Working with Homespun Fabric

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Homespun fabric can be a great addition to your next quilting project. ZJ Humbach explains what homespun fabrics are, how they differ from traditional woven fabrics and how to use them.

What is homespun fabric?

ZJ explains that a homespun fabric is a lightweight woven fabric made using traditional weaving and dyeing techniques. Because of how the fabric is woven, homespun comes in limited colors and no prints. ZJ shows that the fabric color options are limited to solids, stripes and plaids. She shows examples of each and even explains the difference in some of the plaid repeats and how they need to be used if you are planning to match repeats in a given design or quilt pattern using homespun material. This is a similar technique used when quilting with flannel. Also, given the way that homespun fabrics are made, with each fiber strand of the fabric being dyed, rather than the fabric being printed, the right and the wrong side of the fabric look the same. Another attribute of homespuns that ZJ explains is that they help to make the fabric look more traditional and have a more authentic look is the small little imperfections that can occur when making the fabric. This also helps to make each piece of fabric look a little different.

Sewing with Homespun Fabrics

ZJ explains that when using homespuns, there are several things to take into account. She shares that when learning how to sew with specific fabrics, it is very important to know how the fabric will act when laundered, so you properly prepare the fabric. These types of fabrics tend to shrink more than traditional woven fabric, anywhere from three to up to ten perfect. Because of this ZJ explains that you either need to take this into account when cutting piecing and preparing a quilt or pre-wash and pre-shrink the fabric.

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