Wool is a real gift from nature. It has been around for centuries and is warm, long-lasting, and flame resistant. Sewing wool fabric is fantastic as it is naturally moisture repellent and is hypo-allergenic. What more could you want from a fabric?
Sheep are the givers, shearers are the takers and you can be the maker of some great woolen articles using a few helpful tips sewing wool to get you started. So get ready to click those shears, your very best scissors, and be ‘boss of the board’ according to a well-known shearing song.
Sewing Wool Fabric
Wool comes in different weights and blends. For pure wool always look for the ‘wool mark’ label.
Uses of Wool Fabric
- Heavy-weight wool fabric makes lovely jackets and capes.
- Light-weight wool fabric is suitable for skirts and pants.
- Wool felt is great for felt crafts, applique and dolls. Good quality wool felt doesn’t pull like acrylic felts.
- Search for old wool garments at your local market or thrift store, then transform them into something new.
Wool fabric is truly long lasting – something old, something new, something woolen just for you.
Preparation for Sewing Wool Fabric
- Always prepare your fabric before you start by pre-shrinking and pressing. Wool is very prone to shrinking if your water is too hot so read the washing instructions carefully. (Read pre washing)
- Check for the wool label and see if you should dry clean instead of washing.
- Use a scrap before you try anything on the main piece of fabric.
- Look for special laundry detergent that is suitable for wool.
- Decide on the method of cleaning you want to use so you start with that type of cleaning and use it each time you clean your article.
- Remember moths love wool so be aware that some moth repellent will preserve your fabric.
Cutting and Sewing Wool
- Select a pattern that is suited to the wool fabric you have chosen as there are different types of wool and wool blends. Wool fabric tends to be thicker so is not suitable for all sewing patterns.
- Nice sharp scissors will make all the difference when cutting. For straight edges, use a rotary cutter and cutting mat if you have one. (Read about how to use a rotary cutter.)
- Use a heavy needle for the bulky wool items and test on a scrap first. (Read about sewing machine needles)
- If you choose a plaid design, like tartan, cut pieces individually to ensure your design runs the same way. Folded fabric with a specific design can slip and then the plaid is out of line. (Read about how to sew napped fabric)
- Bulky wool will need graded seams where the seam allowance is cut away in layers. (Read about how to grade seams)
- Practice on your scrap for the right size stitch.
- Press every step of the way with a pressing cloth and if you are steaming, be sure you have tested steam on the fabric as part of the preparation process. (Read about pressing fabric.)
- A fine lining like silk or polyester fabric can give a nice finish and reduce the overall bulk of the fabric. (Read how to sew silk)
- Combine fabrics. Wool and silk or softer fabrics go well together. Be creative with your scraps and make a scarf or shawl combining the two for a delightful contrast of texture and color.
- Wool felt is the answer for applique and craft items. You can cut, make and trim with this type of wool fabric. Definitely, save all your scraps if you are a crafter. (Read how to sew felt)
- Learn some simple stitches to embellish finished wool articles. Blanket stitch and whip stitch is a great wooly stitch.
Now you are Ready for Sewing Wool
Time to get out that beautifully prepared fabric and your specially chosen pattern. Click those newly sharpened shears, and you are well on your way to sewing wool fabric. Good preparation guarantees you’ll always be a creator of wonderful wool garments and designs.