What Is Taffeta Fabric? A Fabric Guide

We’ve been getting lots of enquiries about taffeta fabric recently and we’re putting it’s popularity down to the fact that both wedding and prom seasons are upon us and taffeta is a very popular choice for posh frocks. With it’s crisp finish and subtle sheen, it’s not surprising it’s often a go-to choice for special occasion garments. Taffeta’s uses don’t stop at evening wear, it also lends itself well to home furnishings such as cushions and curtains where a glamorous feel to a room is desirable. Here’s a quick summary about taffeta fabric and some sewing tips…

Decorativepillows.jpg

What is Taffeta Fabric?

Taffeta is a fine, crisp, noisy woven fabric with a lustrous sheen that rustles when you walk!  The word “taffeta” derives from the Persian word tafta, which means “glossy twist” and originally the fabric was woven with highly twisted silk fibres. It’s the highly twisted yarn that give taffeta its characteristic crispness and these days taffeta can be found made from a variety of modern fibres such as nylon, viscose, polyester, acetate, or even a blend of these fibres.

purple-taffeta-fabric_1
Shiny!

Taffeta fabric belongs to the “Ribbed Weave” family of fabrics. What’s a ribbed weave I hear you ask?! These fabrics are created by using thick yarns in one direction of the fabric weave and much finer yarns in the other direction. Other fabrics in this family include poplin, broadcloth, and douppioni silk, to name a few.

What Can Taffeta Fabric be used for?

Taffeta is very versatile and can be used for dresses, bridal wear, evening dresses, prom dresses, suits, blouses, lining, trimmings, lingerie, costumes, hats, bags, curtains, upholstery and lampshades.

Taffeta dress

Tips for Sewing with Taffeta Fabric

  • Needle size: It’s best to use a Sharps needle with taffeta for both machine and hand sewing. On a sewing machine it’s best to use sizes 60/10 – 80/12 – depending on the weight of the taffeta
  • Stitch length: Use 1.7-2.5mm. Hold the fabric taught when sewing to help prevent puckering.
  • Thread: All purpose cotton or polyester thread.
  • Machine Feet: use a wide straight stitch foot or roller foot.
  • Layout: Use the “With Nap” layout when cutting out a pattern especially if your taffeta is iridescent
  • Fabric markers: Any type are suitable EXCEPT wax. Mark lightly and a little as possible. Ensure your test on a scrap of fabric!
  • Pins: pins can permanently mark taffeta so you may wish to consider using weights or clips but extra fine pins can often be used. If you find your fabric has pin holes these might be removed by gently scratching the fabric where the hole is. These extra fine pins are amazing and highly recommended!
  • Pressing: Use a warm, dry iron and press on the wrong side where possible. Always use a press cloth if pressing the right side of a garment as it’s better o be safe than sorry. Always test press on a fabric scrap before pressing your garment.
  • Taffeta does not ease well so choose a style of pattern that allows for this. Curves like princess seams might be an issue. You may consider reducing the ease in a sleeve cap if you’re having trouble setting in a sleeve.
  • Taffeta can crease easily which can be greatly reduced by underlining a garment with silk organza or net.
  • Interfacing: It’s best to use sew in interfacing with taffeta to offer more stability and because iron on interfacing require steam , which taffeta doesn’t like.

Taffest Skirt.jpg

 

 

Well I hope you taffeta sewists found that helpful! Are you planning on using taffeta on a project soon? Please let us know how you get on, if these tips helped you and do feel free to send us some photos of your creations! We always love to see them….

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

and the best way to handle this luscious cloth.

A beginner’s guide to fabric basics

Firstly, let me just brush away the cobwebs that are all over this blog. It’s been a while folks! What can I say…. Moving house and relocating the business have been rather time consuming and sewing and blogging are always the first things to go by the wayside, you know how it is. I do however now have a lovely new marketing assistant (hello Harry!) so who knows, maybe there might be a bit more appearing around here before long. (I hope I don’t regret that last sentence)

In the past I’ve written quite a number of fabric guides  but none have really gone back to the very basics. For some of you this post will be teaching you to suck eggs, but for those less experienced I hope this is a useful resource to help you demystify some of the terminology and help you choose the right fabrics for your project.

Fabric Composition

Continue reading “A beginner’s guide to fabric basics”

Cloth Nappy Fabrics 101 Part 5: A Guide To Plush and Outer Fabrics

Hello! And welcome to part 5 of my nappy making fabrics guide (you can read the rest of the series here). Today we’re going to talk about one of the best bits of cloth nappy making – the pretties!! The outer layer is where most of the fun happens so read on…. Continue reading “Cloth Nappy Fabrics 101 Part 5: A Guide To Plush and Outer Fabrics”

Cloth Nappy Fabrics 101 Part 4: Notions and Fastenings

Hello! And welcome to part 4 of my nappy making fabrics guide, you can read the other parts in this series here. Today I’m taking a break from the fabrics today to talk about some of the notions and fastenings you can use when making cloth nappies.  Today you can enjoy up to 20% off KAM snaps, lastin and Aplix/ Touch tape hook & loop. Wondering what an earth these are? Fret not! All is to be revealed….  If you’d like to get involved in more than one offer this week but are worrying about the accrued postage costs – don’t! Just leave us a note at check out and ask us to hold your order until the end of the week then we’ll dispatch it all together and refund you any postage charges. We also have 20% off nappy making kits all week long. Continue reading “Cloth Nappy Fabrics 101 Part 4: Notions and Fastenings”

Cloth Nappy Fabrics 101 Part 3: An Absorbent Fabrics Guide

Hello! And welcome to part 3 of my nappy making fabrics guide, today it’s all about absorbent fabrics. It’s these types of fabrics which predominantly determine the performance of your nappy and there are a number of different combinations to try. Today you can enjoy up to 20% off absorbent fabrics. If you’d like to get involved in more than one offer but are worrying about the accrued postage costs – don’t! Just leave us a note at check out and ask us to hold your order until the end of the week then we’ll dispatch it all together and refund you any postage charges. We also have 20% off nappy making kits all week long. Continue reading “Cloth Nappy Fabrics 101 Part 3: An Absorbent Fabrics Guide”

Cloth Nappy Fabrics 101 Part 2: PUL Fabric

Hello! And welcome to day one of Real Nappy Week 2015. In this series I hope to share information about nappy making fabrics as well as letting you know about the offers we have running this week, so let’s talk about the offer first. Today you can enjoy up to 20% off PUL which is the waterproof layer used in a cloth nappy (as well as a whole host of other applications). We will be having different fabrics on offer each day. If you’d like to get involved in more than one offer but are worrying about the accrued postage costs – don’t! Just leave us a note at check out and ask us to hold your order until the end of the week then we’ll dispatch it all together and refund you any postage charges due. We also have 20% off nappy making kits all week long.  Continue reading “Cloth Nappy Fabrics 101 Part 2: PUL Fabric”

Cloth Nappy Fabrics 101 Part 1: An Intro

Welcome to Real Nappy Week 2015! Well…. the fun starts tomorrow but I thought I’d whet your whistle and have you all geared up to learn all about cloth this week and enjoy the discounts we have coming up.  If you’re not familiar with real nappies then this annual event is a great time to swot up about all things cloth, bag yourself some bargains and realise cloth nappies really aren’t in any way reminiscent of the the square of terry towelling held together with a big pin of yester-year. Modern fabrics and notions have meant that cloth nappies are a world away from the commonly held vision of the nappies used by our mums and grans.  Continue reading “Cloth Nappy Fabrics 101 Part 1: An Intro”

What Is A Border Print?

I recently sent this out as a newsletter and it prompted lots of responses I thought I’d post it here too to preserve it for prosperity!

Print runs "Up the bolt/ roll"
Print runs “Up the bolt/ roll”

I have been asked a few times recently to explain what a “border  print” is. If you’re not up to speed on this particular fabric lingo read on, especially as we’ve had a couple of crackers arrive this week. If I’m teaching you to suck eggs then scroll down to the inspiration part to check put the pretty prints! Continue reading “What Is A Border Print?”

Dashwood Studios Flurry Meets Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton

The Flurry range from Dashwood Studios has become a firm stock staple for many of you and what’s not to like? It’s a fun, contemporary supporting print in some gorgeous colours. We’ve been asked to colour match Dashwood Studios Flurry with Kona a few times now so we’ve linked the two collections on the website as “Related Products” but I thought I’d list them here for anyone to stumble upon. Continue reading “Dashwood Studios Flurry Meets Robert Kaufman Kona Cotton”

A Guide To Fleece Fabrics

10599260_955647557783781_4582888173154279906_nI wrote this article a few months ago and was originally published in the November issue of Sewing World Magazine but I’m sharing it here for those that missed the publication at the time. This was the second in a series of four fabric guides I wrote for the magazine, which I thoroughly enjoyed. A big thank you to Emma at Mummy & Millie’s Boutique for helping me out with the fleecey makes! Continue reading “A Guide To Fleece Fabrics”