The Eternal Maker Crafts

Monday, 2 March 2015

Double Gauze Double Gauze Double Double Double Gauze...


double gauze + metallic = charms by ellen luckett baker
You may have been hearing more and more about this new substrate on the market: double gauze.  We’ve been stocking double gauze for a while now, and it’s fast become one of our favourite substrates.   To be honest, it’s not really new, but up until now, it’s mainly been the Japanese manufacturers doing it.  But this year - well, people suddenly woke up to this brilliant cloth.  It’s still only the younger, braver companies doing it - Cotton + Steel and Birch Organics - but we predict this cloth is going places.
Cosmo Tex Panda spot double gauze
Little letters by Nani Iro - Naomi Ito is probably double gauze royalty...

So what is double gauze?  It's a question we get asked a lot, and I thought it would be easiest to tell you all at once.  As it’s name suggests, it’s two layers of soft gauze.  These layers are stitched together at regular intervals.  Gauze is a fine, open-weave fabric, with a soft drape, but often quite sheer.   
two fine layers stitched together
The little stitches that hold together the two layers in double gauze are undetectable from the front of the fabric (you can often see their indentations on the back), but they help give the fabric the same drape as in the one layer of gauze, but without its impracticality. 
see the indentations of the tiny stitches?
It’s breathable, and super soft, can be used in soft, flowing projects and also in more constructed projects too.  The two layers don’t shift at all in sewing, as you might imagine, although the two layers do fray a touch more than the average cotton.

How to stitch with double gauze?
We recommend lengthening your stitch length just a little (this is just a suggestion, by no means necessary), and if making clothing, finish your seams, because of the extra fraying.
Don't be afraid to mix and match with other fabrics - previously in clothing we’ve mixed with knits, and in quilts we’ve mix and matched with cotton poplins and even linens - in fact, you can see this picture of a quilt I took at quilt market back in October, which was made with Ellen Luckett Baker’s ‘Charms’, a collection consisting of linen blends and double gauzes. (We really love this collection, with its lovely metallic gold touches and pops of bright colours - double gauze and metallics - swoon!)

Once you’ve finished, we recommend washing on a gentle cycle, and drying on the line.  We’d recommend pre-washing too.

But what to stitch with double gauze?
The question really should be: what not to stitch with double gauze?  For quilts, it’s snuggly, cuddly, cosy and, once quilted is characterised often by a slightly wrinkled effect, which looks and feels oh so very soft.  Here's a great lap quilt tutorial from the purl bee:

and for something more complex, check this one out at Fancy Tiger Crafts.
It's great for baby projects, rompers, dresses, and swaddling cloths... little girls dresses - check out this *adorable* dress:
image courtesy of olive bunny
And if you're a bit bigger?  It's great for big girl dresses and tops too - check out this great blouse by Rae Hoekstra from Made by Rae:
http://www.made-by-rae.com/2015/01/bespoke-double-gauze-blouse/
and this great dress that was on the Birch Organics stand at the last Quilt Market:
It's pretty much the best fabric to use for scarves too - how drapy and soft can you get?  We did this pompom scarf project a couple of years back:
http://eternalmaker.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/pom-tastic-times.html
 And if all that's not convinced you to try sewing with double gauze, come in store and cop a feel!

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