Shirred or Puckered Fabrics
by Shannon Gifford
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  • Shirred or Puckered Fabrics

    These fabrics are fun! Pulled threads along the grain of the fabric create the texture; the result is a fabric that appears puffy and soft, and is extremely comfortable to wear.


    Depending on the base fiber content, these fabrics can generally be machine washed and dried.

    Needles and Thread:

    Use a size 11/70 or 12/80 needle, sharp or universal point, for construction. Cotton, cotton-polyester, or all polyester threads are fine choices for these fabrics.

    Seams, Seam Finishes, and Hems:

    Standard plain seams work well with puckered and shirred fabrics. Finish the edges with a three-thread serged edge, or use a fine binding. Hems can be machine topstitched or hand blind-stitched. Another option is a serged rolled hem, which is beautiful for many applications.


    Fusibles can be tricky, although not impossible to use, in these textured fabrics. If you choose a fusible, make it the lightest weight tricot fusible possible. A better choice for interfacing is a layer of the fabric itself; the weight is perfect, the fabric will not interfere with the texture, and the color matches!

    Pattern Suggestions:

    Shirts, shorts, skirts, soft-structured jackets, dresses, summer clothing

    Creative Possibilities:

    Quilt your fabric to a layer of coordinating solid-colored cotton. Use the lines of the shirring or puckers as a guide, creating a puffy, "biscuit" like quilted design. This will give your fabric a bit more weight for use in jackets or more structured garments.

    Additional Tips:

    Avoid pressing the texture out of shape with the iron; instead of pressing, steam the fabric into submission by hovering the iron over the fabric. Remove the iron, and then press the seams and smooth wrinkles with your fingers. Leave the fabric in place until completely cool.

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