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Sewing with Silk: Tools and Supplies for Sewing Silk

Video: Threads magazine

In this episode of the video series Sewing with Silk, expert Katrina Walker talks about equipment you need to sew silk successfully.

Pins and needles

When selecting pins, look for the finest and sharpest pins you can find. Long pins with flat, flower-shaped heads are good. Glass-head pins also come in a fine diameter, so they don’t make large holes in the fabric.

The right needle solves many problems you may encounter when sewing fine silks. You shouldn’t hear popping sounds as the needle moves through the textile. Try a microtex or sharp needle, which has a sharp point. Otherwise, try to small-size topstitching needle. Any size from 65 to 80 can work.


Choose a high-quality, uniform, and smooth thread. The diameter should be consistent along the entire length. If you use cotton thread, make sure it’s mercerized. Polyester thread is also acceptable. Even the smoothest of these threads has a bit of drag, which helps maintain even thread tension.

Silk thread is slippery, and the fabric can gather along the stitching line. Thus, silk thread is great for basting and hand-sewing. If you machine-sew with silk thread, you must use taut sewing techniques.

If you think you may redye or overdye a silk garment, opt for silk thread so the thread takes the dye just as the fabric does.



About This Video Series

In this 20-part workshop, textile expert Katrina Walker introduces us to silk fabrics. She covers the gamut from silkworm to crafting beautiful silk garments, so you never need to fear working with this luxury material. Episode topics include sericulture: how silkworms are cultivated, and how the silk filaments are harvested from cocoons. You'll learn about the many categories of woven silk fabrics, including crepes, satins, and jacquards. Katrina also offers advice for matching your fabric…

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