Thursday, December 6, 2012

A Little Corduroy Tutorial

A little tutorial about cutting out corduroy. Corduroy has surface texture which is referred to as the "nap."   If you run your hand along the fabric in one direction it will feel like you are stroking a cat.  If you run your hand in the other direction it will feel like your are rubbing the cat in the wrong direction.  If the top of the pattern pieces don't all face in the same direction the garment will look like it is made out of different color fabrics.  I was taught to have the nap running down and just assumed that was a sewing rule.  I was recently looking through a sewing book published in 1964 which stated that the nap of the fabric should run up so that the fabric will have a deeper color.  So just like that, I found that there is not a set rule and we can do what whichever we prefer!  

A few days later I was getting ready to cut out red corduroy for a Christmas outfit and was not totally happy with the color.  The red just wasn't quite red enough.  Fortunately I remembered that there is no longer a "nap rule" and when I turned the pattern pieces in the other direction, the fabric was a deeper red and did not look as washed out.   I often tell my students that there are few right or wrongs in sewing, but many different ways to do things.  This time that saying worked to my advantage. :)

Which direction were you taught for the nap of the fabric to run?



Arlene G said...

I never worked with corduroy for that reason Michie. I was always afraid I would make a mistake!!

Lori R. said...

I was taught the same as you, the nap running down. This year I ended up doing the same thing with my nieces xmas dresses. The red just wasn't red enough, but was red enough with the nap running up. I did the same as you and turned the whole thing around. The dresses turned out beautiful.

Mary O said...

I have been sewing for about 60 years, and was taught (by my Mom) to have the nap running up, for the very reason you mention - a richer colour. I have just recently finished smocking a red pinwale corduroy top for my granddaughter, and I made sure the nap was running up. It turned out lovely!

Jules said...

I was taught to have the nap running down. I learned the hard way too that there is a nap as I cut a pair of trousers out fronts with the nap one direction, backs the other, so from the side they looked different colours! I was only about 12 at the time and I wore them as a fashion staement. The following year a major store in the Uk had jeans made that way for sale-did I start the trend!!

TerriSue said...

I have always cut corduroy out nap going down. I think from now on I'm just going to look to see which way looks the best. My mother always called cordless and mini cord corduroy "poor mans velvet". Has anyone else heard that term? I love to use it for baby and childrens clothes. Like my mother used to do, sometimes I dress it up quite a bit.

Lori R. said...

Hi Terri Sue
My grandma would occasionally refer to corduroy as "poor man's velvet", so consequently my mom would too. I have just told my daughter(26 yrs) that it could bejust like velveteen. I just wanted it to sound "better". I guess I would like everyone to be "rich".

Anonymous said...

My mom and her mom, Nannie, taught us to always have the nap running down. Why? Because when you sat down, you would smooth your dress under you and it would feel best to the touch, as well as look better.

Cos616 said...

I was taught to cut with the nap running up. The reason, my instructor said, was because you looked into the pile and the fabric would look plusher and more vibrant.


Related Posts with Thumbnails