Woven fabrics are delightful when used in quilts. They provide extra texture and tend to be soft, cuddly, and drape well. While they do present a few challenges, it’s not difficult to incorporate wovens into quilt projects.
Wovens are fabrics whose designs are created by weaving differently colored threads together, creating sumptuous texture that appears the same or similar on both sides. On the other hand, typical quilting cottons (“prints”) get their designs from being printed on one side, giving them right and wrong sides.
Chambray, lightweight denim, linen-look cotton, linen, homespun, and woven cottons all work beautifully in quilts. Plus, they mix nicely with prints. Several quilt designers discuss how and why they use wovens in the following article from Moda fabrics.
While wovens can have a bit looser weave and therefore be a bit “stretchier” and fray more easily, both can be dealt with by generous starching and mindful handling. The following article by Ali Phillips from Arabesque blog provides helpful insights for working with wovens.
One important point Ali makes that you’ll want to remember is:
“After you’ve cut it up, handle it as least as possible. Pay attention and when you see a thread coming away from the edge, resist the urge to just pull if off.
You possibly can, but before you yank it away, have a closer look at how much is connected to it, as you need to preserve your seam allowance as much as possible.”
She goes on to say:
“Pay attention to the edge of the woven fabric, especially if it’s lost some of it’s threads parallel to the seam.
You’ll need to remember that your 1/4″ seam allowance starts from the edge of the perpendicular threads, not from the parallel threads.”
Be sure to read the full article for other important info.
“Scrappy Happy Baskets” by Corey Yoder was made from both wovens and prints. Get the pattern here.
Corey Yoder from Coriander Quilts loves working with wovens. She provides helpful insights in the following video. Or read her article here for a written overview.
Click here to watch the video at YouTube if it doesn’t play on your device.
Since wovens have become increasingly popular with quilt designers, some now design woven fabric lines that complement their print lines. This makes color coordination super easy.
You’ll find a nice selection of woven for use in quilt-making here.
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