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Fabric for a vest back

pins13 | Posted in General Discussion on


Question — I have knitted a front of a vest and want to use fabric for the back and and the lining of the back only.

The yarns for the front are a beautiful combination of wool and silk in a mix of dark gray, light gray, black, and shots of teal and off white.

I am having a hard time finding fabric — I am looking for something lightweight in  a silk dupoini or silk twill.

I tried to use a rayon lining fabric but it just looked terrible when I washed and dried it.

Does anyone have any suggestions on fabric or techniques I should consider?

Thanks in advance for the comments.


  1. Josefly | | #1

    That sounds like a beautiful vest you've knitted. Have you tried looking for the silk dupioni or twill in a home decorating fabric store or department? They may have colors you're looking for. I would wash the dupioni first to soften it somewhat, though you may prefer the crisper finish.

    What type of rayon did you try for the lining? Was it Ambiance (brand name for bemburg rayon), which is a nice weight rayon lining fabric? A lightweight China silk or habotai silk would make a good lining fabric, and can be bought for about the same price as the Ambiance. Since you need so little fabric for the vest back, though, you might consider self-lining with the dupioni or twill.

    You can find silks, including dupioni, twill, and habotai, online at:


    but these silks are mostly white, for dyeing. You didn't say what color(s) you would be interested in.

    Edited 12/1/2008 3:55 pm ET by Josefly

    1. pins13 | | #3


      I used Ambiance lining and it wrinkled and did not iron well.

      The color I am looking for is gray -- maybe charcoal or pewter.

      I have looked in Joanne's and Hancock and at least one one home decorating store that carries a large selection of silk but not luck.

      So online I will have to go -- I am liking the duponi more but finding just the right shade of gray is the problem.

      Thanks for you help.

      1. Josefly | | #5

        Hmm. Some of the online fabric suppliers are good about matching things for you, and/or sending you swatches. Could you send some of your yarn for them to try to match? Or if the Ambiance was the right color, maybe a swatch of that? Might be quicker just to get them to send you some swatches to select from. I would definitely call the shops and speak to someone in person about what you're looking for. Mary Jo's Cloth Store in NC will be very helpful; they have been with me, and when they shipped to me in GA I received the package quickly. Contact info: http://www.maryjos.com/This is not the only place that will help you in this way, just one I've had experience with. Good luck.

        1. pins13 | | #7

          Mary Jo's is just 3 hours from me -- I might drive down for a visit.



          1. Josefly | | #11

            They're worth a trip, if you've got the time and want to increase your stash, especially. I enjoyed the couple of hours I spent there. It can be a little overwhelming, since there's so much to choose from. Still, it's quite a way to drive for only one fabric, and you know how it is when you're looking for something in particular - that may be the one thing they don't have. I would still call them, I think, and describe what you're looking for and how you plan to use it. They'll check the floor and get back with you to let you know what's available, colors, etc., and may have suggestions you haven't considered.

          2. pins13 | | #12


      2. KharminJ | | #8

        Did you check the "Flat Folds", "Red Tag" or "Clearance" sections, too, or just the silks and linings? I know that at JoAnn's there's often some verrrry interesting stuff back there - that's never been in their regular stock. They buy it from jobbers, like many discount bookstores do with Remainders.Another thought, from another thread I was just reading - maybe you could find the right color and hand of fabric in a resale shop garment. It might entail a major "hunt", but if you shop at them anyway ... !
        <p> Sorry, Katina ~ I didn't realize you'd just made that suggestion!

        Good luck, and happy hunting - wherever you go! Kharmin

        Edited 12/4/2008 1:48 am ET by KharminJ

        1. katina | | #9

          No need for sorry, Kharmin. I so miss thrift shops here in Europe. There are a very few (at least in my neck of the woods) but they're just not the same at all.


          1. KharminJ | | #13

            Ouch! I can't imagine that - no thrift shops! Owwie! But where DO the creative and/or underfunded shop? What is "your neck of the woods" these days ~ you may have mentioned, but I don't remember. Bright Blessings and Happy Winter Holidays of Your Choice!Kharmin

          2. katina | | #14

            Mostly in Austria - close to Bregenz on The Bodensee (Lake Constance)


        2. pins13 | | #10



  2. katina | | #2

    Do you want a solid colour for this fabric? I made a similar vest some years ago, although my yarns were brightly coloured. I used a silk tweed for the back - the various colours in it toned perfectly with the knitting. If this interests you, you might find something suitable at a thrift store - in a jacket or skirt. Fabric like this usually washes into a denser hand and this gives it more body.

    Good luck - Katina

    1. pins13 | | #4

      That's a good idea to check the thrift stores -- Thanks!

      1. katina | | #6

        You're welcome!

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