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More Tips for Working with Boiled Wool

Great minds really must be thinking alike! Or maybe it is cold in all parts of the United States and Linda Lee’s great article “New Jersey” in Threads #147 and Mary Ray’s wonderful article, A Minimalist Finish for No Fray Fabrics, had all three of us working on boiled wool.

I, too, have been working on a boiled wool jacket. I found several useful techniques to help with my own sewing.

I did a lapped seam construction using double-sided basting tape. But, I found every time I tried to remove the paper, it pulled the tape away from the fabric. I tried to burnish the paper with my fingernail, but it still came up as I tried to remove it.

I use a wallpaper seam roller from time to time to flatten seams, but trying to roll the tape on a very thin fabric just moved the tape away from the chalked seamline. I wanted to make sure the tape stayed where it was originally placed, so I used the C-Thru Ruler and rolled over it.

Using this method to adhere the tape to the boiled wool was especially helpful around the underarm curve of the jacket. I made sure the tape didn’t move away from where it was originally placed.

The paper was removed from the sticky tape and the seam was ready to adhere to the corresponding edge.

While stitching, the presser foot had a tendency to push the boiled wool forward, so additional pins were spaced 1 inch apart to further secure the seam while sewing.

To adhere the seam one additional time, I pressed the seam again using the C-Thru Ruler and the wallpaper roller.

Using Mary Ray’s tips and Linda Lee’s article helped with the finished pocket, side seam, and sleeve hem for my…

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  1. User avater
    kkkkaty | | #1

    Great tips, thx! I bought a very dense wool a yr or so ago from someone who was closing a fine fabric store. It's so dense that I thought it was "boiled", but am not really sure. It doesn't fray. Any harm is assuming it is, or is there another test I could try? It's double faced. thx

  2. spooly | | #2

    I also have some fabric that looks similar to boiled wool. It does not ravel and I made an entire jacket with it and have worn it and it does not ravel...it's wonderful...just wish I knew what it was.

  3. User avater
    kellyhogaboom | | #3

    Very nice results. Anyone have recommendations for an online shop to buy boiled wool?

  4. Sew_Serene | | #4

    THANKS for this great article and photos.

    Boiled wool is so comfortable because it is a knit before it is boiled to create the special texture.

    I found some boiled wool at Mood Fabrics here:
    http://www.moodfabrics.com/index.php?file=productdetail&iprod_id=11693&icat_id=2,1,3,12,13&icatidntr=&icatidwtr=&icatidwbt=&icatidwnewtr=&shortdes=&vcolor=&vpattern=&vapplication=&pricerange=&onsale=&newarrival=&custfav=&closeout=&wholesale=&pagelimit=18&page=1&keyword=boiled wool&topmatmsvalms=

  5. Carolebarrel | | #5

    Thx for the boiled wool tips. My dear husband bought me a spectacular Norwegian style embroidered boiled wool sweater for Christmas. The sleeves were long enough for an orangutang! The cuffs embroidered too--no way to alter. A return's shipping charges were prohibitive so I bit the bullet and risked cutting the sleeves off at the armscye, sergeing both scye and sleeve cap which I cut 6" off in shape to match, then seamed them with a slight zig-zag machine stitch. All of this at my husband's suggestion who has no clue about sewing at all! Steaming with press cloth smoothed the shoulder seam out to perfection. I was so proud of myself. Thought I'd share the experience for those who might contemplate another way to shorten a beautiful RTW sweater, blouse, or jacket sleeve with decorative cuffs. Nothing ventured, nothing gained...

  6. Buttonscreates | | #6

    Thank you for this article. Sandra Betzina has a new video out on sewing with boiled wool. It is really good. I just watched it this past week. Her site is POWER SEWING. For me, it is helpful to watch. I am a visual personal. I look at pictures in pattern envelopes and don't really read any of the words.

  7. ReneeAdoree | | #7

    In response to your query. Years ago, I used a fabric called melton cloth. Very much like felt. It wore like iron and it was mostly used for coats. It doesn't seem to be around much anymore. Probably because it lasted so long.

  8. Sew_Serene | | #8

    Sorry the link I sent for a boiled wool source got cut off - here it is in a short format:


    Mood Fabrics has 8 shades.

    No, I don't work for Mood. I just found it really hard to find boiled wool and now that I found a source I wanted to share it.

    Happy Sewing

  9. gansettgal | | #9


    You still can get melton. I bought some just last winter. You just have to know where to get it. I got mine on-line from Vogue in Chicago, I believe. If you Google 'melton,' you'll find it. Wait--- I just checked---type in melton fabric. (If you type in Melton, you get lots of things other than fabric including a truck line!) Yes, it's great stuff. Good luck!!!

  10. sewfungal | | #10

    Apple Annie Fabrics is a great resource for wools of all kinds, and they just sent an email with fabulous sweater knits. They get designer ends from New York and have a really high end selection. Check them out: http://www.appleanniefabrics.com

  11. MissDelilah | | #11

    I had just completed a boiled wool jacket and had to check out your tips on sewing boiled wool. I used those very same techniques and everything went so smoothly and looks great. I sewed myself a very lovely mauve boiled wool jacket. Perfect for this time of year. I am now thinking that on my next trip to Fabricville...there will be more boiled wool on the list in a different color...My sister has her eye on it...

  12. Candy_s | | #12

    I got lovely boiled wool for a vest from Britex in San Francisco via online.

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