As I mentioned I would in my last post on the topic, I needed to do some research on pre-treating/shrinking the fabric I bought for Hikaru fabric.
The lining fabric is easy, I’ve hand washed that with the silk wash I bought at Tessuti.
Onto the wool… I have been informed by one of the ladies who works at The Fabric Store that the fabric I bought is “boiled wool”. So, armed with this information I Googled… and I Googled… and I Googled…. (written three times because I know that Google don’t like you verb-alising their name and I’m a rebel like that!) and Google failed me! I could find heaps of information on making boiled wool, and lots on pre-shrinking other wool fabrics (summarised beautifully here or here) but nothing on boiled wool.
So, I went back to the store and asked their advice, and I was assured that I didn’t need to pre-shrink the wool, I just needed to dry clean it once it was finished… sceptical of this advice and still not convinced that my jacket wouldn’t shrink the first time I get caught in the rain (much like an umbrella I once had) I went to the Library.
I got out “More Fabric Savvy” by Sandra Betzina, which confirms that pre-shrinking is not necessary.
Just to triple check, I cut a little strip off the end (after laying out my patterns pieces to check that I had the spare fabric) and drew around it on a piece of paper. I then steamed the crap out of it with my iron and compared the size of my piece to the outline on the paper… it was the same size. I repeated the process a couple more times just to be completely sure, and the fabric definitely hasn’t shrunk.
I know any of you that know what boiled wool is are probably thinking ‘Duh, of course, don’t you know how it’s made?’, and I do, but I wanted to be absolutely and completely sure as I’ll be absolutely gutted if it shrinks the first time I get it cleaned!
Some other useful bits of information that “More Fabric Savvy” tells me are that I don’t need interfacing, that I should use a 3mm stitch length, and I should use the wool setting on my iron, with steam and a press cloth.
So it seems I’m ready to start…!


  1. Rachel

    Yay!! Can't wait to see it all made up! Also – absolutely love the trousers. They look so great!

  2. Mel Conomikes

    You are definately a researcher! I look forward to seeing the trousers at the Tessuti BurdaStyle group. The muslin looked great. I have a trouser pattern cut out and fabric purchased and have to do the muslin now!


Leave a Reply