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Getting the Best of Gabardine

Threads #41, June/July 1992

As a custom dressmaker, Shermane B. Fouché loves clothes that can go anywhere and look couture, but that don’t take couture time to sew. The ideal timeless fabric for such clothing is wool gabardine. You can use the cleanest and simplest of construction and create garments that are elegantly finished.

Wool gabardine is a tightly woven twill fabric made from worsted yarns. The twill structure gives gabardine a beautiful drape, while the worsted character makes its surface smooth and lustrous. Gabardine doesn’t soil easily because it’s so tightly woven, and it resists wrinkles. The most tightly woven wool gabardines are actually water resistant.

The same qualities that make gabardine so appealing make it tricky to use. Sewers often complain that seams won’t iron flat or that gabardine is difficult to interface and to topstitch. But it doesn’t take fancy equipment to press gabardine. And if you apply soft fusible interfacings, rather than sew-in ones, you can achieve a beautiful garment in minimal time.

This article first appeared in Threads #41, June July 1992.

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