General Sewing

Pre-treating knits. (HELP!)

It seems like every time I pre-treat a knit, the fabric grain (or the equivalent in a knit) becomes distorted or “off”.  They are perfectly fine when they arrive, but after I follow the instructions (always on gentle, no spin), the selvedges are no guide.

Take this knit velvet, with cutout diamonds:



As you can see from the two photos (black, sorry, hard to photograph), the cutout and grain are at an angle to the selvedges.  I laid the fabric on the floor as best I could with the “straight” grain parallel to the lines in the hardwood floor (but not perfectly).

I really like this fabric.   What do I do with it?

And, I’m no longer pre-washing knits.  I’m obviously doing something wrong. (This happens no matter the vendor.)

6 replies on “Pre-treating knits. (HELP!)”

I prewash all – repeat all – fabrics. It reveals flaws in manufacture that don’t show until a proper wash and dry. Imagine this happening to a garment that’s already constructed! It’s an instant wadder.
Most of the time, I ignore the crosswise grain of the knit and go with the length of the goods. This guarantees that my garment will hang as intended, whether the knit grain is paraIlel to the floor or not. Hundreds of garments later, this has proven to be a good technique.
I do, however, have big problems with stripes and other patterns that follow the crosswise knit. If I attempt the make the stripes parallel to the floor, the fabric is horribly distorted. The only solution I’ve found so far is to use asymmetrical patterns.

Thanks! I agree about the prewash/pretreat all. I remember working with a flannel wool that I did not pre-shrink… and the horrible shrinking I got while pressing seams … wadder!

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