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Fabric Lab: Stretch Mesh

Fashion-forward, comfortable knits for today's styles
Threads #201, Feb./March 2019

Stretch mesh is a semisheer knit with great recovery. It can be sewn into flowing or body-hugging designs. In either type of silhouette, this knit fabric does not add a great deal of bulk, especially if you use appropriate seam and edge treatments. Stretch mesh is suitable for sheer T-shirts, slips, layered skirts, contrast sleeves, and binding strips on necklines and armholes. It comes in a fun array of solids or prints, and it is available in nylon and polyester in various weights. I’ve found the heavier mesh tends to be of better quality.

I often make T-shirts with two-layer stretch mesh fronts and backs for more opacity, leaving the sleeves a single layer. If your stretch mesh is a print, make the underlayer a solid to give more clarity to the print.

However you decide to design with it, stretch mesh offers engaging style options for warm weather garments. Just consider how wonderfully packable, versatile, and chic it could be for a summer getaway.

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