Prepping Fabric for Coatmaking!

4:30 PM

One of the worst things that can happen is if you've bought beautiful fabric for your tailored project, you've done all of the fancy tailoring steps with your expensive hair canvas and when you get to the point of trying on -- your coat/jacket is too small!  Just horrible.  The probable cause of this is because you didn't take the time to preshrink your fabric.  Did you know that if you don't preshrink your wool, the steam from your iron during pressing will do it for you?  Ask me how I know?  I learned the hard way.  I took one for the team in the past and I don't want that to happen to you and I'll tell you how to prevent that.


Preshrinking by Steam Pressing
Your best bet for wool is to take it and have the dry cleaners steam shrink it.  Make sure you tell them to NOT crease your fabric.  It's not necessary to have it actually dry cleaned, just the steam pressed.  The downside of this is the cost.  This can be crazy expensive.  You can actually do this yourself if you have a large enough pressing area.  When I've steamed pressed my fabric, I do it in sections.  And you get the benefits of a great steam facial in the process, so moisturize first!  Remember to PRESS and not IRON.

Preshrinking Wool in Your Dryer
Another method I use is in the dryer.  Serge your cut ends first.  Completely submerge to large older towels (less lint) in hot water and ring them out to the point of not dripping.  Make sure the towels are similar in color to your wool.  You wouldn't want white towels going in with black wool.  Set your dryer to high and check for however long it would take your load to dry.  Also, make sure you check your lint filter ofter.  The lint from that wool will fill it up QUICK!  If you have a dryer with a steam setting, use that and forget about the towels.  You will lose a little bit of yardage, so I suggest buying at least half a yard extra... just to be sure.

Don't Forget About the Hair Canvas!
Did you know that you have to preshrink your hair canvas as well?  Well, you do!
Before your interfacing is needle-ready, you must preshrink it by prewashing it.  Just like the wool fabric, hair canvas will be affected by the heat and steam of the iron during construction.  Just like with the fabric, I like to serge the raw ends because it will fray.  And follow the manufacturer's instructions.  

Fusibles
Personally, I've never had any issues with fusibles causing shrinkage.  So I never pretreat them.  But you decide to, never try to preshrink fusibles in the washer and dryer.  You'll wash away the adhesiveness.

You Might Also Like

8 comments

  1. Didn't know that about the hair canvas. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yep! Just things I've learned the hard way over time.

      Delete
  2. I would also add preshrink your twill tape if your using that too.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I don't use cotton twill tape. I use the SewKeysE by Emma Seabrooke. I don't find that it needs preshrinking. But if someone is using a cotton twill tape, most definitely.

      Delete
  3. I laughed at the steam pressing facial. I wear glasses, so they constantly fogged up when I am pressing with steam! This was an informative post! Thank you!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I wear glasses too. So I feel your pain. Thanks!

      Delete
  4. This is great stuff Erica! I took a tailoring course many, many moons ago and that was on suit tailoring so I've just recently ventured out and bought wool for coating and I think I'm going with the dryer cause this is the method that I'm finding sewists like the best. Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  5. Thanx for the post.
    Do you think ironing with steam, section by section, would also do the job?
    (the type of iron with a separate water container - produces lots of steam)
    m

    ReplyDelete