Thursday, March 4, 2010

Talk Back Thursday

Thank you so much to Kristine, Cindy, Julia, Elaina, Amy, Becky, Shannon, Gwen, Mamafitz, Uta, CarlaF and Tamara for talking back to my confession last Friday! I asked about people’s experiences with the wide variety of different fabrics that are available…

As usual, I was blown away by the amount of experience that many of you have! As a group, these commenters could give Sandra Betzina a run for her money! ;)

First of all, about half a dozen commenters reported that they have worked with just about every type of material that is available – from “soup to nuts” (we need our own variation of that saying – any ideas?)

In order to report out on the more specific comments, I made some rough groupings.

The least-liked fabric category contains what I think of as highly artificial, man-made materials, such as gore-tex, metallic fabrics, neoprene, plastic, sequined lycra and vinyl. Nine people said that they have tried one or more materials in this category and nine people said that they did NOT enjoy the experience. A “perfect” record! ;)

Another not-very-popular category contained sheer fabrics – chiffon and georgette. The only two people who called these fabrics out by name also said that, while they may be beautiful, they are not the most fun to work with...

As you might guess, the most commonly used and the most liked fabric family contained what I think of as natural fibers – cottons, wools, blends, suede and fur. Eight people called out having experience with fabrics in this category and three more would like to work with fur and/or suede in the future. Most of the comments on these fabrics were positive. In fact, the only negative comments included the fact that fur can be messy when cut and some people have an itchy skin reaction to wool. Julia really likes lambs wool, as it doesn’t have to be hemmed and it can be sewn with the seams exposed for a neat look. Gwen likes the way she can mold and shape natural fibers.

Heavier-weight natural materials, such as corduroy, denim and leather were also reasonably well-liked, although it sounds like leather can be difficult to work with if your machine isn’t up to it.

The category with the most “I want to try this!” votes would be the silks – including dupioni, shantung and hemp/silk blends. Three people called out experience with silks, all three of those people reported enjoying working with silk and three more people called out wanting to gain more experience with silk.

Polyester satins and other “slippery” fabrics, however, didn’t fare as well – neither of the two people who mentioned this type of fabric were very complimentary…

While “slippery” wasn’t popular, “stretchy” fared better – not many people mentioned knits explicitly, but the few who did seem to like both the rayon and polyester knits.

Last, but not least, the category that everyone has been waiting for - materials starting with the letter “V”: Velvet got one thumbs up and one thumbs down and the combination of velveteen and taffeta got a BIG thumbs down from Julia, who complained that one crawls, while the other slips. Her advice: stay away!

Finally, two people said that their focus is not really on fabric types. Elaina looks at the drape and weight of a fabric, and decides whether or not it will achieve the effect she wants, without being overly concerned about the exact fiber content. And CarlaF is focused on honing her fitting skills with the more traditional natural fibers – more exotic fabrics will come later for her.

Thanks again to everyone who took the time to tell me your fabric stories! I love reading them! :)

PS - On a different topic, you may have noticed that, a while ago, the pretty pictures in my blog layout disappeared. Yesterday I tracked down what happened and was able to upload a "fixed" template, at the expense of losing all of my widgets. It'll take me a few days to recreate my link lists, including my blog roll. I'm sorry for the delay, but don't worry, I'll get to it. It's in the queue! ;)


Julia said...

Very interesting as usual!