the fabric, or pile and hair on fabric, which has a definite up/down.
Notch: Marking(s) on patterns used to match up two pieces of fabric. Also used are clips.
Novelty Print: A fabric printed with small whimsical designs, often for a holiday or for craft use. Also called "conversation" prints and "craft" prints.
Pin-Baste: To use safety pins or straight pins to temporarily hold together fabric, a hem or a seam so you may sew it.
Pilling: Formation of groups of short or broken fibers on the surface of a fabric, which are tangled together in the shape of a tiny ball called a pill. Hydrophobic fibers tend to pill much more than hydrophilic fibers.
Piping: Cording covered by a strip of fabric (called a bias tape) sewn to create a decorative finish or edge of a project.
Raw edge: Unfinished fabric edge, but also used to describe ends of ribbon, piping or cording.
Resiliency: Ability of a material to spring back to shape after being creased, twisted, or distorted. It is closely connected with wrinkle recovery. An example of good resiliency is polyester.
Rotary cutter: Looks like a pizza cutter, but with a rolling razor-sharp wheel. Used with a special mat (self-healing) designed for it and a variety of clear rulers and templates to speed up the fabric-cutting process.
Seam allowance: Amount of fabric extending from the seam line to the raw edge usually from 1/4 - 5/8 inch.
Seam line: line along which a seam is stitched.
Seam ripper: Tool used to removed stitches with little damage to fabric.
Selvadges: The warp (long) edges of the fabric, finished and usually thicker than the rest of the fabric. Cut off when being pieced into a quilt.
Sharps: Small, thin needles with a very sharp tip or point.
Stash: A supply of fabric and notions used for quilting (and other sewing projects). Usually squirreled away in every conceivable nook and cranny in the house, garage, neighbor's attic, etc.
Stitch in the ditch: A method of quilting where you sew your stitches in the "ditch" created by the joins of the pattern pieces. Your quilting pattern will be that of your block pattern. Compare with outline quilting.
Strength: Some fibers are very strong, such as nylon and polyester. Others are weak, such as acetate and acrylic.
Strip-piecing: A time-saving method of cutting strips of fabric instead of individual shapes, and piecing the strips before cutting adjoining smaller block pieces from it.
Tack: Temporary stitches used to attach one piece of the fabric to another, also used is a basting stitch.
Template: A cardboard or plastic shape used as a pattern for tracing either piecing or appliqué patches, or for tracing lines to be quilted. Can also be made for pattern pieces you use frequently.
Topstitching: Hand- or machine-sewn stitches that are functional or decorative that will show on the outside of the design or garment.
Trapunto: A dimensional design created by parallel outlining stitches that are then stuffed with yarn or batting.
Tying: A traditional method of securing quilt layers with knotted ties at intervals across the quilt.
Warp/weft: The woven threads in the fabric. Warp threads are long and run from top to bottom in the length of the material. Weft threads run from side to side and are shorter.
Wickability: Ability of a fiber to transport moisture away from the skin.

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Old 10-23-2007, 06:51 PM
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Using fusible tapes and webbing

Fusible tape is available in a variety of widths and weights. The tape melts, causing a glue like action between two pieces of fabric. When to use fusible tape, Fusible tape is the perfect answer to a quick hem repair
  • Some fabrics are impossible to have an completely invisible hem. Fusible tape is an alternative to stitching that would show when you don't want stitches to be visible.
  • Fusible tape can be used to create a small patch to repair a small tear in fabric.
  • A narrow tape is a great way to hold a turned edge, that wants to twist, in place to sew decorative or top stitching.
What weight to use The weight of the fabric you are fusing will determine the weight of the fusible you want to use. A lightweight fabric such as a sheer fabric would use ultra light weight fusible tape.
  • Do not use a heavy weight fusible thinking it will hold better. It may seep through the fabric and be visible.
  • How to use fusible tape
  • Fabric used with fusible of any form, should be pre-washed. Finishes in the fabric may prevent the fusible from adhering to the fabric.
  • Press the fabric and any detail (such as a hem)into place before using a fusible.
  • Place the tape between the layers of fabric and press until the fusible tape melts, adhering the layers of fabric.
  • Do not place your iron directly on the fusible tape! It will melt to the iron and leave a mess!
  • If you want to fuse the tape to one layer of fabric at a time, use parchment paper on the non fabric side of the tape.
  • Fusible web is available by the yard in the interfacing section of fabric stores or in packaged quantities in the notions department.
  • There are many types and weights available. Most fusible web by the yard is backed with a paper that is suitable to ironing one layer of fabric at a time.
  • The weight of the fabric you are fusing will determine the weight of the fusible you want to use. A lightweight fabric such as a sheer fabric would use ultra light weight fusible web. The heavier the weight of the fusible, the stiffer the fabric will be after fusing.
  • Buying fusible web by the yard allows you to create a tape the width you want or fuse large pieces of fabric, such as an applique.
  • Sheets of paper backed fusible web can be traced on to or drawn on to create a desired shape. This allows you to fuse a larger piece of fabric and then cut out the desired shape.

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Old 10-23-2007, 07:01 PM
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Preshrink your fabric
Preshrinking your fabric may stop you from diving right into the project you have in mind, but it is a step well worth taking the time to do!Not preshrinking the fabric can lead to an item that is only worn or used once because of shrinking in the laundry.
Don't plan on shrinkage as way to make something smaller. Rarely will the seams and fabric shrink to the same degree, leaving a puckered mess when the fabric shrinks and the seam doesn't.

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Old 10-23-2007, 07:03 PM
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The grain of your fabric.
Fabric Grain effects they way fabric will hang and drape. There are 3 types of fabric grain.
  • Lengthwise grain refers to the threads in fabric which run the length of the fabric, parallel to the selvadge of the fabric.
  • Crosswise grain are the threads that run perpendicular to the selvedge of the fabric or the cut edge of the fabric as it comes off the bolt.
  • Bias grainis the thread line that is at a right angle to the lengthwise and crosswise grain of the fabric as it is on the bolt. The bias has stretch in woven fabric and will hang differently than a garment that has been cut on the straight or crosswise grain.
Woven Fabric: When you are working with woven fabric, the lengthwise and crosswise grain will not have any stretch. Depending on the tightness of the weave the fabric may have "give" but it will not stretch.The Bias grain however will stretch, making the bias grain a perfect for couture areas such as covering cording to create your own piping.
Because the bias grain does react differently that the lengthwise or crosswise grain it may require special handling. For example; A skirt cut on the bias grain must hang for 24 hours before you attempt to hem it.

Knit Fabric: Although knit fabric is constructed differently than woven fabric, fabric grain is characterized the same way it is for woven fabric.Although knit fabrics stretch, the amount of stretch may vary in the different grain lines.
Always read the back of a pattern envelope that is designed for knits and test the stretchability of the fabric with the information on the pattern envelope.

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Old 06-23-2013, 07:01 AM
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These are all great explainations. Have copied them and added to my files.

I do sew, and to try to explain terms to a person who is learning to sew is hard to do some times.

Thanks for the lists.


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  #6 (permalink)  
Old 06-25-2013, 10:48 PM
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Nice to know the info is helpful .... Sew on!

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