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underlining silk

moira | Posted in General Discussion on

I’m soon to begin a mother-of-the-bride dress and jacket in beautiful raw silk. I’ve bought silk organza to underline it and hope this will reduce creasing. I haven’t done a whole lot of underlining and wonder if this is the best fabric to use for the purpose.


  1. jjgg | | #1

    the purpose of underlining is to support the fashion fabric, enhance or even change the hand of the fabric. So, depending on what you want it for can dictate what you use as an underlining.. Organza is a very light crisp fabric, it won't make the fashion fabric any heavier, but may make it a little crisper, and, organza creases easily. China silk will be softer, more flow-ey, and almost seem as if it's not there. Silk charmeuse will beef up the fabric and still be soft.

    Take samples of different fabrics for an underlining, place them under your fashion fabric and see what they are like, the drape, the weight, the crispness etc and pick the one you want.

  2. fabricmaven | | #2

    I agree with the advice that jjgg gave you. I have worked with silk quite a bit and for me personally I prefer to have garments that I can hand wash. I always hand wash the fabric in shampoo and iron it when it is stiil a little damp. I always under line with cotton batiste. It is as light weight as a handkerchief and seems to prevent wrinkles. I have found it useful to lay cut pattern sections together and iron them again. For some reason silk shantung has the habit of relaxing a bit more in the lengthwise and crosswise directions after it has been cut. That way I am sure that when I baste the two pieces together they are the same. Usually I have to trim a bit of the silk fabric away on the seam edges. I have tried using fusible interfacing in the ususal places on silk when I construct a jacket but am never pleased at the way it looks. I'm no expert just sharing my observations.

  3. alotofstitches | | #3

    I have good results using SILK organza (not poly) for underlining.  I have found because a label says "China Silk" does not mean 100% silk.  there are so many poly imitations of silk and the manufacturers are labeling it silk.

    1. sewingkmulkey | | #5

      Ditto the use of SILK organza!  It's well worth the cost.


      1. moira | | #6

        Thanks to all for responses so far. But now I think I need to get samples of silk charmeuse, cotton batiste and china silk and try them all under the silk fashion fabric - I already bought pure silk organza which I just love, but as well as giving the dress some more 'body', it's also a priority that it shouldn't crease. So ordering those is my next step. I'll let you know what the verdict is.

        1. woodruff | | #7

          thaisilks.com offers a "soft" organza, if you'd like an effect that is less crisp.http://www.thaisilks.com/product_info.php?cPath=1_11&products_id=218&osCsid=r8d010l3h8nulea6osfqa8o1k3I believe Threads Magazine had an article a year or two ago comparing different kinds of organza used as underlining.

          1. moira | | #11

            Thanks for this, but as I'm in the UK, shipping would make this a costly option. I'll see what I can access locally.

        2. dressed2atee | | #8

          When I made my wedding gown, I lined it with "china silk" because it was breathable.  I don't think it will help as far as underlining though.  I don't think it is crisp enough.  Can't wait to hear what worked for you :)

        3. Josefly | | #9

          Since you've already purchased the silk organza, why not wash a sample of it, and see if the hand of it is changed to something softer and less crease-prone?

          1. moira | | #10

            That's a good idea. I've also ordered 10cm each of lightest weight sew-in Vilene, Egyptian cheesecloth and another lightweight fine cotton. I'll try them all out but I feel sure I would also want to launder any of those before using them. I should get them in the post tomorrow or Monday. I agree with you, Fabricmaven, that iron on doesn't give lovely results with silk. Glad of all your ideas - thanks.

            Edited 2/20/2009 2:36 pm ET by moira

          2. Josefly | | #12

            I'm unfamiliar with Vilene, but Google entries seem to indicate it's a water-soluble stabilizer, I suppose like Sulky Solvy stabilizer? I can't imagine that's what you would use for underlining, so maybe Vilene is a brand name? Good luck with your trials for underlining. Do let us know what you choose. I have a silk double-weave (basket-weave) which sounds similar to what you describe, and I'd like to know what works with it. Mine is not a crisp fabric, but not what I would describe as flowy, either. I love the weave; have had it in my stash for some time, waiting for the perfect application, and I'm thinking that will be a short, high-hip length jacket with very simple lines.

          3. moira | | #13

            Vilene is a brand name, and includes many weights of sew-in, iron-on and other products; what I'm going to check out is not water soluble but a very lightweight non-woven interfacing or interlining fabric.The silk isn't 'drapey' at all but I still feel I want to add a little more body to the hand of it, if those terms aren't confusing!

  4. dressed2atee | | #4

    I've also had great results with silk organza, but like the person said beware of imitations. 

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