Friendly or fancy, inexpensive or kinda pricey, terry cloth gets the job done whether you're sewing towels, a fluffy bathrobe or a super cute summer outfit.
But like most fabrics, terry cloth has its own quirks. Knowing what they are ahead of time can help you head off any sewing-project disasters and get the results you want.
Here, then, are some common terry-cloth questions and dilemmas — with answers and advice for each.
Should I Cut Terry Cloth With or Against the Nap?
Run your hand over the terry cloth and it'll feel smooth. Go in the opposite direction: rough. The smooth direction is the nap.
Ideally, you want to cut all the pieces with the nap. Or go ahead and cut against it, if you're the rebellious type. Just stick with your choice — consistency is your goal.
What Color Thread Should I Use?
Because it's so fluffy, terry cloth can camouflage threads in matching colors, especially hidden seams. That's not such a big deal until you make a mistake and have to rip up out a seam. Then you'll be seriously annoyed!
You can avoid this situation by using contrasting-color threads, both for hidden seams and visible ones. Not only will they look good, but you'll have a much easier time fixing where you messed up!
Help! My Terry Cloth Is Shedding
Because of its loops, terry cloth sheds A LOT once you cut it.
Plan ahead: Cover your work surface and keep a lint brush close by.
How Can I Make My Terry Cloth Less Bulky?
Your first strategy: extend your stitch lengths. Also, make sure you're sewing with a heavy-duty needle that can poke through bulky cloth. If you're using thinner cloth, the type of needle may not make a big difference, but run a test swatch to double check.
Oh No, Now My Cut Edges are Shedding!
Use pinking shears on raw edges and don't rush. Pay special attention to finishing seams. If you have a serger , even better — you can finish the seams that way.
And there you have it. Now get out there and sew something thirsty!