Module 5 – Chapter 4

Fabric investigation

In this chapter I explored different types of fabrics and how they respond to different treatments such as stretching, fraying and exposure to a direct flame.

I collected samples of a variety of fabrics, both natural and synthetic as shown in images 4.1 and 4.2 below.  The code  W or NW refers to whether the fabric is woven or non-woven.

image Image 4.1

 

From left top to bottom:  Coarse linen W, Fine linen W,  loose weave fabric (synthetic) W, silk mesh W (synthetic) , Bondaweb NW (synthetic), interfacing NW (synthetic).

From right, top to bottom: Cotton / polyester batting NW (part synthetic), wool felt NW, brushed cotton W, fine cotton lawn W, lightweight calico W.

image Image 4.2

From left top to bottom:  silk dupion W, sari silk W, cotton muslin W, sheer nylon (synthetic) W,  synthetic organza W.

From right, top to bottom: synthetic sparkly organza W, silk chiffon W, silk organza W, curtain tape W (synthetic), velcro  NW (synthetic), cotton interfacing W, pelmet stiffener NW (synthetic).

I then selected four fabrics to investigate their qualities further.

image Image 4.3

Fabric Interfacing – synthetic – non woven
Creasing Doesn’t crease easily, creases spring out when released
Stretching Doesn’t stretch along the length, pulls apart on the bias
Fraying Pulls apart to create a fibrous edge; shorter fibres exposed when frayed on the bias than sideways
Melting Melts easily, creates a hard blackened edge; Puckers when held close to heat source

image Image 4.4

Fabric Wadding – cotton/polyester mix – non woven
Creasing Doesn’t crease
Stretching Doesn’t stretch , pulls apart easily
Fraying Doesn’t fray, pulls apart to create a soft edge; the same in all directions
Melting Doesn’t melt despite some synthetic content. Smoulders and turns black.

image Image 4.5

Fabric Synthetic loose weave, woven
Creasing Doesn’t crease much
Stretching Doesn’t stretch along or across the weave, stretches a lot on bias
Fraying Frays very easily.  Edge along the bias can be frayed easily.
Melting Melts easily and creates hard edge which seals it and stops fraying.  Doesn’t pucker when held near heat.

image Image 4.6

Fabric Synthetic organza, woven
Creasing Doesn’t crease much, retains feint creases when released
Stretching Doesn’t stretch along or across the weave, stretches a lot on bias
Fraying Frays very easily.  Edge along the bias can be frayed easily.
Melting Melts easily and creates hard edge which seals it and stops fraying.  Puckers when held near heat.

Next I explored how different techniques can be applied to create a variety of edges on fabric:

image Image 4.7

From top to bottom:

  1. Synthetic loose weave, frayed and cut
  2. Synthetic interfacing, melted
  3. Cotton lawn, scallop edge machine embroidery
  4. Cotton scrim, snipped and twisted
  5. Linen, frayed and cut
  6. Synthetic yarn, knotted and twisted
  7. Synthetic organza with corded edge
  8. Silk, gathered and twisted
  9. Synthetic netting, twisted and stitched over
  10. Linen, zig-zag stitched with loops pulled from machine thread
  11. Chiffon, knotted and stuffed with yarn
  12. Wool felt, snipped and twisted
  13. Wool felt, snipped and folded

This experimentation has increased my understanding of the qualities of different types, weights and structures of fabric, and how these can be used to artistic effect.

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