Friday, January 20, 2012

Beware of Cheap Fabric!

This fabric looks innocent enough, doesn't it?

I bought a length of polyester knit for NZ$2 a meter and thought I had a bargain. I noticed when I got home that it had flaws here and there. I carefully marked them and avoided them when I cut the pattern. I had soon created for myself a wonderfully comfortable, cosy winter chemise, but before the winter was out...

I noticed this.
Within a month it looked like this. It's always been laundered on a wool wash (mild soap, medium spin), and at time of writing is an impressive jungle of looped and twisted threads.

But then...

...this labour of love and desperate need...
...after two months...

...looked like this.

One malfunction was inconvenient, but two in the same season? Conspiracy?

A kind neighbour had given me a piece of wool tweed from her 95-year-old mother's 50-year stash. The yardage was limited, but I contrived a modest and attractive skirt out of it. That should have been the beginning of a long and faithful companionship. What let me down was the modern polyester lining. Perhaps the fabric had a flaw, perhaps it just wasn't designed to last, but after two months of continuous wear (it being my only winter skirt), I was shocked to find two gaping splits across my rear. Impossible to repair.

The skirt design features front and rear double inverted pleats, reflected in the lining, and along with interior placket reinforcement panels, the lining won't be simple to replace. Frankly, the effort didn't seem worth it if it was going to disintegrate again.

A friend told me her mother always uses Duchess Satin for linings. It's thick and sturdy whilst retaining that slippery quality essential to linings. The Lord blessed me with a 40% discount on all satins at Spotlight the day I went looking for this satin. Now I just have to get up the courage to chop my lovely skirt...well, the lining. The plan is to removed the lower half with the pleats, attach the duchess satin (cut on the bias) to the skirt yoke area, then join the lower half to the duchess satin.

When you devote a portion of your valuable, precious time to creating a unique garment, you want that garment to last. You want to feel rewarded for your effort. Here's one way to avoid feeling cheated: make sure you're working with quality fabric. Low prices don't necessarily mean poor quality, but they are a warning to be cautious.


Joy said...

Oh dear! It must have been such a disappointment to have two garments get damaged so quickly. That's a good tip =D. Thanks for sharing!


Suzannah said...

Was that me who made the duchess satin suggestion? If not, I second it. Hard to wear that stuff out!

Narelle Worboys said...

You're welcome, Joy. Thanks for commenting! =)

Narelle Worboys said...

Yes, Suzannah, it was you. Please thank Suzannah II for her support. ;)

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