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Tissue Lame and Taffeta… yuck!

ChrisHaynes | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

Okay, I don’t get here very often… but today I wandered over and read a message from about a month ago here: http://forums.taunton.com/n/mb/message.asp?webtag=tp-gatherings&msg=5234.101  … about tissue taffeta.

I have used that stuff… and I have information on it. 

The first hint:  Avoid it if you can!

It is horrible stuff.  It frays, it gets sucked down through the needle plate and it is just nasty stuff.  Truly, if you need fancy stuff, pay the extra for some decent fabric.  I have seen shiny metallics on a decent knit that is twice the price, but a hundred times easier to use.

But, if you already have the stuff you can get it to work better by fusing it to some sturdier fabric.  I have fused it to knit interfacing or and inexpensive woven.  The trick to fusing it is NOT hit it directly with an iron… but to fuse using a damp (almost wet) pressing cloth.

This is not stuff you can use alone.  I may have at one point used it as a cape, but that required multiple passes over the edges with the sewing maching … I vaguely remember edging it with bias tape only to have it pull off (this summer I got a serger, but I have not used it with the tissue, so I don’t know if it would work better).

Attached is a (low quality) photo of a knight costume I made for an auction a couple of years ago.  The stuff is layered, including some quilting for more bulk.  I even embroidered on it… but a small piece that I sewed on later.



  1. sherryv | | #1

    Chris, this is a great costume!  I can't think of when I might be tempted by tissue lame`, but will definitely keep your advice in mind - sounds like a real pain.  Thanks for the pic :)

    1. SewinMari | | #2

      Very cool costume --- The metallic fabric paint is very cool these days.  I think I'd almost use a textred black knit for the sleeves and silver sponge it.  I think sometimes we get stuck looking for the right fabric look.  I am having to develope skills to change the look of fabric so that I don't spend so much frustrating time looking and looking and looking .... and then getting the wrong color.

  2. mrsdwight | | #3

    My daughters loved tissue lame for quick and bright dresses and tops for dances. It was inexpensive enough to make something new, often.

    I used a straight stitch throat plate, french seams and/or fray check and everything worked really well. It seems, now, that we probably did line things and used bindings at the neck edges. We also washed by hand. The girls got lots of use from their finery.

  3. user-51823 | | #4

    it's been a while since i used any, but as i recall, using a ball point needle worked. as with stretch knits, it shoved aside the mylar fibers, rather than hitting them head on and causing them to strech down below the plate like a bungee cord.
    another thing i do when working on difficult sheers is to sew as many seams as possible (usually, easy straight seams) before cutting them out. i use transfer paper to mark the whole seam line onto the fabric, and cut them out roughly, with inches of extra margin beyond the seam allowance. this helps cut down distortion and fraying. after sewing first seam, trim, fold, and do a french seam.

    Edited 10/25/2006 3:41 am ET by msm-s

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