Sunday, 6 November 2016

Worse Fabric Ever?

I've had this dress for a total of sixty-four days and I can count on one hand the number of times I've worn it. It is now ready for the trash. This weekend I slipped it on to run some errands. 

And I discovered, much to my horror, a texture on the surface of the fabric that wasn't there before. I quickly removed the dress to investigate further this unseen and unfamiliar texture. The fabric is pilling!  

I couldn't tell you this fabric's fibre content other than it was labelled as a "Techno" knit. Much like scuba knits, they rarely list the actual fibre content. I think this might be the worse fabric that I've worked with, on so many levels. It was challenging to sew, it's not breathable and it is basically a defective fabric after a couple of months. Love the colour, but not enough to ever buy this fabric again.  

Techno and scuba knits are a cocktail mix of man-made fibres that can consist of any of the following:

  • Rayon
  • Polyester
  • Acrylic
  • Acetate
  • Nylon
Not only are any of these man-made fibres prone to pilling quicker than natural fibres, they are toxic to our environment and health. According to these are the top six fabrics you should avoid:

1. Polyester is the worst fabric you can buy. It is made from synthetic polymers that are made from esters of dihydric alcohol and terpthalic acid.
2. Acrylic fabrics are polycrylonitriles and may cause cancer, according to the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
3. Rayon is recycled wood pulp that must be treated with chemicals like caustic soda, ammonia, acetone and sulphuric acid to survive regular washing and wearing.
4. Acetate and Triacetate are made from wood fibers called cellulose and undergo extensive chemical processing to produce the finished product.
5. Nylon is made from petroleum and is often given a permanent chemical finish that can be harmful.
I'm sure I'm going to ruffle some feathers with this post, if I haven't already. But I'm sick and tired of spending money on cheap fabric that is of poor quality, doesn't not wear well, may cause cancer!, and is bad for the environment.

I still have man-made fabrics in my stash but from this day forward, I'm saving my pennies for the natural fibres. No more man-made fibres. That's my new fast.

Happy Sewing!



  1. I 100% agree! While I do have a couple of poly/spandex blends in my stash for workout/yoga leggings I otherwise avoid any synthetics as much as I can. I actually hate and feel guilty that I have polyester in my stash.

  2. I have just sewed some baby items in organic cotton, the joy! It has reminded me how much satisfaction there is in working with natural fabrics.

  3. I have had the same experience with beautiful looking knits at Fabricland, I wore the sweater about 3 times and the pilling was so bad that I threw it out. Even though all those sweater and fleece knits look so inviting, I am not going for the bait! The last garment I worked on with fabric from Fabricland was for a Halloween costume, so it was very inexpensive. I forgot to prewash it and so I had an allergic reaction. The chemicals on that fabric was nasty! There fleeces and wools this season are so smelly with all the chemicals UGH! I am totally on the same page as you, however, I can't wear scratchy wool, and the expensive Merinos are so expensive. I shop at Peak Fabrics in Calgary for fleeces because they are nice quality.


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