Sunday, January 6, 2019


I came across this information this morning and thought it worthy of sharing.  On Rule #4 - 7, I did not know this, but I will be sure using this tip.  I remember I bought all of this fabric to make a sweatshirt and sweatpants.  The material looked nice, it felt nice, thick and heavy, but after I washed it and made it, my fabric hung like a rag.  This is a lot of work, time and MONEY to purchase fabric that has been sprayed with sizing to make it feel like quality.  Here are some great tips!

Rules of Thumb When Shopping for Fabric

Rule #1

A successfully chosen garment fabric will compliment the pattern design
  • To determine a fabric’s suitability for a pattern, check the pattern envelope. Illustrations on the front show fabrics appropriate for the design; the envelope back lists suggested fabrics chosen by the designer.

Rule #2

A successfully chosen garment fabric will flatter the wearer
  • To find out whether a fabric is becoming to you, drape at least 2 yards of the material over yourself in front of a full-length mirror. In this way you can see the precise effect of color and texture on your skin tone and figure.

Rule #3

A successfully chosen garment fabric will perform according to expectations
  • To predict a fabrics probable behavior, you must know its content and finishes, also how much it will shrink and exactly how it should be cared for. The most reliable source of such information is the end-of-bolt label or store tag.

Rule #4

A successfully chosen garment fabric will be of good quality for your money
  • To recognize quality or its opposite, you must become aware of the characteristics that signify excellence and those that disguise inferiority. The distinguishing features are often small and subtle, and detectable only to an experienced eye. There are some more obvious criteria, however, that can be used to the advantage by novice and experienced shoppers alike…
  1. Weave shouldn’t be firm: You can test this by scratching the surface; if the threads shift easily, the garment seams may be inclined to slip or develop holes around the stitching.
  2. Weave should be uniform: Hold it up to the light and check for any unusually thick or thin areas. A fabric that has them would not wear evenly. The light test will also show up any weak spots or imperfections.
  3. Filler yarns should meet selvages at right angels. Yarns at an oblique angle mean fabric is off-grain
  4. Dye color should be even and look fresh. If there is a crease-line, check whether color has rubbed off on it. This could indicate poor dye quality and also pose a problem in cutting.
  5. Print colors should be even with no white spots showing through them, except in areas that are clearly meant to be white (Note: exception would be tie dye’s and batiks that often reflect natural irregularities due to nature of the hand technique)
  6. A print that is geometric or otherwise symmetrical should meet the selvages at a right angle. An irregular print can’t be corrected.
  7. No powdery dust should appear when the fabric is rubbed between the fingers. Visible powder is an indication of too much sizing, a frequent device for concealing poor quality
  8. Fabric should shed wrinkles after crushing. If it does not, the garment will always look rumpled (Note: An exception to this rule of thumb is linen whose natural tendency is to do otherwise and is not an indicator of a poor quality fabric)
  9. Notice after ascertaining the fabric’s stretch, whether it returns to its original dimensions. A knit that does not recover completely may sag or stretch our of shape in wearing.
  10. Lightly but firmly tug fabric in opposite directions. Weak fibers that tear at the tension indicate a fabric with compromised integrity.