Thursday, May 15, 2008

Thoughts on Linings

Adele Margolis, in her book Fashion Sewing for Everyone, reminds us that "The lining must not interfere with the already considerable shaping of the garment. It is designed, stitched, and inserted in such a way as to permit freedon of movement. ... In deciding how much or how little substructure to use in any garment, be mindful of the fact that anything that goes into the inside of a garment adds to its shape, its body, its weight, and its warmth. Don't get so carried away by the idea of an understructure that you overload you garment with it. Many fabrics need only the gentlest persuasion to keep them in line. It is a joy to wear something that doesn't feel like a suit of armor or weigh a ton. Strike a happy balance."

I had intended to write about interfacings, underlinings and interlinings next, but I'm getting emails requesting I write about linings first, so that is what I'll write about today.

A coat lining needs to be a bit sturdier and more abrasion resistant than linings for other types of garments.
You want it to have a slippery enough surface that it slides over your other clothing easily. You want it to be tightly woven and smooth so that it doesn't catch on clothing or jewelry you may wear, and you want it to stand up to friction as it rubs against your other clothing and you put your arms into and out of sleeves.
(This is starting to read like a text-book, sorry.)

I'm just going to talk a little bit about weave structure and fiber, and then link to some sources, and you can ask whatever you want from there.

Weave Structure for Linings
Satin - Charmeuse falls into this category.
A satin is a fabric that is woven with long yarn floats on the surface, giving that characteristic shiny, slippery surface. There are many weights of satins, from the lightest weight charmeuse to the heaviest weights of duchesse satin suitable for wedding gowns. For a lining you want a soft lighter weight satin that is not stiff. Charmeuse is a good choice.
Flannel back satin is a lining that doubles as interlining for added warmth.

Drawback: The abrasion resistance of a satin is not up to the same level as that of a twill, or even a strong taffeta.

Taffeta - a plain weave fabric more tightly woven in the weft than the warp. For linings you want a piece-dyed taffeta - soft and pliable, as opposed to a yarn-dyed taffeta - the kind that rustles when you walk and you make evening gowns from. Ambiance is a taffeta lining. (see note below in the link section regarding Ambiance as a coat lining.

Twill - Twill weaves are very resistant to abrasion and are very durable. Denim is a twill weave fabric. Lining fabrics are available in both plain twill weaves and broken twill. An example of a broken twill is a herringbone. I picked up some fabulous silk twills for linings at Fabric Mart last fall - they were labeled as "Tie Silks". I'm using one of them as a lining in a coat I'm making. Click on the picture at the right to see the enlarged photo and the weave stands right out.

Jacquard - also referred to as Damasks, these are the beautiful fabrics with patterns woven into them, sometimes they're solid and sometimes print.

Bemberg Rayon - Bemberg is a trade name for cupramonium Rayon. Advantages - anti-static, affordable, breathable and comfortable to wear. Rayon is a man-made (remanufactured) cellulose fiber made from wood pulp. Ambiance is a Bemberg Rayon. Another Bemberg, very similar to Ambiance is by Berenstein. These are the two that are most readily available in most fabric stores. Both are a lightweight lining, and unless you're making a spring coat or live in a very warm climate, are probably too lightweight for a coat lining.
Berenstein makes a nice Rayon Twill lining for coats.

Silk - For a coat lining, a hefty silk charmeuse (19mm or better), a silk twill, a silk crepe de chine, or a jacquard may be good choices.
Advantages: breathable, comfortable, luxurious
Disadvantage: generally more costly than other alternatives.

Polyester - advantages: generally very affordable. Disadvantages: static can be a problem, not breathable, polyester retains body odors.

Acetate - There are more acetate coat linings than any other type of lining made from acetate, and I'm not sure quite why this is.
You'll find some of the classic menswear linings in acetate twills, and they can be quite handsome. Acetate's biggest plus is it's affordability, it's biggest negative is that it's abrasion resistance is low and it must be dry cleaned. (for a coat that is not really a relative consideration)

Not recommended for winter coat linings:

  • Silk habotai, aka China Silk, is, IMO too lightweight and not durable enough to stand up as a coat lining.
  • Ambiance and the Berenstein equivalent lightweight Bemberg rayon lining
  • Polyester linings sold as linings - I'm thinking of Logantex Hang Loose, and Joann's brand "Posh" and "Sun Silky" are generally also, IMO, too lightweight to act as coat linings.
Sources and links

  • Flannel back satin insulated linings that will add warmth are sold as Sunback TM available at Manhattan Fabrics and JandOFabrics , (Sunback is an Acetate/Polyester blend fabric.)
  • and Kasha TM available in a wide selection of colors at Vogue Fabrics in Chicago. Kasha is a Rayon/cotton blend fabric.
  • an example of a jacquard woven satin: Hollywood Lining at B.Black&Sons.
  • a broken twill herrinbone lining Diamond Lining at B.Black&Sons.
  • Thai Silks print gallery for an awesome selection of silk charmeuse


Shannon said...

Marji - I see at the end of your post, you say there is a family emergency. I do hope everything is okay. Please let me know if you need anything.

Meg said...

Marji, hope everything is okay.

To everyone else, Rosen & Chadick in NYC also has Sunback linings. David Chadick is very knowledgeable about coats; he may even give you a discount if you tell him you are a PR member.

Unknown said...

I hope everything is okay with the kids. g

Unknown said...

Praying for your need. Hope everything is okay.

Unknown said...

Can anyone tell me how to start a new post? I have my tentative design plan ready, but can't seem to find the "new post" button? If there was log-in info sent to participants, can someone resend that to me? lovelace @ In the meantime you can see my plan on my blog.

lorrwill said...

Gosh I hope everything worked out ok.

Which of the B.Black linings would you recommend? I have been dying to order something from them for the longest time but just never have.

Lisette M said...

Has a source for silk twill lining been posted?