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Sharkskin fabric

NansiM | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

Does anyone have any experience/words of wisdom on working with sharkskin fabric.  I believe it’s a silk (client brought it to me). I’m finding it to be very wrinkle-prone as well as lots of fraying.  I’m doing and Oriental dress; straight skirt, fitted bodice, slant opening from c.front neck to armhole princess seam to be held with frogs or ball button/ loop closure.  Any special pressing techniques, also?  It seems to press well-nice flat seams- but wrinkles right up again when I go to do the next step during construction.  I’m lining with Ambiance.

Thanks for any input



  1. NansiM | | #1

    No thoughts on this one??

    1. GhillieC | | #2

      I found this definition of sharkskin:

      "sharkskin: High quality worsted suiting fabric with a smooth, sleek face and slightly iridescent sheen resembling the skin of a shark. Made with a twill weave and yarns of alternating colors, usually a lighter color with a darker one. It may be plain or woven with fancy patterns such as stripes, plaids, birds eye, windowpanes or nail heads."

      I wonder if it is a pure silk as I don't think silk would wrinkle up after ironing as yours appears to be doing. Does it build up a lot of static? Perhaps it is a synthetic or a mixture. You could try stitching rather loosely to see if that helped, or underlining with silk organza to stabilise it. Also you could leave each pressed seam on the board until it is quite cold and dry before moving it. Very tiresome I know, especially as you are a professional.

      Actually this fabric sounds really difficult to work with. I should discourage your client from ever using it again!


      1. NansiM | | #3

        Thanks Ghillie,

         I actually had  client here yesterday for a fitting.  It looked very nice and the ambiance lining seems to have helped the wrinkle department.  I had her sit down both to check for wrinkles and to be sure it was not tooo tight across the hips.  It wasn't and did not leave creases when she stood back up, so I guess we'll be OK.  i do think it a pure silk-behaves most like a light to med. weight taffeta and I did not find any static as you mentioned.

           It's been an interesting project.  The color is gold with a fuschia undertone; depends which way you use the fabric regarding both "nap" and right/wrong side.  Lots to think about as the dressmaker/designer.

        Thanks again,


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