Jacquard Madness!

At Maison Fauve, the arrival of fabrics was a small revolution. And from the second season, I integrated a fabric into our fabric collections of which I have a real passion: jacquard fabric. These were a magnificent duo of navy blue and glazed brown jacquard, woven in France, that we had chosen for those of you who like to do some end-of-year festive sewing.

I associate jacquard with something precious, linked to a certain know-how, and pieces sewn in jacquard always have a remarkable and special look. I admit I have a soft spot for jacquards woven with lurex, but the play on volume, such as quilting, different types of associated yarn, or even embroidery effects are also very attractive :)

A beautiful jacquard jacket, or even a set, really looks great!

Ispahan Jacket in Jacquard TWIST

Brooklyn trousers in Fauve Party jacquard

What is jacquard?

It is a weaved fabric with threads that can vary in composition and color. It is this alternation of threads and the specific weave that will create a pattern, unlike printed warp and weft fabrics. The weaving and the multiplication of different kinds of threads (cotton, silk, viscose, ribbon insertion, lurex, wool) will give a light or heavier feel in the sophistication of the fabric and in its construction. On light jacquards, for example, the pattern appears in the alternation between shiny and matte yarns. For heavier jacquards, we can have different materials, and also different weaves. We will also be able to see additional effects, by adding fleece to play on the volume. The color is not obtained after weaving, but it is the threads that are dyed before passing on the loom.

Historically, jacquard production reached its peak in France in the Lyon area (where many Maison Fauve jacquards are produced;)) thanks to Joseph Marie Charles (known as Jacquard) who developed the first Jacquard loom in 1801, thus making its industrialisation possible. The jacquard loom works using punched cards that guide hooks that lift the warp threads, allowing patterns to be created.

How to sew the jacquard?

Depending on the material and weight of your fabric, recommendations may vary. But here are some recommended suggestions to follow before sewing your jacquard fabric:

Prepare your jacquard fabric well before sewing

  • Overlock the edges of the width as soon as you receive your fabric and before washing. The weaving of the jacquard will lead to a risk of fraying of the cut edges, weakening your gorgeous fabric.
  • Overlock your pieces before sewing: this step is not always necessary, and it particularly concerns weaves with large diameter threads, and a looser weave. To decide whether to carry out this step, cut a sample and try to undo the threads with your finger. If the threads easily unravel in your hands, an overlocker is mandatory, if not you risk seeing your work fray and being damaged quickly.
  • For certain patterns, in particular the Kika playsuit, it is recommended to heat-seal the parts of the neckline. The jacquard can be heat-sealed without any problem, and the choice of heat-sealing will have to be adapted according to your work: the bottom of the jacket, the collars or the cuffs require stronger heat-sealing than a bustier for example. We generally use Vlieseline G700 for the parts that require hold, and Vlieseline G785 for the parts where we wanted to keep some flexibility.

Always iron your fabric well

The appearance of the jacquard will change after going through the washing machine, the fibers will have been worked during washing and drying. Wash your fabrics by ensuring to respect the washing instructions, and dry them flat (do not leave them in the drum of the machine after washing). Careful ironing (following the temperature recommendations) will restore your jacquard fabric's suppleness and appearance.

Choice of needles

This will be dependent on the fabric. A very thick jacquard with a dense weave requires universal needles of 80 or even 90. A light jacquard like our viscose jacquards, which are more delicate but also finer and more flexible, is sewn with microtex needles so as not to pull the thread.

How do I finish my seams?

If you have already overlocked your pieces, you can leave them as they are. If you want more intricate finishes, you can put a bias across the seam allowance before assembling your pieces (we explain how to do this in this video tutorial). This second solution is preferred if you want to sew a jacquard jacket without adding a lining. We also explain it in this other video with the example of the Metropolis jacket (sew Metropolis without lining)

Choose the right sewing project

What to sew in your beautiful jacquard fabric? Again, it all depends on the material!

Heavy jacquards

Heavy jacquards lend themselves well to jackets but also accessories (a banana  bag in a pretty jacquard) or furnishings (a beautiful hand-sewn cushion in jacquard will look fantastic!).

Sewing pattern: Nage Libre jacket, fabric SWOOP jacquard by Maison Fauve

Pilar jacket in SWOOP jacquard by Maison Fauve

Mid-weight jacquards

A mid-weight jacquard will allow you to sew jackets but also shorts, skirts, provided you choose a pattern with a clean cut. Ruffles, numerous gathers will not be possible. But a nice Kika playsuit, or a set of Grand Bain shorts and a Metropolis jacket will look great!

Our range of tweed-style jacquard will be perfect for summer in a palette of vibrant colors. Woven in France, they are easy to work with and perfect for numerous projects. Discover them on the Mimosa blazer and the Cosmopolitan playsuit/dress. You can also sew a jacket, a pretty short jacket, or shorts in this fabric.

Cosmopolitan Playsuit and detail of Metropolis Jacket in Pastel Jacquard

Mimosa blazer and Cosmopolitan playsuit in Sorbet tweed and Sunrise tweed

Jacquard BOTANICA fabrics (white and navy blue) and Dandelion jacket sewing pattern

LOOP Encre jacquard fabric and Dandelion jacket sewing pattern

Metropolis Jacket and Grand Bain shorts in LOOP jacquard by Maison Fauve

Kika playsuit in TWIST jacquard by Maison Fauve

Fine and light jacquards

They are perfect for all sewing that requires fine and supple fabrics, they will often play on the shine of the threads, thus creating patterns that alternate between matte and shiny. Here the use of the back or the right side will be to your wishes, and you can choose to favor the sophisticated satin or the side whose muted color reveals an elegant pattern avoiding a dull monochrome, and the weaving makes the color shimmer. You can sew dresses, twirling skirts, blouses, even pieces of lingerie or small pajamas or nightdresses. Find this material in the range of Lily viscose jacquards, featuring delicate floral motifs, as well as the Léo jacquards.

Lily viscose jacquards

Paola top and Blush top in Léo viscose jacquard by Maison Fauve

Transat dress in Leo jacquard by Maison Fauve

We also offer jacquard viscose voiles: woven in France, they are very soft, featuring colorful woven band patterns. Easy to sew, they will be perfect for making blouses and tops like the Bellini pattern or the Spritz tank top.

Sunrise viscose voile

Spritz tank top in Sorbet viscose voile and Bellini blouse in Sunrise viscose voile

Jacquard is an exceptional fabric, which will allow you to sew a unique and wonderful wardrobe. You will be able to let your creativity flow that will amaze those around you. Even the most simplistic of garments takes on another dimension in jacquard, right?!

Have a nice day and happy sewing!

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