I have so much to learn concerning different types of fabrics.
My red feather fabric arrived today from Gorgeous Fabrics, and I was both pleased and surprised at what I found inside the box. Ordering fabrics online is always a bit of a challenge and ultimately a surprise for me because once they arrive I get to finally feel the fabric, and it never seems to be quite what I expected.
This one was called a “crepe de chine,” and made of “polyester/acetate.” In my mind, crepe de chine was defined as an inexpensive version of silk/satin. I guess I was imagining something with a tad more body, but with excellent drape. This fabric is all drape. AND, it is exactly the same feel as a fabric I already have. Enter the plastic bag fabric pictured below.
This blouse is made from a fabric I purchased from my local fabric store. I love my local fabric store. The owner is very friendly and helpful, and her prices are excellent. I believe I paid $5 or $6/yard for this gray fabric. (The red feather fabric was $10/yd plus nearly $10 for shipping). Unfortunately, a lot of the fabric in the store is not labeled, so I have to ask the proprietor what the material is and how to care for it. I was told this gray fabric was made from recycled plastic bags, and to machine wash and dry. I was totally intrigued and feeling so green with my “recycled” fabric choice.
After making the pussy bow blouse, I found the gray fabric doesn’t wrinkle or hold a crease, making it a bit difficult to work with but awesome to wash and wear (I tend to leave wrinkled clothes hanging in the closet for months before I get around to ironing). It is comfortable, but I believe it to be rather delicate–pins leave visible holes, and the threads are easily distorted if stretched or pulled on. With the arrival of the red fabric, I am quite confident the gray fabric is also polyester/acetate. And thanks to experience, I have a better idea of how to handle the red fabric.
eHow.com describes acetate as derived from natural sources (not plastic bags). Acetate can react (melt) if it comes into contact with nail polish remover or alcohol! Dry cleaning is recommended. Polyester is made from petroleum byproducts, and it is heat sensitive. Plastic bags can also be made from petroleum, so perhaps it is possible that my gray fabric is made from recycled plastic bags after all.
At least now I have a better idea of what I’ll get when ordering “crepe de chine” or “polyester/acetate.”
The red feather fabric is destined to be a dress sooner than later–two of my good friends got engaged last week, and me thinks I need a new dress for their wedding :)