Customer Service can be fun! Sometimes our most interesting days come from customer requests or concerns. Recently a good customer of ours told us about a problem she’d had using one of our velvets. Via Manzoni is a unique rayon/silk velvet woven into a lightweight base.
We had a lot of questions, so we called Daisy to discuss the issue with her. Had she lined the skirt-yes, had she finished the seams-yes. Was the skirt snug–a little. So we went to work. Judy took our sampling strip home and stitched a seam. She used white thread so we could easily see if the seam pulled. When I arrived at work Judy was wearing the “skirt”! Problem is, Judy is slender and the makeshift skirt was a little big on her. I stepped up and offered my more ample hips.
Within ten minutes the white thread was showing and we could see the problem easily. The way the fabric was woven, the “velvet” portion was separated and under duress it pulled away from the lightweight backing.
Conclusion: The backing on this velvet is not substantial enough for a structured garment that will stress at the seams such as skirts, or tailored armholes. We made a few suggestions to salvage the existing garment such as stabilizing with interfacing on the seams, sewing with lightweight silk thread to lessen the strain on the backing, or encasing the seam from the outside by topstitching a band of black down each side seam.
For more discussion of this problem, see Ask a Savvy Sewer in the Salon.