Making your own clothing or home decor items can be fun and, if you are using unique material you have found it can be a great way to personalize your interior. Of course, not all unique fabrics will be suitable for use in every project. If you are trying to learn how to look at a piece of material and tell whether it will be suitable for a particular use, here are some suggestions you may want to try.
If you are not sure where to find these fabrics you may want to look in markets or in ethnic shops. Some people find swatches of fabric while they travel and bring them home as a memento of their travels. If you make costumes you might also be on the look out for unique material that would work well for your next costuming project. If you do buy material while you are overseas you may love how inexpensive it is compared to what you might find at home.
You may also find material that you would want to use by looking in vintage clothing stores. It is not uncommon for crafters to purchase clothing or textile pieces that may not fit but which could be turned into other items that are more up to date in terms of styling. Because you may not know exactly what an older piece is made of it may be hard to tell whether it will work for a particular project.
One way to tell whether you could use a particular piece of material is to look at the package that a pattern came in. While it may not list your specific type of material it will list suggested fabrics that the designer feels would work best. Just make sure that the material you want to use has some characteristics that are the same as the others listed on the pattern.
It’s also helpful to figure out what qualities the fabrics listed have in common. Do they all drape and flow well? If that is the case, you will usually find that a material that has more flow or which drapes well can be used even if it is not listed on the pattern. If the piece you will be working on needs to be able to stretch you should find out whether your unique piece of material will be able to accommodate this requirement.
Vintage textiles can be beautiful but they can also be delicate. If you want to alter a vintage piece so that it fits you better or is more modern looking you may need to be careful. It may turn out that lace or other materials are delicate and end up falling apart if you try to do too much with them.
People don’t just create clothing from unique material pieces. Often they will use them to create cushion covers, quilts or other items that are used in a home. If you want to do so, you should ensure that you are using material that is durable enough to hold up to rough use.
Of course, if you are really stumped about whether or not to use a particular piece of textile in your upcoming project, speaking to someone at a fabric store may be helpful. They may be able to suggest ways to thicken up material that is too thin or how to stiffen up material that may have too much drape. Then, in the end, even though there may be more work involved you will be happier with the project that you do create.
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