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Fabrics That Homes Wear Well

April 03, 1993|Associated Press

Not all dressmaker fabrics translate literally to home furnishings.

They generally work well for kitchen curtains, pillow covers, children's room accessories and shower curtains with plastic liners, says Pam Hastings, director of consumer education for Singer Sewing Co. in Edison, N.J.

Some wool, cotton denim and tightly woven cotton prints can be used as-is, Hastings says, but most lightweight fabrics for draperies, slipcovers or upholstery should be lined or interlined.

Apparel fabric generally is narrower, 45 inches instead of 54 for interiors; is rarely treated with stain repellers and sometimes uses dyes that tend to fade after long-term exposure to sunlight.

But the economics make sense.

"You can pay $4 or $5 (for dress goods) versus $15 or $20 for home decorating fabrics," Hastings says, adding that fabric stores stock far more dress goods than decorator fabrics.

She suggests laundering dress goods fabric to preshrink it before cutting. Then straighten the grain by pulling threads from a cut edge until one strand runs the length of the fabric.

Select tightly woven cotton and cotton blends that are washable.

Synthetic suedes, denim, calico and fake fur will stand up as slipcovers, says Linda Griepentrog, editor of Sew News Magazine, a monthly consumer publication in Peoria, Ill.

Apparel specialty fabrics such as velour and eyelet can be used for pillows and table runners and curtains.

Be sure to double-stitch faux suedes and apply soil-repellers. You'll add strength to any fabric by lining it, Griepentrog adds.

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