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Topic: Fabric question: will this work even if it's not 100% cotton?  (Read 868 times)
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waterbaby
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« on: May 01, 2013 05:28:31 PM »

At a fabric storeís $2-per-pound outlet I recently acquired a nice length of white fabric.  No labeling, of course, not by a tag or printing on the selvedge, but I was allowed to snip a piece and do a burn test, the result of which indicated the fiber content to be of the natural variety, and I figured it was likely cotton, or at least would work with cotton for quilting.  The fabric is 56 inches wide and has the frayed edge type of selvedges.

Last night I started cutting half yard lengths to prep for making half square triangles, and discovered that the fabric is quite stretchy when pulled on selvedge-to-selvedge-wise.  Tugging length-wise (parallel to the selvedge) there is no stretch at all.  Did another burn test which, again, indicated that this is not a manmade material.

Because the fat quarters I'm going to be using for the other halves of the HSTs have already been washed, I went ahead and washed the pieces of white that I'd cut.  They dried easily and are very wrinkly, but they donít appear to have shrunk.

Iím thinking that even if itís not 100% cotton, this material looks and feels and handles like a nice cotton, and since the FQs have been washed and gotten their shrinking out of the way, it should be OK to combine the two.  Would love to hear any thoughts from our quilting gurus on likely compatibility before I start using this with my cotton fat quarters....
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« Reply #1 on: May 01, 2013 09:53:02 PM »

I think it should be fine! Pre-washing was probably smart Smiley
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« Reply #2 on: May 02, 2013 04:28:13 PM »

Thanks, MareMare!
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waterbaby
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« Reply #3 on: May 03, 2013 11:10:11 PM »

It occurred to me this morning that I should check to see what happens with this nice-but-fiber-unknown white fabric after it's stretched.  So I took a strip about 8-1/2 inches in the stretchy direction by 1-1/2, pulled length-wise (it stretched about two inches), and when I put it back down it was a almost 9 inches long, and has remained so all day.

My plan for this in conjunction with the cotton fat quarters is for making 6" to 9" half square triangle blocks, after which I'd still have more than a yard left, maybe as much as two, that I'd sure love to be able to use.

Sooo...I'm wondering if in the big scheme of things this elasticity won't matter, or if I should relegate the fabric to a give away box.  Any thoughts or ideas will be greatly appreciated.
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« Reply #4 on: May 04, 2013 09:37:29 PM »

Hmm, I'm sorry I'm not sure. I guess you could do a light interfacing to possibly combat the stretch? Although if you have to buy interfacing it kind of defeats the purpose of using up the fabric you got at a bargain.
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« Reply #5 on: May 12, 2013 07:12:42 PM »

If it stretches easily it could be a problem.  If you have to apply some force to get it to stretch then gentle handling should be OK. 

Usually the biggest problem with stretching is along the diagonal on things like HST's.  I would use one of the methods for making them that has you drawing the line and sewing along both sides before you cut the angle. 

I would also check and trim before sewing them together. 

You might also choose to use a walking foot when sewing on this material.  That keeps the fabric from sliding.  Reducing the pressure foot tension might also be helpful. 

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« Reply #6 on: May 15, 2013 08:53:19 PM »

Thanks, MareMare and waggonswest, for your info and suggestions.  Have been experimenting a bit with some fabrics I know are all cotton, and some also stretch when pulled selvedge-to-selvedge, while others don't.  Interesting, eh?  Maybe I'll just save this stuff for sashing on some future project made with pre-washed fabrics....
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karlatest24
« Reply #7 on: May 16, 2013 11:16:21 AM »

yes
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