Monthly Archives: May 2017

  • SEERSUCKER SEASON

    Hooray! It's May! (Although in London it's been more like winter coat weather this week but the sun can't be that far away now, surely?!) so we can really turn our thoughts to sewing spring/summer garments...

    We're very much enjoying our recent acquisition of beautiful Japanese cotton seersucker, which is an ideal fabric for warmer weather. Genuine seersucker is woven in such a way that some of the threads are more bunched together, which gives the fabric distinctive puckered stripes with alternating smooth ones. These wrinkles allow it to circulate more air when worn, and also mean it doesn't need to be ironed which is a real bonus for summer garments :-)

    Genuine seersucker takes longer to weave than normal cotton because of the slack-tension process, so can be a high-cost item. There are some fabrics which are not 'true' seersuckers and have been artificially puckered but these can lose their texture when pressed, so beware!

    Seersucker gets its name from the Persian words 'sheer' and 'shakar', meaning milk and sugar. It is believed the smooth stripes are the milk, and the bumpy stripes the sugar!

    Seersucker was popular in India during the British colonial period, and was introduced to the United States where it was used in a range of clothing items, including uniforms, in the hot South. There is even a Seersucker day in June, where members of the US Congress all wear suits made from this fabric!

    This firmly woven material is often made in striped patterns - blue and white being a classic - but can also be checked, patterned or even plain colours, like our current stock.

    Seersucker looks the same on both sides, doesn't crease easily, doesn't need to be pressed, is difficult to tear and washes really well. It is more often than not made from cotton, but can also be made of rayon or silk.

    Some things to remember:

    • We would recommend prewashing your cotton seersucker as it does have a tendency to shrink.
    • Use sew-in interfacing if required, rather than iron-on, to preserve the characteristic wrinkles.
    • Cotton Seersucker is ideal for summer suits, shirts, trousers, shorts, blouses and these gorgeous kimonos pictured above. And it can even be used to make cool bedding, pillowcases and quilts.

    Take a look at our collection and plan your project now...

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