Understanding the Nap and Print Direction of Fabrics

sewing tips

If you have recently purchased a sewing machine with the sole purpose of making items of clothing or quilts, there are a few important considerations to address before getting started. Once you understand how to operate your sewing machine and when exactly to put your sewing equipment to good use, you should start learning all about the fabric itself. 

Most of the time, especially when making clothes for wintertime, the fabric in question will have what is called a ‘nap’. Furthermore, when working with patterned fabrics for dresses and shirts, for example, you must be aware of how to manipulate the direction of the fabric to ensure symmetry. Here is a breakdown.

What is the ‘nap’? 

The nap of a piece of fabric refers to the raised, fluffy side which is traditionally placed on the inside of the garment for maximum comfort and warmth. However, some sewing professionals choose to do it the other way around, keeping the smoother side on the inside and embracing the softer effect for the outside. It is a personal choice, so feel free to experiment. 

Also, keep in mind that placing the nap vertically can give the illusion of a slightly darker shade. You may opt to pair up vertical and horizontal naps for a textured effect, or you may opt to keep your garment consistent. Either way, it is important to be aware of how the nap is placed and why. 

What is print direction? 

Print direction is exactly that – the direction that the fabric print faces. Usually, you will need the print to remain consistent at all times. It is, therefore, essential that you pay close attention to this direction throughout your project, especially if you are making a quilt. 

The best way to get symmetry when making a quilt that has a square in the middle and is surrounded by strips is to cut two horizontal strips and two vertical strips. Be sure to sew them in the right order and you will be able to keep them all pointing in one direction. 

In search of a trusted sewing machine and equipment supplier? Along with affordable sewing machine models, Empisal can supply you with other must-haves, including overlockers and steam presses. Get in touch today to learn more.

How to Sew a Crib Sheet

sewing ideas

Spending most of your time adhering to social distancing recommendations? If so, you are likely to be feeling the effects and battling the boredom by now. What better way to keep both your hands and your mind occupied than by embarking on a few new sewing projects, such as sewing a crib sheet for a baby or a toddler? Grab your sewing machine, overlocker, and your sewing equipment and follow our simple guide below. 

What you will need

  • About 1.8 meters of fabric
  • Trim to 175 cm x 115 cm 
  • 2.3 meters of elastic
  • Fabric marker
  • Fray Check
  • Large Ring Micro Tip Scissors
  • Pins
  • 4 spools
  • Overlocker 
  • Elasticator Foot

Step one

You will start by marking your corners. Take your rectangular-shaped fabric and fold one corner at an angle of 45 degrees. Measure 20 cm in from the corner and use your fabric marker to mark a line. The line should fall at a 90-degree angle from the raw edge. Pin together and repeat on the other three corners. 

Step two

Your next step is to start sewing. Use the standard tension, differential feed, and stitch length settings. Set the cutting width to 7 mm. Do the same with all of the corners and finish off by securing with Fray Check.

Step three 

Next, you will add the elastic, which will allow for a snug fit on the crib’s mattress. You will need your Elasticator Foot for maximum accuracy. Be sure to trim away the seam allowance and sew all the way around. If you have only ever tried your hand at easy sewing projects, you might want to perfect this skill using scrap fabric first. 

Step four 

Wash and use! 

Do not forget to choose Empisal as your trusted supplier for all your sewing project essentials. We can provide you with everything from overlockers to steam press options and more. Contact us today.