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Submitted by nancyweaver on Wed, 09/18/2013 - 13:31
Hello! Can anyone suggest a good way to weave the hems? I am first trying an edge woven with sewing thread to fold under. Is there a better/attractive way? Thanks!
Using a finer yarn, and then turning under works well and sewing works well. You don't have to go as fine as sewing thread.
Another question! My sample 8/2 towel came out of the wash wrinkled. I don't mind that for myself, but not sure I'd want to give it as a gift if it needs pressing. Or is there a way to avoid wrinkles? Thanks!
Are they still there after pressing? I generally dry until damp in the dryer, then give the towels a hard press to 'finish' them.
Am I better off hand stitching my hems since I don't have a walking foot on my sewing machine?
I have done both. If I really love the way the towel came out, I will carefully iron (somethings using this to keep the hem in place), and then hand stitch. My machine stitched dish towels (and I still iron with the steam-a-seam) are completed more quickly, but I am generally not as happy with them.
Uh, wrinkles are not ok and most handwoven fabrics will need pressing at some juncture. It might be in order to take some pride in your work - ironing is not going to kill somebody. Nice looking fabric does require a little care.
Queezle, the fusable web that you used may be why you didn't like the machine stitched towels. Fusables tend to stiffen the material. I press the hems on mine before stitching and do not pin or fuse before machine stitching. I do 30-40 at a time, so hand stitching is not really an option; and my towels are designed to be used in the kitchen. Hand stitching can be lovely, but machine is more durable.
I would prefere to machine hem. Unfortunately the last towels I hemmed by machine,the hem tried to bunch up as sewed. Is their a trick to getting a smooth even hem, other than using a walking foot? They are rather expensive!!
What I do is hold both ends of the hem to keep it taut while I sew it. You can get a walking foot attachment that is not expensive. I do have walking feet on my machines (I like Pfaffs), but I do a lot of sewing.
Rughooker, what kind of mandril does your sewing machine have for the feet? I have an old Kenmore, built like a tank. It was grandmothers and when she bought it , it had a 25 year warranty. But anyway, I got a whole case full of attachments off Amazon for cheap. It has a walking foot that slides on the mandril with an arm that goes on the need mechanism that gives it the walking motion as the needle moves. The case of feet also has a snap on adaptor for all the other feet. If recall it has 13 other feet. It did not have a band name (except CY-015 on the literature), but it was toted to fit a lot of brands of machines. I have used the walking foot and it works great. I use a serger to and I have a dial that changes the feed on it.
Depending on the article, sometimes gathering is reqired when sewing. If you do waffle weave and sew the hems flat, by hand or otherwise the ends are going to flare a lot. Puckering it a bit keeps the waffles from being pressed flat. You don't want flat waffles and plain weave on waffle hems is a big no no. ;)
I keep seeing cotton waffle mats and such being sold online with plain weave hems. Those mats are not wet finished articles and when they get washed the buyer is not going to be impressed.
The walking foot attachment that Reed Guy mentioned is what I have on my1951 Pfaff (before walking feet on domestic machines), and it works very well. Once you get used to using one, a regular foot is troublesome.
Generally wrinkles are not caused by washing but by spinning! In Germany we call it "Schleuderbruch" what means "spinningcracks".
I let my fabrics soak overnight, wash them gently in the machine without spinning and let them dry outside at a shadowy place!
Give it a chance!
One way that I like is to stitch the first fold of the hem along the edge. Then fold again and hand stitch down. It makes a nice flat edge. I suppose you might also do a small zig zag along the edge for the second stitching.