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Thread: Fabric Weave

  1. #1
    Moose's Avatar
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    Greetings,

    I have so many questions now that I'm in the thick of it, LOL, and no books with answers so far. I noticed that my flannel is really thick and then there are some not so thick... I figure the weave must be the difference and perhaps the fiber.

    :?: What kind of weave is best to use when quilting? For cotton, wool, etc. Any info out there that's simple and reliable? Or should I be looking at fiber type? No sure of the terminology.

    Thank you

  2. #2
    Super Member ScubaK's Avatar
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    Not sure what you are asking?
    Can you be a bit more specific?
    Are you talking about a heavy flannel versus a light flannel?
    Are you asking about different "weight" of fabric for quilting?
    K

  3. #3

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    Quote Originally Posted by Moose
    Greetings,

    I have so many questions now that I'm in the thick of it, LOL, and no books with answers so far. I noticed that my flannel is really thick and then there are some not so thick... I figure the weave must be the difference and perhaps the fiber.

    :?: What kind of weave is best to use when quilting? For cotton, wool, etc. Any info out there that's simple and reliable? Or should I be looking at fiber type? No sure of the terminology.

    Thank you
    Sorry I missed this post somehow Moose:)I love my flannel quilts and so do the kids!:)LOL There is a big difference to me on the flannels...you can have a 'shirt' flannel that is a looser weave. My favorite is 'homespun flannels'....which is more of a cotton w/a softer fuzzy side to them...and, then what our LQS refers to as 'flannel'...which I can't stand!LOL It has a firmer/stiffer back to it and to me personally (sorry guys) feels cheaper. I personally don't buy that one due to the lack of a softness feel to me. Even though I have sewn a few quilts using that. My favorite and the flannel I seek is 'homespun' flannel. Hope that helps:)Skeat

  4. #4
    Cookn's Avatar
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    Flannel is one of those fabrics that while it makes a great quilt it stretches a lot especially on the bias. Most flannel is cotton of a very loose weave. There are different grades of flannel, some looser and stretchier than others. Usually I'm not about fabric weave unless it's really horrid, but with flannel I always purchase the "Quilters Flannel" it seems to be the tightest woven.

    Are you asking what type of fabric is best to use when quilting, the weave is how the fabric is actually assembled. There are no hard and fast rules about the fabrics that you must use for quilting. Most quilting fabrics are cotton. Brand name fabrics like Moda, Bernatex, and the others are cotton. The thing that I think is most important is when assembling the fabrics for your quilt try to make sure that all of the fabrics are the same weight. It makes for a more even feeling and looking quilt that lays right.

  5. #5
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    one can look up "fabric weave" for info -

    most fabrics are created by weaving or by knitting -

    within those two categories are many fibers, densities, and patterns -

    some knits are very stretchy, some have no stretch

    some wovens have more stretch than others - generally there is more stretch on the crosswise grain than the lengthwise grain - and the bias has the most give

    my preferences for quilting are: must be washable, must be stable (that means that it holds it's shape), and that the weights for a surface (top or backing) be approximately the same

    even within a relatively narrow group - such as flannel - there are tremendous variations in quality -

    what is "best"? depends on what you are planning to do with it -

    100% cotton flannel is notorious for shrinking - and if it's the flimsier sort, use wider seam allowances - the 1/4 inch seam is too apt to pull out -

  6. #6
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    I like wool flannel. It's so soft.

  7. #7
    Moose's Avatar
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    The flannel I have is very soft and at the same time nice and thick. I had never seen anything like it; I got it from Sew Batik. I'm all too familiar with the crapy thin flannel; thus my interested in finding something comparable, but as the name says, batik is their "bag" :) So, I was wondering if there are technical terms I should know, but not just for flannel, for other fabrics as well.

    I think I'll look up textiles as well and see what I can turn up at the library this weekend. I want to be able to shop online and know what I'm getting so I don't get the wrong thing and get disappointed.

  8. #8
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    if you intend your quilt to be washed, and who doesn't, then you should definitely wash your flannel first. even if you're of the unwashed school of thought. flannel shrinks more than other cottons, so wash and dry at the hottest temps available. i think you'll find that flannels feel tighter and softer after you wash them. you may still not be satisfied, but there will be a difference.

    to my mind the flannels called chamois are the thickest and therefore the warmest. they are fuzzy on both sides, so you pay a premium price while you only end up 'seeing' one side.

    nobody has the same idea ofwhat quality satisfies them. maybe you should buy 1/4 yds. of varying weights, wash and dry, and see for yourself. keep track of where and what.


    EDIT: if you see something you like, but don't trust the quality, call the 800 number of the site. a salesperson will usually hear you out and help you make an informed decision.

  9. #9
    Moose's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by butterflywing
    to my mind the flannels called chamois are the thickest and therefore the warmest. they are fuzzy on both sides, so you pay a premium price while you only end up 'seeing' one side.
    I don't know if the one I have is chamois, but it is a heavy based 2-sided brushed cotton; that's what I found out.

    Thanks for the tip. If I get some of the lighter weight again, I'll try the washing as you say. However, from my flannel sheets, I found that the opposite is true... the hotter the stiffer they get not the softer. Stiffer may be good for stitching, but not for wearing.

  10. #10
    Super Member butterflywing's Avatar
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    flannel sheets should be getting softer with each wash and dry. check to see if they are all cotton. also, some of the best cotton flannel in the world comes from portugal, but it comes in many weights. hold yours up to the light and compare it to other weights. do you have hard water? that also makes a difference in feel. the chamois that i have been able to find was referred to as "men's shirt quality'. i wish i had some to send you. even a small bit to feel, but it's long gone. check garment fabrics as well as quilting fabrics.

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