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problem with 25 year old poly fabric

MarieCurie | Posted in General Discussion on

I have some polyester lining fabric my mother gave me.  It’s ivory with a pretty moire pattern.  It’s been folded up in a box for at least 25 years.  I washed and pressed it, and the creases did not come out.  It’s about 2 yards of fabric, and the creases make about 5 inch squares all over.  Does anyone have a method to relax creases from polyester?  I’m using it for my daughter’s pink velevteen winter coat, and if I see the creases on the inside, it will bug me.  On the other hand, my local fabric store is having a sale on lining fabric this week.


  1. blondielou | | #1

    I read somewhere to put half water/half vinegar in a spray bottle and lightly spray it and try ironing it with a press cloth.....  If that helps at all, I think I'd put full strength vinegar directly on the crease with a cotton ball soaked with vinegar. 


    Can you work around the fold at all?  Or put a trim on it in some fashion?  Or a decorative stitch or some type of embroidery?  I always try to look at everything as not a problem but as a decorating opportunity!    I try to think of that spot or pull as a reason to try out some ribbon embroidery or one of the 6 new yo-yo patterns I've bought or one of the numerous pieces of lace I have or the lovely appliques or venise or guipuire pieces I've acquired from Ebay and the LA Fabric District..... 


    I try to "think outside the box" and not be conventional or normal....that is what is so great about sewing.....way beyond the reason most of us learned to sew initially because we were poor as church mice (all my clothes were second hand from my sister that my mother made for her!  So I started to learn to sew at age 10 or thereabouts just so I'd have what I could call my own!)  I now could buy clothes cheaper through sales, QVC, HSN, Ebay, online and catalogs as I am very good at waiting and buying when the time is right but if I can sew it and have it fit me and be perfect for my coloring and my lifestyle and I can have "bragging rights" that I made it....I sure in you know what am going to make it!


    Diet Pepsi, ballroom dancing, my adorable cat, my 3rd husband & hugging and sewing/creating/decorating are my life and my addictions and I am proud that I have set up my sewing area with all the latest gadgets and decent machines (though I don't have the embroidery machine yet; I do have a great serger in the Babylock Imagine Wave and I have a workhorse with the old Viking 990 and a decent Euro-Pro 9105) I have all the things I could want and need to do the best job possible......


    Good luck with your line!



  2. sewelegant | | #2

    I would run, not walk, to that fabric shop sale!  I have not priced polyester lining fabric in a while, but I can't believe it would be formidable.  It's hard to be proud of something you know is flawed enough to see.  I have made several coats in my sewing past and would never have wanted to make do with 25 year old fabric because age does not treat fabric with kindness and the lining always wears out before the coat does even when it is new.

    1. MarieCurie | | #5

      I did indeed run to my fabric store yesterday for two yards of pink lining fabric.  I agree that to make a future heirloom for my daughter, I should not start with antique fabric.  I still have to quilt the lining fabric to the fleece interlining fabric.  Lots of steps to make this coat, and no time to myself--two small children--to sew.

  3. Digi | | #3

    If you were determined to use the fabric that your mother gave to you for sentimental reasons, how about sewing a decorative stitch with a lovely rayon (and washable) thread on top of all the "folds".  You could use either a thread that matches your fabric or a contrasting one that either matches, or coordinates with, the outer fabric of the coat. 

    As for the white vinegar suggestion: I've heard that works quite nicely too, and the "run to your fabric store sale" was also a viable suggestion.  Either way, it looks like you've got some ideas to either use ...or jump from to a solution that will work for you.  Good luck!

    1. MarieCurie | | #6

      Luckily I have no sentimental attatchment to fabric.  I have a very strong purge instinct--a result of inumerable military moves.  In other words, if I haven't used it since the last move, out it goes.  I dont' want to have to unpack it again and find a place to store it. 

      1. blondielou | | #8

        I'm a miltary "brat" myself, then married first time to a military guy, then the second one to a civil servant who worked for the Air Force, and then the Navy .....I say I am glad that I have accumulated the patterns and fabric I have as I rarely see anything I like out there for a decent price as pretty.....I still buy patterns when on sale for 99 cents or $1.99 to $4.00 and will make clothes of patterns new or even 10 years old....just depends on what I am looking for.....


        I have gven away some of my patterns to my neice who is taking fashion in college.....I inspired her I think with with all the ornate dance outfits I would stop by on Friday nights before the dance to show them that I made....nothing anyone else was wearing, that is for sure.....people would always stop and stare when I walked down the street....all the sequins, rhinestones, lace, feather boas (bottom hem) made for very flashy outfits....



  4. damascusannie | | #4

    I've used drastic measures with some success. Thoroughly wet the fabric--soak in the washer and spin it out. Now press it. I use a muslin pressing cloth and a hot iron. I've never had the creases resist this treatment!

  5. Teaf5 | | #7

    I'm glad that you bought new lining for a new coat, but I'd hate to see a good piece of fabric go to waste-- did you try tumbling it in a med-hot dryer? Polyester is actually plastic, and you'd be surprised how quickly poly will re-form when tumbled with a few old towels.

    If you don't use it for a garment, you could always use it for decorative pillow forms/liners, play-time dress-up clothes, or Halloween costumes!

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