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Silk is a beautiful fabric. The garments are soft on the skin. It is expensive and needs to be taken care of, especially when sewing. Sewing silk is an arduous task for a beginner. With experience you will learn all the techniques suitable for working with silk.
One of the many challenges a tailor can face when working with silk is how to finish the edges.. Different finishing techniques may not be suitable for silk fabrics. Unfinished or not finished properly, silk fabric frays.
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How to finish silk edges?
Work the edges of your silk fabric by hand or with a sewing machine. Hemming by hand is the most preferred method for finishing silk edges. Because of its delicate nature, hand steaming allows proper care of the silk fabric. You can finish your silk edges with French seam.
Steps to finish silk edges with French seam
This is the best seam to use when finishing silk edges. It is difficult for beginners. Here’s a step-by-step guide to making this seam on silk fabric.
- With the right sides of the fabric on the outside, make sure your wrong sides are touching.
- Sew 1/4” seam
- Press for firm stitches and make sure the seam is flat. Press on both sides of the fabric for a completely flat seam.
- Fold your silk fabric right sides together and press the sewn edges together.
- For the perfect finish, wrap the edges by sewing.
- Press seam allowance and make sure it is flat.
- Finish your French seam by pressing the right side the seams and finish your French seam.
Steps to finish silk edges with the Flat Combed Seams
Headed seams are used to finish the edges of fabrics that fray easily. This means that flat seams are a great way to finish your silk edges.
- Place right sides of your fabric together.
- Leave a generous seam allowance and sew the seam.
- Press the seam allowance flat to make sure the stitches are firm.
- Also press on both sides to make the seams completely flat
- Make sure all your seams are pointing in the same direction.
- Trim each side of the seam allowance. You choose the side you want to cut in the direction you want your seams to face. IF you want them to face left, trim the left seam allowance.
- Fold the uncut seam allowance inward. Press to flatten.
- Fold the same seam allowance again. This time the fold will go over the edge of the uncut seam allowance. Press to flatten.
- Now sew your seam allowance together. Press to join the stitches.
Steps to finish silk edges by knurling
Roseing the edges the fastest and easiest method of finishing seams in fabrics. It is a suitable method for finishing your silk edges. Here’s how to do it.
- Buy high quality pinking shears. This will help you cut a perfect zigzag on the seam allowance of your fabric.
- sew your seam allowance.
- Place your fabrics right sides together and sew your seam.
- Press your seams on both sides for a flat look and to strengthen your stitches.
- Cut out any curves or notches that are out of place on the zigzag line.
- You may also need to sew several inches from your edges. Knurling alone is not enough to keep the edges together. You will therefore sew to enhance the pinking,
Steps to finish silk edges by sewing
- sew your seams together
- Sew an overlook stitch along the edges of the fabric.
- Iron the excess seam allowance and you have perfectly finished edges.
Steps to finish silk edges with Hong Kong Finish
The Hong Kong finish is a high-quality technique for finishing edges on smooth luxury fabrics such as silk. The Hong Kong finish is best used on lightweight fabrics. This is because it eventually becomes bulky. It is therefore an ideal method for finishing silk edges.
Here’s how to tackle Hong Kong finishing on silk fabric edges.
- This technique requires a lot of bias tape. Be sure to choose light bias strips for this technique.
- With the right sides of your fabric pinned together, sew your seam allowance.
- Press the seam open, on both sides and flat. This helps to keep the seams flat and reinforce the stitches used.
- Measure and cut a strip of bias tape that is twice as wide as your seam allowance and is slightly longer by at least an inch.
- Pin the bias tape strip together with the seam allowance. Keep the right sides of the strip and seam allowance together.
- Sew the bias strips onto the seam allowance.
- Press this part of the garment you have just sewn.
- Fold and press the bias tape over the edge of the seam allowance. Then sew over this part to cover the raw edges.
- There are at least three layers to sew over. This makes this technique extensive.
- Trim the excess fabric.
- Press seam allowance flat for a neat finish.
Tips for working with silk
Silk is not an easy fabric to work with. Sewing with a sewing machine will make it fat and fold. Sewing by hand is the best option.
For best results, there are a few factors to consider. These factors apply whether you use a sewing machine or sew by hand. Always use a short stitch first. This helps to reduce puckering of the silk fabric.
When working with silk, keep it taut. Silk is a smooth fabric. If you work on it without holding it tight, it will be hard to work on. It will not keep the stitches sewn on unless we sewed them on the tight fabric.
For best sewing results, use a silk thread. If silk thread is not available, use cotton thread. Also use the correct needles for silk sewing. Needles that slide easily through the fabric and leave no visible holes when you’re done. Use custom silk pins and needles as needed.
To avoid watermarks on your silk fabric when you steam press, we recommend you wash your fabric before sewing. Steam pressing results in water droplets on parts of the fabric. If it has -washed, it dries well without leaving water marks.
When pressing silk fabrics and garments, it is best to place another cloth on top protection. Some silks are too smooth to press, especially with steam. If you fold in the silk, it may be difficult to undo. Be careful when pressing silk garments. Use clear protective fabric to make sure you don’t make it difficult to correct mistakes during pressing.
Carefully choose the type of seam finish for your silk fabric. Make sure that whatever method of seam finishing you are using, finish the seams. No fabric should be without seams. If you leave silk unfinished, it will immediately fray.
Working with silk is a laborious task. That is why it is important to prepare well before starting your project. Identify and have on hand every tool you need to finish your silk edges. Be careful and patient while working to ensure you get the expected results.