Several new Organic Double Gauze fabrics are now available in the shop from Cloud 9 and Monaluna Fabrics. Double Gauze is a new substrate that has become quite popular online the last few years, but at a recent show I was surprised how many people were unfamiliar with it, and so this post on what it is, some general tips for sewing with Double Gauze, and of course, some tips on smocking with it!
So what is it? Double Gauze is two layers of 100% cotton gauze fabric, both of which are printed and then the two layers are woven together by a common thread every centimeter or so. Cotton Gauze is made with a Leno Weave which produces an open, sheer, yet strong fabric. The resulting fabric is loose, and airy with a wonderful softness and drape. By putting two layers of the gauze together the fabric retains the drape, softness and airiness, but isn't sheer.
Double Gauze is originally from Japan, and until recently sewists had to purchase fabrics from Japanese manufacturers to enjoy this substrate. However, in the past few years several US companies.have started to offer double gauze. When purchasing double gauze, especially online, it is helpful inquire about the openness of the weave. Gauze fabric is an open weave by definition, but some are more open than others. Do you remember the cotton fabric used to swaddle newborn babies in the hospital?
© Sergey Galushko | Dreamstime Stock Photos
That is cotton gauze with a very open weave. Some of the Double Gauze currently on the market is made with this same very open weave. Often these double gauze fabrics with a more open weave are referred to as "Swaddle" fabrics, and their recommended uses include baby blankets and burp clothes. They are lovely fabrics, but wouldn't be my choice for a dress for myself; whereas, the Double Gauze fabrics carried by Pink Hollybush have a more closed weave, aren't sheer, and are ideal for a summer top or dress.
But can you smock with it? Of course you can! I think Double Gauze ranks as the easiest fabric I have tried to put through the pleater yet! That open weave means little resistance as it rolls through the pleater.
The pleats are soft, not crisp, but that is the look and feel of this fabric. This is a 9 inch piece pleated and pulled up to 3 inches - the normal 3 to 1 ratio for English smocking. The softness of this fabric means it will appeal to a child (or yourself) who is particularly picky about the feel of a fabric next to their skin, and an additional plus is that all of our Double Gauze fabrics are organic as well! (See previous post of Organic Fabric: Does it Matter?)
Sewing with double gauze is easy. The cotton prevents the fabric from sliding around too much. The open weave does allow the individual threads to be snagged, so be sure to use a new needle in your machine and sharp pins. This article from The Village Haberdashery gives some wonderful tips on sewing with Double Gauze, and this article from Imagine Gnats shows all kinds of projects that have been made with Double Gauze including quilts!
Here is the link to a free scarf pattern from Monaluna, the manufacturer of several of our Double Gauze fabrics, to get you started with this wonderful fabric! And finally, if you haven't signed up for our monthly newsletter to get tips, info and special sales delivered to your in box, please do!