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WandaJ | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

Are there any special tips anyone has for working with brocades, starting with pre-treatment of the fabric?

All suggestions and tips are appreciated.



  1. cynthia2 | | #1

    Hi Wanda.  Brocades tend to ravel, so I would suggest that you serge the edges before assembling.  Otherwise, I've never had problems working with brocades and there are so many beautiful brocades out now that they're impossible to resist!  Cynthia

    1. WandaJ | | #2

      Are you inferring that you do not pretreat the fabric? Also, do you use a fusible or sew-in interfacing on the fabric, or does this like most fabric depend on the weight of the fabric, and its intend use/design?

      1. HeartFire2 | | #3

        pre-treatment often depends on how the object - garment will be ued/ cleansed afterwards, if its going to be a 'dry clean only' type of thing, then I don't pre-wash or other wise pre-treat fabric.Personally I hate fusible interfacing's - except fusiknit. What is it you are making with the brocade, and how heavy is the fabric?

        1. WandaJ | | #5

          I plan to make a simple line jacket with some brocade fabric I picked up along the way about 1-1/2 yrs ago. It does not have a backing; however, the weave is sort of 'ripply', i.e., it is raised in some areas similar to being embossed without the stamping. I do hope that makes sense. Perhaps if I thought about it longer I could come up with a better description of the fabric's weave.

          1. fabricholic | | #6

            Hi WandaJ,I bought this fabric http://www.manhattanfabrics.com/catalogue.cgi?ddisplay=881 and washed it in the machine on delicate with Woolite. It washed well. I did serge the edges before putting it in the wash. I haven't made my vest, as of yet, but soon, I hope.Marcy

          2. HeartFire2 | | #7

            Wanda, Your description is fine, brocades can be 'ripply, embossed looking', so its a kind of spongy heavier feel - (some can be thinner smoother). I assume that you plan on dry cleaning the jacket, so no pre treatment is necessary, but do serge the edges as someone else suggested as soon as you cut the pieces out to prevent raveling, it will make you happier in the long run.

          3. WandaJ | | #8

            Thanks for the tip about serging the edges as soon as the pieces are cut; and, yes, I do plan to dry clean the jacket.

          4. user-51823 | | #9

            for those like me without a serger, you can also just machine baste the edges, or better yet, sew down one edge of bias tape along cut edges. once the garment is together, you can whip stich the bias down for a nice finished look.

      2. cynthia2 | | #4

        I don't pretreat the fabrics since I dryclean my brocade items.  I've never tried to wash brocade - don't know whether that would work or not.  I don't interface them either.  The brocades that I've worked with have been heavy enough not to need any additional support or body.  If you've not worked with brocades before, I'd recommend you start with something simple, perhaps a vest.  Rather than use the fashion fabric for a lining, as many patterns suggest, I prefer to use a China silk or other lining fabric since the brocade is so heavy.

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