Bouclé is a soft, comfortable fabric available in various weights and weaves that is used to make sweaters, dresses, purses, jackets, and more.

This favored fabric can be fun to design with; however, many sewists find it intimidating to work with on their sewing machines as it is very loose and can seem unmanageable.

If the look of bouclé is appealing and you’d like to use it to make garments with a machine like the Janome HD1000, try these tips for keeping your bouclé under control.

You can get great results with bouclé when you go about it the right way by following these steps.

1. Marking

Transfer paper marks usually don’t show on bouclé, so use tailor’s chalk or most other methods.

Avoid using temporary marking pens because as temporary as they should be, they can still leave marks on bouclé.

2. Cutting

While bouclé is a woven fabric that can be made from a variety of fibers, it sometimes behaves like fabric that has a nap to it.

Keeping this in mind, it’s best to pin and cut pattern pieces out by arranging them so the lower edges of all the pieces are going the same direction, just as if you were cutting a napped fabric to sew with your sewing machine.

The nap of this woven fabric is subtle but could be enough that it looks out of place if you cut it like a standard non-napped fabric.

3. Interfacing

Due to its very loose weave, most bouclé will unravel very easily while being handled, cut, or sewn.

It’s highly recommended that you use interfacing on all bouclé to keep its shape and make it easier to cut and sew.

Fusible or sew-in interfacing will both work with this fabric, giving it the support needed for you to use it in a variety of ways.

4. Sewing

After you’ve applied interfacing to your bouclé and are ready to start sewing it with your Janome HD1000, be sure to set the machine up to best accommodate this fabric:

  • Use a universal or sharp needle in sizes ranging from 70 to 90, depending on the thickness of the fabric.
  • Put on a walking presser foot or roller foot for even fabric feeding.
  • Use cotton, polyester, or cotton/polyester blend thread for best results; topstitch with buttonhole thread that will be more visible.
  • Adjust to a longer stitch length by using a 2mm stitch for lighter bouclé and slightly longer for thicker bouclé; you can also use a long zigzag stitch to sew this fabric and hold the edges together well.
  • If you use a lining with your bouclé, hand stitch it on before sewing it with your sewing machine as just pinning it may not be enough to keep the lining from shifting while you sew it.

5. Pressing

Bouclé is easily damaged by a hot iron, so it’s essential that you press it lightly from the wrong side using only low heat.

Always test-press a scrap of the fabric you are working with to make sure it can withstand being pressed; if you’re working with wool bouclé or your fabric becomes damaged, it’s best to stick to dry cleaning only.

Don’t Get Bamboozled by Bouclé

Using the right techniques, you should have few problems using bouclé for the garment patterns stitched with your Janome HD1000.

As long as you keep in mind that this loosely woven fabric requires extra support and securing, you can make great projects using it and impress friends and family with your mastery of this challenging fabric!


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