Novelty Tweeds
by Shannon Gifford
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  • Novelty Tweeds

    Tweed is a fabric in which a variety of yarns are used to create texture. Novelty tweeds may include textured yarns as well as ribbons, metallic threads, and laces. These tweeds are enormously popular for using to make garments with a high-end appearance.


    Dry clean only


    Because of the variety of threads used in these types of tweeds, testing your needle sizes is imperative. Begin with the smallest sharp needle you have in your collection, such as a size 10 machine quilting needle. If your tweed contains thicker yarns, you might choose a size 11 or size 14 needle. Cotton, cotton covered polyester, or all polyester threads are excellent choices for construction.


    A Weft-insertion interfacing, such as Textured Weft, is the best choice for fusible interfacing in these tweeds. If you prefer a sew-in interfacing, use cotton batiste, muslin, or silk organza.


    Use a standard 2.5 stitch length for construction. Most garments made from these fabrics are intended to be lined; even so, it is a good idea to clean finish the edges of the tweed so the yarns will remain intact. Use a straight stitch, ΒΌ" from the cut edge, to hold the yarns in place. If you do not plan to line your garment, use a binding to enclose the raw edges of each seam allowance. Hems are best done by hand, using a seam tape or lace hem tape machine-stitched along the raw edge to prevent raveling.

    Pattern choices

    Tailored garments such as jackets, coats, and skirts.

    Creative possibilities

    For an avant-garde appearance, try unraveling a few threads here and there along your garment. Cut the threads, and attach charms or beads on the dangling threads.

    Additional Tips:

    Be sure to test the heat of your iron on a scrap before pressing any seams. Because of the variety of threads used in these fabrics, it will be important to use the coolest temperature possible for good results.

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