Sew, What's New?

Curating sewing and quilting talent, techniques, and tutorials, since 1997.

Textiles 101

Fibers either come from nature or are man-made. Cotton, linen, silk and wool are the main types of natural fibers. There are two kinds of man-made fibers: cellulosic or synthetic. A cellulosic, like rayon, acetate or triacetate, is a fabric version of wood pulp (not completely artificial, but mostly). Totally synthetic fibers include nylon, polyester, acrylic, Spandex, metallics, vinyon, modacrylic, Olefin and Tencel.

Within those groups, there are different ways fabrics are constructed. A staple fiber is short and includes both natural fibers and man-made fibers.  The diameter (officially “denier”) of the fiber determines how it drapes.  Fine denier fabrics are pliable and softer-feeling. Thicker fibers create a fabric with more body.

Next week’s Tip will include information about filament fibers and the different weaving patterns that determine the texture of a fabric.

Londa has sewn all her life and holds a B.S. in Home Economics.  She developed her own pattern line in heirloom sewing in the late 80's, then a retail storefront from 1990 to 1993, and she now maintains her own website,  Her most recent focus and passion is teaching others how to create stylish jackets from sweatshirts.  You can read more about Londa's accomplishments here, and feel free as well to visit her video channel and profile page at Sew What's New.


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