Bamboo Jersey
by Shannon Gifford
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  • Bamboo Jersey

    Bamboo fabrics have taken the sewing world by storm, and with good reason. This fabric is sound ecologically, has reputed microbial properties, and it is comfortable to wear. Bamboo is also easy to sew, and travels beautifully. This is truly a wonder fabric! Bamboo jersey is similar in weight to matte jersey, and with similar drape. Some bamboo jersey is blended with a bit of lycra, which gives it a more springy quality and 4-way stretch. Whether you choose all-bamboo, or a bamboo blend, you'll love the soft hand and elegant look of this fabric!

    Pretreatment:

    Machine wash, tumble dry (low heat). Allow additional time for drying bamboo fabrics. If you prefer, you may remove the fabric from the dryer while still damp, and lay it flat to complete drying.

    Needles and Thread:

    Use a jersey/ballpoint needle, size 11/75, for construction. Cotton, cotton/polyester, or all polyester threads can be used for construction.

    Seams, Seam Finishes, and Hems:

    On a conventional machine, use a zigzag stitch for construction, 2.0 width, 2.0 length. If you have a serger, a 4-thread overlock stitch is recommended. Seams do not require finishes in this fabric; it does not ravel. Hem your bamboo jersey with a stretch twin needle (size 4.0/75) or use your coverstitch machine for hems.

    Interfacing:

    Lightweight fusible tricot interfacing is recommended.

    Pattern Suggestions:

    Tees, tanks, dresses, lightweight jackets, turtlenecks, skirts, casual pants and shorts, children's wear, loungewear, tunics, vests, scarves.

    Creative Possibilities:

    See the guides for organic cottons and the guide for bamboo fleece for dye suggestions. Bamboo jersey responds well to pigmented permanent markers; use Pigma super-fine point markers to write or draw on your jersey fabric. Outline your designs with pen, and fill in the color with a brush dipped in fabric dye. Good sources for images to use for this technique can be found in clip art books or coloring books. Look for designs with large open areas (like simple flowers), and decorate your jersey in the style of many high-end designers! Or, take a cue from one particularly stylish line, and write lines of poetry across your fabric with the fine-tipped marker.

    Additional Tips:

    Bamboo jersey makes wonderful trim for other projects. Save your scraps, and cut them into even-width crossgrain strips for future use. Decorate, dye, or paint your strips, and you'll have ready-made trim for your next project.

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