by Shannon Gifford
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  • Onionsilk

    This fabric could be considered a ‘cousin' to onionskin fabric. It has the weight and drape of onionskin, but a texture that is smooth….like silk! This fabric is lovely and soft, and wonderful to wear!


    Machine wash, cold water, no bleach. Machine dry, or lay flat to dry.

    Needles and Thread:

    Jersey needles, size 11/75, are the best choice. Choose a poly/cotton or all polyester thread for construction.


    Very lightweight tricot fusible interfacing can be used successfully for this fabric. For a sewn-in interfacing or for lining, use solid colored onionsilk fabric.

    Seams, Seam Finishes, and Hems:

    A small zigzag stitch (2.0 width, 2.0 length) is best for seams. Hems can be topstitched, twin-needle topstitched, coverstitched, or simply left raw. Seams do not require finishing. This fabric is truly simple to sew!

    Pattern suggestions:

    Tops, tees, tanks, shirts, skirts, dresses, full pants, wraps, cardigans, swing jackets.

    Creative possibilities:

    Piping looks fabulous on the printed onionsilk fabrics. Choose one of the colors in the print, or choose a coordinating or contrasting fabric to create your piping. Keep the piping thin for the prettiest results. Onionsilk can also be treated with a trapunto-type effect. Place a layer of onionsilk lining under the desired print area, and machine or hand-stitch around the outline of the print. As this does add a tiny bit of weight to the area, it is best to use this technique near hems or sleeve cuffs. It's great to use on shirt collars, too!

    Additional Tips:

    Store your onionsilk garments flat, rather than on a hangar.

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