Suede and leather have been major stories in designer collections in recent months. We realise not everyone is comfortable with the idea of wearing animal skin, however the good news is that the quality of faux suede and leather has improved in leaps and bounds over the last few years. This ivory scuba fabric is the latest of our acquisitions which aim to fool your fingertips. We’re not, as a rule, scuba fans, but we love the finish on this fabric as well as its capacity to hold a gentle shape. Also it’s washable – and therefore we’ll look forward to using this creamy-ivory colour to lift our late-winter/early spring wardrobe.
What kind of fabric is this?
This is a polyester fabric, but one that passes the ClothSpot ‘do we really have to?’ test on the basis of its quality and practicality. It’s not a double-sided fabric, so a coat or jacket would require facing and/or lining. It has a knitted construction with the weight of a lighter-weight suiting although it looks thicker and has almost complete opacity. The right side of the fabric has a convincing suede-like surface; the pile isn’t obviously directional but we’d advise cutting all your pattern pieces in the same direction regardless. You’ll need a fine, new ‘sharp’ category needle to sew this fabric. Providing you cut it cleanly, you won’t need to finish the edges of this fabric since it won’t fray.
What does this fabric feel like?
Our ivory sueded scuba fabric has a beautifully-soft handle on the right side; the reverse side is soft and smooth, but finished without the pile. It’s a very pliable fabric; stable and easy to manage.
How does this fabric move?
The close knit of this fabric gives it a good structure; it holds a shape without being overly stiff and unwieldy. An A-line skirt will look just as it’s meant to; pleats and tucks will sculpt gently-angular shapes. However it has a little drape, falling and swinging with elegance as you can see in this video. It has around a 20% stretch across its width.
Will I need to line this fabric?
This is a fabric with near-total opacity despite its relatively lighter weight. It won’t therefore need lining for purposes of modesty and its softness will mean that unlined garments will be perfectly comfortable. A lining in a jacket or coat will provide additional structure and ease of wearing although not strictly necessary as long as the collar and lapels are faced. You’d may want to line a skirt or dress in order to enable movement across the body and over hosiery.
What can I make with this fabric?
Whether your skirt preference is for a fitted pencil silhouette or for something with a little more shape, based on gathers and tucks, our ivory sueded scuba fabric will fulfil either vision. However our preference at the moment is for some outerwear. We’re about to embark on the Unlined Raw-edged Coat from The Maker’s Atelier. Since this isn’t a double-sided fabric, we’ll be adding facings as suggested in the version of the pattern in their ‘Essential Collection’ book.
Wash at 30 or 40 degrees – see our Fabric care pages for more information.