ZJ Humbach

How to Select Fabric

ZJ Humbach
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Duration:   5  mins

You have a sewing project in mind, but many fabrics to choose from. How do you begin the process? What fabric do you select, and what criteria should you use to pick the perfect fabric for the project? Your instructor ZJ Humbach has created some simple steps to pair your project with the ideal fabric. Join us for a chance to sharpen those fabric-selection skills.

ZJ suggests purchasing material that matches the use and life expectancy of the project. Costumes and special event items fall into one category, while multi-use and extended-wear items may require something completely different. Quality materials cost more, so those should be for multi-use, extended-wear projects. Lower quality and less expensive fabrics can be used for one-time things or items that won’t require frequent washing.

Next, consider the “hand” of the fabric. What does it feel like when touched and manipulated? Will the fabric drape nicely? Or will it remain stiff or rough? Are those qualities needed in this project? What fabric types are recommended for this project? By referencing the pattern, you will learn what the pattern designer intended as ideal for this project. Noting if wovens, knits, directional prints, or napped fabrics are appropriate for this construction can make the project’s outcome more acceptable.

Learning how to select fabrics also includes evaluating the printing and weaving quality. Will the inks and dyes endure the use of the garment or project? Other fabrics are yarn-dyed and then woven, which is another consideration to review. Lastly, the fiber content needs to be suitable for the project. Cotton, polyester, linen, wool, and nylon are just a few. Each requires a different cleaning process to consider, along with the shrinkage that may or may not happen. Picking fabric for the project takes a mental checklist. Learn these lifelong skills for successful sewing experiences.

More videos about fabrics

Watch this video for more tips on quilt fabric selection and techniques for quilting with flannel.

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