Sunday, July 13, 2014

What's That Fabric?

I ALWAYS prewash my fabrics before sewing them.  I think this makes a lot of sense so that I don't literally wash away a lot of hard work through shrinkage or other laundry nastiness.  But the cardigan above?  Did NOT get prewashed.

I have been having trouble sleeping and was up sewing from 3am until 9am making the first cardigan and tank top.  I had plans to go to the Bluesfest that evening and hadn't yet decided what to wear.  The forcast was for hot earlier in the evening (80's) and then cooling right off (mid 60's) so I knew I wanted to bring a cardigan or something, but the one I had just made seemed to much of a fall fabric for a summer festival.  On the other hand I had this brand new stash of knits including the beige that screamed "make me into a cardigan!" at me.  I decided I needed a nap more than I needed a new cardigan so I went to lie down.  When I got up I panicked and decided I REALLY need this new cardigan - immediately!  So I did lol.  This puppy took me about three hours including cutting out.  That has to be a personal record.

This fabric is from my online order that doesn't have any information about the knits.  So how do I wash it without ruining it?

I did a fabric search at other online fabric venders for "designer knit" fabrics.  There were a few fabrics that looked pretty much the same but that doesn't really mean anything.  So next I did a burn test.

I decided to do both the beige and the winter white fabric because they seemed to be the same.  The fabric curled in the heat of the flame and then burned and kept burning until there was none left to burn.  The bit of fabric left here is because I put the flame out on that piece.  You are supposed to notice the smell, and to me out of the options given it smelled slightly chemically.  Finally you look at the ash.  In this case it was an irregular hard black mass.  It would crush to powder under pressure.  So it doesn't fall entirely into one category but the best I can figure is it is either acrylic or acetate.  Next I decided to wash a swatch.

I rinsed both pieces with hot tap water and threw them in the dryer in a nylon bag on medium heat.  There was no shrinkage whatsoever and they came out looking like when they went in!  When you look at the pic look at where the swatches are to the gridlines because I don't have the pics exactly the same size.  I then checked a fabric care guide and decided this fabric is probably acrylic.

So long story short, it looks like my cardigan (and whatever else I make from this fabric) will be easy breezy to take care of.  Another win for me! :)

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