Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Napped fabrics (Things to know - Part 8)

Me (to my mother): Our cousin is suggesting a family get-together in North Carolina so Dad's side of the family can all get to know each other.
Mom: Sounds like a good idea...
Me: I really don't have the time or resources to plan it, so we really need someone else to take the reigns on this... I'm just not so sure everyone is all that interested.
Mom: (distant) Did you hear the story of the fraternal twins who were adopted by two different families?
Me: No...
Mom: Well, they grew up and married each other. They didn't know they were twins!
Me: How awful...
Mom: That's why it's good to get to know your family.

Is that an understatement or what?

Have you ever sewn with a napped fabric, and discovered your cutting mistake after the fact? While that mistake pales in comparison to the surprise of finding out you have married your sibling, it is just so upsetting, I thought I would give some pointers on identifying one-way fabrics.

Many fabrics have a directional quality. Prints can have a definite "right side up" direction, such as floral with all of the blossoms and leaves headed one way. Fabrics such as brushed flannel, corduroy, mohair and velour, which have a soft or plush texture, feel smoother in one direction than the other. Also, fabrics such as knits, twill weaves and satin weaves show differences in color shading if not cut the same way. It is to these fabrics that the statement: "for one way designs - use nap fabrics and layouts" applies. The nap layout shows you how to arrange all the pattern pieces on the fabric so they are going in the same direction. Because this can require extra fabric, the napped fabric requirement is given separately on the back of the pattern envelope.

Example of a directional print (above).

If you are wondering where all of these posts are coming from, let me tell ya... I am so busy that I just write pieces of posts when the mood strikes, and I have at least 10 half-written posts at all times. Over time, I forget them, and/or forget to post them, and they just need a few sentences to tie them up and make them "postable". This kind of brain organization happens about once weekly, so that's when you see a flood of posts. The information is from my vast collection of article proposals (which have never been accepted), book proposals (same deal), books, magazines, and personal notes. I've been trying to get things published for a long time now (12 years?), but so far, I have only written for companies for whom I've worked as a full-time employee... so apparently, freelance writing in the cards for me, and hey, this information can help people... so why not just post it here, right?

All of my posts are the result of a spare 20 minutes here and there, while my son has his therapies (more on his progress later), while he naps, or while my daughter does her homework. Lots of good news to share about both of them... That post will take some time...


  1. Anonymous2:40 PM

    Today is the first day I visited your blog; it may be serendipitous. Would love to know about your son's progress/therapies; I can email you about what is working for my son. L.

  2. Absolutely - you can email me privately - click the link in my profile. How old is your son? I'll be doing a post about my kids in a day or two... or three. Ha!

  3. You are doing a wonderful job, Mimi!

  4. It's great you can share this information, particularly whenever the mood strikes - I for one am loving these posts and your writing style - I feel that I come away with a little gem each time. Not too overwhelming, just the right information that ties in perfectly with my current 'learning to sew' scenario.

  5. Insest - Napped Fabric.... I could never have put those two together and make sence. lol