Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Offgrain Twill

If you are a quilter, you can stop reading here.

Fabric is not paper. It has a weave and a direction that it wants to return to. If you need more information on this matter, this link should address the matter reasonably well. 

What they don't address is that grain will resolve itself. It will, over time, straighten out. Cut a napkin offgrain and watch it turn from a square into a rhombus in one washing. If you've ever owned a tshirt, it will twist in time.  The grain will win out. Fiber has a memory.

I will spare you my ranty thoughts about not prewashing and not graining up first. If you don't do it, you are heading for trouble. Yes, I am a ripper: I rip as little as possible at the ends to find the weft grain, and then fuss over lining it up on the cutting board. Like the first photo here (the white at the right is the selvage, and it is straight, just not ironed out all the way).

It's so... Exterminatey! And bowed. Dalek don't bow to nobody!

I have wanted to make my designs out of my fabric, partly to avoid copyright matters and partly artistic desire, so Spoonflower seemed a pricey but possible source.

Sample of header of fabric #1. Ripped on the weft to determine grain

I have had significant crocking (that's where the ink rubs off) on almost all of my cotton Spoonflower fabric. They are in the process of changing their printing tech, so this is hit and miss.  The silk and the linen hold ink well, the old kona and poplin not so much. The sateen holds ink very nicely; I would recommend this option for clothing (also not as transparent as the other cottons).  The crocking is particularly bad with dark fabrics with large solid areas. It has nothing to do with the other things in the washer, it rubs against itself in that pillowcase. The polyesters hold color brilliantly, if you like polyesters...
Attempt #2

Attempt #3

I also wanted this fabric. Really really wanted it. Dalek fabric. I was going to make myself something out of it, and then it turned into a project for someone else. And then a paid project.

I have three two yard pieces here, a horizontal striped pattern, all printed off grain (looks like the center of the yardage pulled faster, the stripe is bowed by about an inch from side to side). The troubling part is: I sent photos of the problem with the first piece, got a "Oh No! Let's fix this!" mail, and got a reprint that would be personally attended to. I got two reprints Fed'ex two day delivery today, and I didn't even need to wash them; they are printed off grain even more than the first. And then it hit me:the fabric is so heavily sized it cannot be squared up until you wash it, and then it grains up. And you know what that looks like.

To Spoonflower's credit, they have bent over backwards to try to fix this matter. I was offered a credit, which was swiftly processed. The matter has been forwarded to the R&D department, and I am sure I will hear from them. It's been nothing but sterling service (and I do this sort of thing in the offseason, so I KNOW what that means).

It would work for a random print, with nothing that had to be square. But for this, utter fail. I am guessing it's the twill; the lighter weights have been ...well, crocked but fine.

So, if you never wash your fabric, the twill is fine. Strictly for decor use only at this point.

They do sell wallpaper. And decals.

Meanwhile, I have a lot of twill. 

1 comment:

  1. I have not heard back from Spoonflower regarding the grain issue as of this writing.


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