Mesh Knits (triple mesh)
by Shannon Gifford
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  • Mesh Knits (triple mesh)

    Mesh knits are among the most comfortable fabrics on the market. The sheer quality of the fabric provides a coolness in temperature when the garment is worn. Mesh often is printed with trendy or classic colors and prints, and has a variety of uses. This fabric is a summertime staple for tops, and a cool weather staple for trims and embellishment. It is easy care, fun to wear, and easy to sew.

    Pretreatment:

    Most mesh knits can be machine washed in cold water. Do not use bleach. Use a lingerie bag to contain the fabric in the machine to avoid pulling the fabric threads. Dry in a cool dryer or hang to dry.

    Needles and Thread:

    Stretch needles, size 75/11, are the best choices for standard seams. For hems, use a stretch twin, size 4.0/75. Use cotton/polyester or all polyester thread for mesh knits.

    Seams, Seam Finishes, and Hems:

    Use a zigzag stitch at least 2.5 width. A shorter length (1.5-2.0) is good for shoulder seams or where stability is key. Use seam tape inserted under the presser foot, or clear elastic if stretch is desired with the added stability. Hems are best done by machine. Use the widest twin needle you can find, or use a wide coverstitch. Seam finishes are not necessary, as the fabric does not ravel. However, you may choose to serge the edges or bind them for comfort. Keep the seams as narrow as possible, ΒΌ inch or less, for the most professional appearance.

    Interfacing:

    Should you need interfacing in your garment, use a second or even third layer of the mesh knit.

    Pattern Suggestions:

    Simple garments such as wrap tops, tees, overblouses, ponchos, pareos, and skirts. Some garments will require lining.

    Creative Possibilities:

    Use a contrast lining for your garment, then use the lining fabric to trim the edges of your mesh knit. Weave thin strips of yarns or silk ribbons through the mesh and let the ends dangle for a fringed focal point.

    Additional Tips:

    Pressing seams in mesh knits can be difficult, as the fabric tends to curl when cut. Instead of using an iron, find a "bone folder" used by paper crafters (usually found in the scrapbooking aisle of your local chain store). You can use the rounded edge of this tool to press the seams without heat.

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