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Underlining

Deeom's picture

Underlining (post #25287)

I need help to understand underlining.  I know what it is, how to do it, but I don't know when I can use it and when it is not a good idea.  It changes the "drape" of a fabric which I want to do, but is it practical on an item that will be machine washed?  I have some silk knit that was given to me.  It is not as heavy as I would like on a knit top.  It has two way stretch - a little one way and more the other.   Can I underline it?  What should I use?  Is another knit a good choice?  If the original fabric is silk, should I use silk knit to underline it?  Sure would like your input on this subject.  Deeom

Qeteshu's picture

(post #25287, reply #1 of 4)

I have never underlined a knit garment but I'm sure it can be done. The last thing I underlined was a dress. I underlined everything but the sleeves because the outer fabric was and eyelet and would have been too see through by itself. I have noticed that when you wash (and tumble dry if possible) underlined garments that it REALLY cuts down on wrinkles. Underlining gives your outer fabric more weight and substance as well as a very high quality professional look. I would not underline silk in another silk fabric but maybe a "flesh color" lining knit - the underlining will protect your silk from sweat, etc. that is not good for the silk fiber, so I've been told.

DONNAKAYE's picture

(post #25287, reply #2 of 4)

Certainly.  I underline knits all the time.  I'm going to go into my sewing studio for you and pull a book on knits that I refer to all the time and will get back to you later this evening.

DONNAKAYE's picture

(post #25287, reply #3 of 4)

Here are your three best choices, according to Connie Long (Sewing With Knits): Easy Knit, Fusi Knit, or So Sheer (tricot interfacings).  "For maximum results, use tricot interfacings sideways so that they stretch lengthwise on the garment.  This way you can allow for some lengthwise stretch yet limit crosswise stretch in the garment neckline.  Hems are different; here it is best to cut the interfacing so that it stretches around the body just like the fashion fabric. Interfacing hems reduces curling in the fabric and improves the quality of your topstitching."  "So Sheer is nice to use when you need a very lightweight interfacing.  Like other tricots, So Sheer stretches crosswise and not lengthwise, but it is semisheer.  This makes it inconspicuous on lightweight knits and pastel colors, but it is also fine to use on opaque and dark fabrics.  When you want to use the thinnest interfacing possible, use So Sheer instead of Easy Knit or Fusi Knot."


Although Connie's comments pertain primary to interfacing knits, I have used the same advice to underline my knits with success.  Her book may be helpful to you in sewing your knits.  Sewing With Knits: Classic, Stylish Garments from Swimsuits to Eveningwear, by Connie Long.  Taunton Press, 2000.  Taunton Product #070401.  ISBN 1-56158-311-1.  $21.95.

Deeom's picture

(post #25287, reply #4 of 4)

Thank you for the info.  You're so good to me and lots of other gals on this list.  After my post, I was convinced that I really wanted to underline the fabric in the blouse I am making.  I usually learn the hard way and I learned a lesson this time too.  I figured that using the basting adhesive that I purchased to use in putting a quilt together would save time in keeping the two fabrics together.  WRONG!!!  The two pieces of fabric acted like duct tape when you get it all tangled.  It really stuck to the wrong places.  It took me about 5 times as long to get those two fabrics together than it would have been to actually baste every single inch of the edges together.  All I can say is live and learn.  Either that or cry a little.  Next time I'll ask the really knowledgeable people here before I try something so dumb.  Deeom  P.S.  I didn't really cry, I just wanted to do so.