09 December 2012

Stretch vs. Non-stretch Linings

I have a lot of wool.  A lot.  Wool sews nicely and is very warm in these cold arctic climates.  But, this fabric is very expensive to clean.  So I decided that I needed some more washable clothes and recently bought a whole bunch of rayon-poly-lycra stretch woven suitings from Fabric Mart.

Their website doesn't mention the percentages of rayon, polyester, or Lycra, but it did state that the fabric had 4-way stretch - which brings me to my dilemma.  Since I plan to make jackets, skirts and pants out of this fabric, I'll want to include a lining.  I see three ways to make this happen, but they all have their pros and cons.

Option 1:  use a non-stretch lining sewn with smaller seam allowances
  • Pros:  I stock up on lining whenever there's a sale or when I have a coupon, so I have plenty on hand.  Plus, my lining is all rayon and breathes/sews very well. 
  • Cons:  It doesn't stretch. I don't know if simply cutting the same pieces and using a smaller seam allowance will help preserve the benefit of the fabric's stretch.
Option 2:  use a stretch polyester charmeuse or satin as lining
  • Pros:  It stretches and is readily available.
  • Cons:  It's polyester.  What can I say?  I'm a fabric snob when it comes to linings. 
Option 3:   use a non-stretch lining cut on the bias
  •  Pros:   I'll have comparable stretch.
  • Cons:  I'm not sure how the bias will behave in the long run.  Will it hang correctly with the rest of the garment?
What are your thoughts?  Have you lined stretch wovens before?  The fact that this fabric has both crosswise and lengthwise stretch is a bit of a concern.  Though it appears to have good recovery, I wonder how the knee and seat area will look after a full day of wear.  Hmm...



  1. You could also use "Tricot", I believe it's a nylon stretch that is mostly preferred to use with knits.

  2. You lost me at option #1....

    I was planning on making a skirt for an event in January. I know that the fabric has some stretch, but I have a poly lining.

    So, glad you posted this - just in time, to stop me from making another oops.... I got enough of those already! LOL!

  3. I have not ever made lined knit clothing, but I have worn some. Those I remember were lined with a lightweight knit stretchy tricot mesh. This is not the same as a tricot which is usually used for slips (lingerie) and does not stretch much at all.

  4. Myra & Mary: Thanks for the comments. The fabric that I have isn't a knit, it's a stretch woven. I have some knit tricot, but I don't think it will work with this fabric.

    Audrey: In option 1, I'm thinking of cutting out the lining pieces with the non-stretch lining and using 3/8" seam allowances instead of 5/8". This way, The lining has more room and the shell fabric isn't inhibited by the lack of stretch in the lining. I don't know if this will work or not, though.

  5. I'm lost on this one too, but tricot was the first thing that come to my mine also.

    1. I'm definitely still thinking about what to do. I'll keep you posted!

  6. IMO, if you're going to use a stretchy knit, you'll need a stretchy lining. A woven lining cut from the same pattern as the knit outer fabric is going to be tight. Lining with a woven is defeating the purpose of the knit fabric.

    1. I totally agree. However, the fabric isn't knit, it's a stretch woven with about 20% stretch across the grain. The search is still on for a solution!


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