Now we all love ponte knits…they are easy to cut, easy to sew and conform to our bodies and normally the fabric is easy care depending on the content.
Well during my little January break from the brides I bought 3 knits from a famous supplier and pre-shrunk them in cool water and cool dryer. I have been doing this since polyester double knits came out in the late 60’s but never had such a result.
My order was for one yard of each color, two being 59 inches wide and one being 55 inches wide which is just enough to make the leggings I made last year after I added the side panels. So with my knit ironed and flattened out and stacked with the folded edges together I measured length and width.
The grey rayon/nylon/elastane shrunk from 55 inches wide to 52 and from 36 inches in length to 34. The magenta rayon/nylon/spandex shrunk from 36 inches in length to 32 and no shrinkage in width. The hot pink rayon/nylon/spandex shrunk from 36 inches in length to 30 and nothing in the width.
OK, so is this a big deal? How about if you place the paper pattern on top and check out the length for the legs?
Can you see that the pink and magenta leggings will be way shorter? Next time I have a remedy for this but in the meantime I wrote to the owner to point out the shortened fabrics. I did not ask for replacement fabrics or a refund or anything, just that she be aware that this happened from her cutting table or the pre-shrinking. Maybe I never was given the full 36 inches since I did not measure right out of the package (lesson learned!)
Her response was quick:
Thank you for letting us know about the difficulty you’re having with your knit fabrics. Our policy when cutting all of our fabrics, but especially the knits, is to cut an inch more than the yardage ordered to allow the fabric to relax after being unrolled. Our cutting room staff works with the knits very carefully, measuring along both sides at the selvedge to ensure an even cut.We do not have any additional yardage available to send you, and you haven’t asked for that. We have created a gift certificate for you to use on your next order, for $10 off your purchase.
And my response was: I did rinse them in cold water and dry on low setting but it is normal for the pink and/or magenta to shrink 6 inches in 1 yard? If this is a factor maybe this should be stated as a warning so we can buy a little extra allowing for that? If someone ordered say 2 yards for a dress, then it would also shrink 6 inches per yard and you would end up with 12 inches too short…scary isn’t it?
Thank you for the $10 off certificate, you never know what the future holds.
So dear readers, I am warning you about this fabric content:
Rayon/Nylon/Spandex and you may want to order more if you are making something that requires a specific amount and 17% shrinkage is not your bag. Imagine if I had cut the leggings first and then washed them…HOLY WEDGIE! HOLY CAMEL TOE!
Isn’t it wonderful?
Next time I have the completed Katherine Tilton jacket for Nancy ready for her, all lined and looking pretty darn wonderful with over 100 photos taken in the process on my Pinterest page.
With the sewing room back up and running and 15 brides already booked in it feels like another busy season! Happy sewing everyone and remember to measure first and then pre-shrink!