Brocades: Day to Evening Elegance
by Kathryn Brenne
  • Introduction
  • Fabrics
  • Glossary of Terms: Clearing the Confusion
  • Choosing a Pattern
  • Layout and Cutting
  • Needles and Thread
  • Seaming
  • Welt Pocket Primer
  • Setting in a Sleeve
  • Shoulder Pads and Sleeve Heads
  • Bagging a Lining
  • Closures
  • Kathryn's Sample Garment

  • sewing tutorials
  • sewing guides 2004-2009
  • inspiration
  • fabric store

    The fiber content of brocade fabrics can vary tremendously! Often they are a mix of synthetic, wool, silk, cotton, rayon or metallic fibers. Care must be taken during construction and pressing so as not to damage the beautiful texture that is created in the weaving and finishing process. Some fabrics are reversible, such as the damask used for my sample garment, while other fabrics have long float threads or a backing on the wrong side of the fabric. Since brocades vary so widely in construction, one must evaluate how best to handle each fabric based on its particular characteristics. For instance, some brocades that are more loosely woven may be less durable in garments that will be stressed. You may need to take extra care to prevent ravelling, catching or pulling with some of the weaves. If ravelling is an issue you might consider serging each piece before beginning to sew, but most lined garments will not need any seam finishing.

    The wrong side of some brocade fabrics can be slightly coarse or rough, so lining the garment is usually recommended. Depending upon the weight of the brocade fabric, silk charmeuse, habotai, crepe de chine or Bemberg rayon are all excellent choices for lining.

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