Sewing wool is a real gift from nature. It has been around for centuries and is warm, long-lasting, and flame resistant. Wool fabric is fantastic as it is naturally moisture repellent and is hypo-allergenic. It is great for coats and Winter clothing. 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 on 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 sewing wool always look for the ‘Woolmark’ label. This is a textile symbol which can be used by items made from 100% new wool. It is internationally recognized as a quality product. Wool blends can be great to sew and can reduce the price considerably for home sewers.
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.
Sewing 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.
Tips for Sewing Wool
- PATTERNS - 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.
- FABRIC SELECTION - 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.
- CUTTING - 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.)
- CUTTING WITH A NAP - 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)
- NEEDLES - Use a heavy needle for the bulky wool items and test on a scrap first. (Read about sewing machine needles)
- TEST - Practice sewing wool fabric on your scrap for the right size stitch.
- SEAM FINISHES - Sewing wool which is bulky will need graded seams where the seam allowance is cut away in layers. (Read about how to grade seams). For seams that are too bulky to finish using a serger, it is common to use bias bound edges.
- PRESSING - 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.) Some wool shrinks so it is important to regulate the use of steam and heat.
- LININGS - A fine lining like silk or polyester fabric can give a nice finish and reduce the overall bulk of the sewing wool fabric. (Read how to sew silk)
- DECORATE - 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.
- CHIFFON – Sewing Chiffon
- BATIK – What is Batik
- CANVAS – Sewing Canvas
- COTTON – Sewing Cotton
- DENIM – Sewing Denim
- FELT – Sewing Felt
- FUR – Sewing Fur
- KNITS – How to Sew Stretch Fabric
- INTERFACING – Types of Interfacing
- LACE – How to Sew Lace
- LEATHER – Sewing Leather
- RAYON – Sewing Rayon
- SHEER – Sewing Sheer Fabrics
- SILK – How to Sew Silk
- THICK – Sewing Thick Fabrics
- VELVET Sewing Velvet
- WOOL – Sewing Wool
- FLEECE – Sewing Fleece