A knowledge base for sewing and working with silks.
Silk is one of the finest yarns available to fabric producers and can be used for some of the most delicate and elegant fabrics or some rustic looks such as silk tweeds made with the shorter filaments.
A jacquard weave gives interest and texture to a silk blousing. The fine floral or geometric patterns send an elegant message and can be used in dressy or daywear garments.
Silk crepe comes in a variety of weights…lighter weight for blouses, heaviest weight for suits. These fabrications cycle in and out of style, but are so classic that they generally find their way into designer groupings sometime during the fashion year.
Silk twill can be crisp or softened. In either case the twill weave enhances drape, but the softer version will fall more gently for pants. Reserve the crisp for tops or trims.
Silk yarns in a tweed stand on their own or blend well with viscose for multi-colored “go-with-anything” jackets. Solid colors (matkas) work as structured separates. Watch for fading by protecting your fabric from a constant light source.
There are a number of methods to facilitate cutting and sewing with silk. The first suggestion is to respect your fabric and its qualities. It wiggles and slips because its elegant and drapey. The sheen requires one way cutting and the slippery quality means you need to take more time than usual in the cutting process. Some use a layer of paper under the fabric, others use weights instead of pins. Serrated sheers help cut through the fibers without hacking at them. Its important to experiment and determine the best methods for you….this is fun and should not be considered drudgery!