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?'s about Hagutai Silk

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  • Anna
    Can anyone give me some pointers on working with Hagutai Silk. A client has brought me a pattern and 4 yards of real Hagutai silk. I m nervous about working
    Message 1 of 4 , Apr 9, 2006
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      Can anyone give me some pointers on working with Hagutai Silk. A
      client has brought me a pattern and 4 yards of real Hagutai silk. I'm
      nervous about working with it. The project is to make a formal (lined)
      dress. Do I line it with silk or can I get away with using a silk mix?
      I've already gotten my silk thread and needles. How should seams be
      finished?

      Suggestions?

      Thanks,
      Anna
    • K Murphy
      Hi Anna: I think you mean Habutai silk? It s soft and thin, like China silk? How fitted is the dress? What is the cut? Depending on the above, you should
      Message 2 of 4 , Apr 11, 2006
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        Hi Anna:

        I think you mean Habutai silk? It's soft and thin, like China silk?

        How fitted is the dress? What is the cut?

        Depending on the above, you should look for a sari silk or China silk to use as lining. Hopefully your client has chosen a simple, flowing design to suit the silk, because you won't get much tensile strength with this fabric. A more fitted garment will call for an underlining or flatlining before seamed construction. If you have a nice, easy fitting, flowing garment, you should definitely line it with silk. The drape of the fabric is everything. If you have to flatline, look for the finest cotton batiste you can get and wash it, dry it, and press it before cutting.

        You may be able to finish the raw edges with a narrow zig-zag (play around with some scraps to get the tension right and it will pull the fabric in to create a handkerchief hem effect). You want to avoid overlocking or too wide or heavy a zig-zag because the threads will show (like a shadowy "ridge") when the seams are pressed flat.

        Your other option would be French seams (first match wrong sides, do a narrow seam, turn, press, and seam on the stitching line to enclose the unfinished edges).

        The main thing to remember with this fabric is to have a very, very light hand with it. Use very fine needles (70's ball point) and transfer markings with a silk chalk (which is just a piece of plastic that puts a dent in the fabric...it has no actual pigment). If the pattern includes long seams in the skirt, use a very narrow (1.5 on my Bernina) zig-zag when stitching those seams and very slightly pull the bias while stitching. This will help your seams to fall effortlessly with no puckering or pulling against the bias.

        Let the dress hang for several days before marking the hem, because natural fibers will stretch out along any curves.

        Also, you might want to advise your client that silk will static-cling like crazy (I'm taking cans of Cling-Free Static Spray) if she wears it against anything but bare (moisturized!) legs.

        Don't be nervous...there's a first time for everything. Just remember, everything you already know got you to this point.

        Kate

        Anna <theatrerulz@...> wrote:
        Can anyone give me some pointers on working with Hagutai Silk. A
        client has brought me a pattern and 4 yards of real Hagutai silk. I'm
        nervous about working with it. The project is to make a formal (lined)
        dress. Do I line it with silk or can I get away with using a silk mix?
        I've already gotten my silk thread and needles. How should seams be
        finished?

        Suggestions?

        Thanks,
        Anna






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      • Pierre & Sandy Pettinger
        Anna, You should sew the seams with extra-fine cotton thread, not silk thread. The silk thread is as strong as or stronger than the fabric, so if there s a
        Message 3 of 4 , Apr 12, 2006
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          Anna,

          You should sew the seams with extra-fine cotton thread, not silk
          thread. The silk thread is as strong as or stronger than the fabric,
          so if there's a mishap, the fabric will rip rather than the
          seam. Using cotton thread will prevent the fabric rip - the seam
          will split instead (much easier to repair!!). Use the silk thread
          for areas that might show on the outside.

          HTH,
          Sandy

          At 12:00 AM 4/10/2006, you wrote:
          >Can anyone give me some pointers on working with Hagutai Silk. A
          >client has brought me a pattern and 4 yards of real Hagutai silk.
          >I'm nervous about working with it. The project is to make a formal
          >(lined) dress. Do I line it with silk or can I get away with using a silk mix?
          >I've already gotten my silk thread and needles. How should seams be
          >finished?
          >
          >Anna

          "Those Who Fail To Learn History
          Are Doomed to Repeat It;
          Those Who Fail To Learn History Correctly --
          Why They Are Simply Doomed.

          Achemdro'hm
          "The Illusion of Historical Fact"
          -- C.Y. 4971

          Andromeda
        • Sylvia Rognstad
          ... I have used a lot of china (habutai) silk over the years. It s a real bitch to cut out because it s almost impossible for it not to shift and you end up
          Message 4 of 4 , Apr 13, 2006
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            >
            > At 12:00 AM 4/10/2006, you wrote:
            > >Can anyone give me some pointers on working with Hagutai Silk. A
            > >client has brought me a pattern and 4 yards of real Hagutai silk.
            > >I'm nervous about working with it. The project is to make a formal
            > >(lined) dress. Do I line it with silk or can I get away with using a
            > silk mix?
            > >I've already gotten my silk thread and needles. How should seams be
            > >finished?
            > >
            > >Anna

            I have used a lot of china (habutai) silk over the years. It's a real
            bitch to cut out because it's almost impossible for it not to shift and
            you end up with lines that are supposed to be straight and are real
            curvy and totally off. Which is why I try not to use it for anything
            except that which can be torn rather than cut. Of course this doesn't
            work for very much, but I make belly dance costumes, so I can use it
            for veils, Turkish harem pants, some skirts and some tops that are
            basically t-shape tunics.

            What you need to do when cutting is to only cut one layer at a time and
            make sure, by tearing the fabric on the crosswise grain so you get a
            perfect right angle, to pin the fabric down several places in both
            directions. I've heard it can help to size the fabric first with some
            spray starch, but I've never tried this. Of course you need to be able
            to wash out the sizing at some point.

            Use a synthetic lining if you can, as you will have less trouble with
            that.

            I'm curious why you are using china silk for a formal dress. It's a
            pretty inexpensive silk, because, I think, it is not that durable. It
            has a tendency to pull out at the seams pretty easily. I do use the
            lightest weight, however. Maybe the heavier stuff isn't so bad. My
            choice if you want something as drapey and flowy as china silk, would
            probably be crepe de chine or charmuse.

            Sylrog


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