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Backing on wool?

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  • Backing on wool?

    I am working on completing a bustle, and one of the last things that I have to do is make the trailer. I bought enough wool to make aprons, a vest and possibly a bag to match as a set. I ordered red trade wool with the three striped selvage edge (red, blue and yellow stripes). I'm sure you all know what I'm talking about.

    The question I have concerns puting a backing on the wool. I've seen a lot of aprons and trailers without any backing, and they seem to look and work very well. I have also been advised by some people to put a calico backing on the wool so that it hangs better. Does anyone have a personal preference or opinion about this. It would be much easier (and the wool would be much cooler to wear) without the backing. On the other hand, if it's not going to look right, what's the point of spending the time and money for the nice wool.

    Thanks so much for any suggestions.


  • #2
    I like to sandwich a fabric stiffener between the wool and calico. Just face sew them together and bind it with contrasting ribbon. The calico and ribbon add a lot more color to the trailer. Mine is blue wool, yellow calico, and red ribbon binding. I think it has nice contrast.

    I can't see how a bustle trailer effects how hot the dancer becomes- you got me there . . . As far as an apron, the calico backing is more comfortable than wool.

    The backing definately makes the item flatter. I have seen folks with wool breeches or aprons without backing, and they seem to wad up.

    If you have two trailers- do me a favor and keep them close together. I see plenty of them southern Wisconsin guys with the two trailers spaced far apart. Kind of reminds me of mudflaps on a Mack truck!
    Last edited by DCP; 02-18-2002, 12:49 AM.
    Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.


    • #3

      Thanks for the advice. What do you use for a fabric stiffiner? Is this something I can get at a fabric store relatively cheaply?

      As far as getting hot, I was thinking more of the vest and aprons, not so much the trailer. And I don't plan on spacing the double trailers very far appart. Thanks again!



      • #4
        The stiffener for the trailers I use is the stuff upholsterers use to stiffen the skirts on furniture. I use the same stuff for beading rosettes. I haven't seen the stuff in stores, only in an upholstery shop.

        I would line the vest and aprons and bind them with ribbon as well. I think it would look better and lay well. Wool gets kind of abrasive and self-destructive, so backing it would probably make it last longer.
        Don't sweat the petty things and don't pet the sweaty things.


        • #5
          Anything wool that will be close to the body, I would line it. Wool does not clean easily so you'll want something else to absorb your sweat and body salts. A muslin or calico liner will also keep you from getting itchy and scratchy. If using colored fabric for the liner, wash it first so you know the colors won't run into your wool.


          • #6
            I used "wonder under". Got it a walmart. They have several weights , and it works well to slightly stiffen any kind of material. I made my aprons and side drops out of a pendelton blanket and it worked well for me. Good Luck....Later
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            • #7
              The fabric stiffener that i use is called pellon stiffener you can buy it at most any craft/fabric stores.

              Just my 2 cents



              • #8
                For backing, consider use of raw silk with an interfacing (is made special, to be next a silk). Available colors and finish range from flat to electric brilliance.


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