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Washing dupioni silk

bss7 | Posted in General Discussion on

I am making a pair of pants out of dupioni silk.   I plan to interline them, so can I wash the dupioni before I sew?    I understand there could be some shrinkage, so if I plan to handwash these pants, I am assuming I could preshrink.    People tell me dupioni looses some of its character after washing.


  1. solosmocker | | #1

    Your dupioni will lose its crispness and become quite soft. It can also fade a teeny bit. I have washed and not washed it. It depended on the garment. For a pair of pants I would not wash it. I would have them drycleaned. I think the stress of wear areas of the pants combined with washing will make this very ravelly fabric not last too long. I would not wash, underline with silk organza, hong kong finish the seams and enjoy a gorgeous pair of pants.

    Edited 2/15/2008 8:06 pm ET by solosmocker

    1. objector1 | | #2

      What is a hong kong finish?

      1. solosmocker | | #3

        Its a lovely seam finish used when a lining isn't used. It consists of all the cut edges being bound with bias strips of fabric. For fun they can be contrasting or can match. It really is simple to do and gives a very professional touch. A Google should bring up lots of directions. You could also do a search on this board or Pattern Review.

        1. ladybug43 | | #4

          I'm a beginning sewer as far as fine garment finishes are concerned, though I'm familiar with the Hong Kong finish for seams. Would serging the edges of the seams be just as good as far as wear is concerned, or is that just too tacky? <smile>

          1. objector1 | | #5

            So I guess the Hong Kong seam is very similar to the French Seam, which is sewn twice with all the edges enclosed in the seam.  I do this on lots of things,  But I also use my serger.



          2. cafms | | #6

            The Hong Kong seam finish and the French seam are totally different.  The Hong Kong seam finish is just that - a finish of the raw edge of the exposed seam allowance on a seam already completed.  A French seam is a self-enclosed seam technique. 

            The Home Sewing Association has some very nice instructions on a variety of topics at http://www.sewing.org/educator/html/ed_guidelines.html

            Here are the instructions for doing the Hong Kong seam finish http://www.sewing.org/files/guidelines/11_340_bound_hong_kong_seam_finishes.pdf 

            Here are the instructions for the French seam.  You will need to go down towards the bottom of the first page.  http://www.sewing.org/files/guidelines/11_230_seam_finishes_2.pdf

            I like to use the Hong Kong seam finish on jackets that I don't line. I use interesting fabric or colors to give the inside of the jacket a little something extra if it comes open or I take it off and the inside can be seen.

          3. MaryinColorado | | #7

            Seam finishes are a matter of preference unless you are hoping to make them for sale, that's my two cents worth.  I serge finish most of my garments, preferably with a two thread wide overlock so there is not too much bulk or show through and so the seams lie flat.  I rarely use the Hong Kong or French seam techniques but it is good to learn them for "specialty items" or to sell.  But lining, interlining, and interfacing seem more important to me.  (Sometimes, serged seams look beautiful on the outside such as with heirloom serging and flatlock embellishment so I think of serging as able to produce quality results.)

          4. solosmocker | | #8

            Not to confuse things, but there is a wonderful technique called flat lining that you could do for these pants. The organza underlining would be cut larger than the fashion fabric on all vertical seams. Then, right sides together, the organza is sewn to the fashion fabric pattern pieces on all vertical seams only, as in the legs. You then turn this right sides out and the organza wraps around the cut edges of the fashion fabric, automatically giving you the Hong Kong finish without the fussy effort. You then proceed to make your pants as usual. I learned this technique many years ago from an old Threads, maybe ten years ago. A search of the index and "flatlining" might bring it up. I forget the exact additional width to cut recommended but would think 5/8 extra would give you a 1/4 inch wrap with a tiny turn of the cloth. I love this technique for pants. I recently left my camera at my daughters some states away, otherwise I would gladly show you pictures of the technique. Good luck with whatever you decide. Perhaps others here can shed some light on flatlining as well. solo

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