Strawberry Paper Doll

Sweetly Simple Designs

Fabrics, Fibers, Weaves

A Note to Start on...

Fabric questions I answer on a Daily Basis are usually Focused on 3 things

1. What kind of fabric can I use for this project
2.Would this kind of fabric work for my project
3. Can I dye this kind of fabric


NOTE: This is going to address basic things, with that in mind, not all fabrics made of specific fibers will act exactly the same when presented with similar treatments, and sometimes they will.

I ALWAYS SUGGEST A SWATCH TEST IF YOU ARE UNSURE OF FABRIC CONTENT OR IF THE FABRIC WILL TAKE A CERTAIN TREATMENT

Swatch Test: A piece of the Fabric of interest anywhere from 2X4 in To 1/8th of a yard, the smaller pieces are more so for single treatments such as single dye jobs, specific types of stitching, or basic tests. The bigger cuts allow for more treatments and tests to be run on it. etc.

Dying Fabrics


Plant Fibers are well known for taking very very well to fabric dyes, everything from Natural Black walnut based dyes, to the artificial chemical RIT Dyes we know today.

The top 3 Natural Fibers that Take Dye well are
Cotton
Linen
Silk

The others mentioned will take it pretty well if you think about it this way
Most animal Fibers (with some exceptions) are hair-like or similar and take dye well because they soak it in.

Plant fibers are very good at soaking in dye because they don't have any natural resistance to it and are also good at soaking it in.

Fiber

Fiber:
Often confused for Fabric
it is the base from which all fabric is made.
Fibers are more the item of chemical, animal or plant base that is either manufactured or harvested to then be turned into more manageable bits that are turned into threads and then woven on looms or produced in sheets.


Natural Fibers include all those that are manufactured from natural resources such as
Animals and Plants.

Plant Fibers are well known for taking very very well to fabric dyes, everything from Natural Black walnut based dyes, to the artificial chemical RIT Dyes we know today.

The top 3 Natural Fibers that Take Dye well are
Cotton
Linen
Silk

The others mentioned will take it pretty well if you think about it this way
Most animal Fibers (with some exceptions) are hair-like or similar and take dye well because they soak it in.

Plant fibers are very good at soaking in dye because they don't have any natural resistance to it and are also good at soaking it in.

Animal (Note: not all is included here because not many Cosplayers use animal fibers either for cost or personal reasons. For those that do use it if you would like me to include more information or more fiber options please let me know.)

Fur: Source Varies obtained from animals primarily still attached to the hide or shaved and made into threads prized for it's soft or showy qualities and it's ornate
Pros:Naturally warm and soft in most instances, gives a luxurious look to many garments, lasts...for a long time from my experience (as long as it's taken care of and you aren't mucking it about)

Cons:People judge it as being cruel to animals, It can get expensive, and in warmer climate, it may be too hot.

Leather: Hide obtained from cows, horses and other livestock that is tanned with chemicals or other processes to become a supple, or hardened, or even shiny!

Pros:

Cons:

Wool: Harvested from sheep's wool or hair and made into threads. Woven tightly for fine suiting and loosely for felted coating fabrics or yarn to knit with.
Merino Wool: Bred to be allergen resistant the fibers aren't as itchy or textured as regular wool.


Cashmere: Obtained from the neck of cashmere and other goats it's known for it's insulation without bulk, as well as it's soft qualities

Angora: Obtained from the undercoat or underdown of angora rabbits.

Silk: Harvested from silkworms, it's their cocoon, they're first boiled and then unwrapped. Silkworms produced 1000-3000 ft of this multi prismatic fiber. It's lustrous qualities are sought after and often imitated but never duplicated.
Pro: Breatheability, drape, weight, texture, lustrous qualities, texture.
Mohair
Quivit
Alpaca

Plant

Rayon
Bamboo(Another form of Rayon)
Cotton: Harvested from the cotton plant it's known for it's soft airy qualities, also very absorbent and flammable. Takes dye very well and is colorfast for the earlier part of it's lifetime, it is affected by sunshine and over time it is known to fade.
Pima Cotton: A higher quality of cotton from traditional, usually with longer fibers, grown on the Island of pima. Popular for tailored shirts and many other fabrics due to it's texture and fineness.
Linen
Jute
Ramie
Hemp
Latex- Some are derived from milky extracts of plants and therefore are naturally occuring

Weaves

Weaves

This is the way in which the fiberous threads are woven or put together

2 Distinctive Parts of a Weave
The Weft thread
The Warp thread
These are usually denoted by the direction they come from in the fabric.
The Weft Threads usually go from SELVAGE(Or finished edge) of Fabric to Selvage on the other edge of the fabric
This creates your fabrics Width
The Fabric width varies anywhere from approx. 45inches- 60inches (Standard) But it can vary from that depending on the fabric.

The Warp threads go along the Length of the fabric. They basically create the yardage of the fabric itself.



Traditional ones include (but are not limited to)


Brocade Weave- A type of supplimental weave made on a draw loom where extra weft threads (besides the structural weft threads) are added to create a raised image traditionally in different bright colored threads.

Crepe- This is a weave made using either tightly twisted threads or chemical treatments or other means to produce a textured weave. It is seen used to create a drape in fabric it also is in finer grades to create texture.
A good example of this is Wool crepe or Polyester crepe.


Even Weave- Where the warp and weft threads are the same size, resulting in a very grid-like structure, great for embroidery, needlepoint,cross stitch, and blackwork.
Ex. Monks-cloth and Canvas

 Pile Weave- woven in two layers, one layer is the plush or has a raised surface of hairs/fibers and the base layer is an anchor to keep the pile/hair/fibers stable.

Plain- This is common in many different fabrics, it is one...if not the most...common weave in textiles.
You can tell this weave by the interlocking of threads at a 90 Degree Angle.
A good example of this is Basic cotton or cotton poly broadcloth.

 Rib Weave-

Satin weave- a weave where the face is usually shiny...it's created with atleast 5 Warp and 1 weft thread where the warp is woven 4 over and one under.


Twill- a weave that is denoted for it's heavier hand and diagonal lines in the weave. It is made when one or more weft threads are woven under one or more warp threads creating the diagonal thread orientation.
A good example of this is cotton twill or Denim


Jacquard Weave-Woven on a Jacquard (Specialty) Loom, it has floating threads, Traditionally Monochromatic, most have a luster to them and are more stable and stretchy than basic weaves.
Ex. Matelasse.


Moire Weave- When weft and warp threads are woven together in a specific style of spacing that creates a prismatic effect of a woodgrain or waterstain pattern seen in the cloth (This effect/print can also be achieved by a finish called Calendaring)



(Not every fabric is a different kind of weave or named after it's weave. This is a common misconception)

This page is still under construction with tons more info to be added!

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