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How to Work with Hair Canvas

WHAT IS IT?

Hair canvas is a type of interfacing (page link) that is springy, strong and resilient. In the past it was made from horsehair or goat’s hair, but these days most hair canvas is made from synthetic materials. It’s used for tailoring and creating shaping in a tailored garment. It’s a bit expensive, so it’s traditionally used sparingly in the most important parts of a garment: collars, lapels and hems. When you fold hair canvas, it forms a soft roll instead of a crease, making it perfect for collars, lapels and other tailoring applications. It usually comes in one color: a natural grayish beige.

Hair canvas

Hair canvas

Padstitching on hair canvas

Padstitching on hair canvas

WHEN DO YOU USE IT?

Tailoring sometimes makes use of hair canvas on collars, lapels, roll lines, hems and even larger jobs like the entire jacket front, if the design requires extra support. To apply hair canvas, you can either padstitch (page link) it to the garment fabric to keep its shape or follow machine-tailoring methods to apply it by machine. Hair canvas works for wide waistbands on skirts and trousers. It’s impossible to flatten seams in hair canvas, so the seam allowances need to be trimmed from hair canvas interfacing pieces before you apply it to the garment fabric.

Tips + Notes

Layer hair canvas for extra stiffness.

HOW TO WORK WITH HAIR CANVAS

Preshrink hair canvas by spraying it with water and pressing it dry.

How to work with hair canvas (1)

SEWING SEAMS IN HAIR CANVAS

To sew seams in hair canvas, use abutted seams (page link) or lap the edges and zigzag, then trim off the extra seam allowances.

How to work with hair canvas (2)

PADSTITCHING

If you are padstitching (page link) the hair canvas, cut a piece of hair canvas using the pattern piece, including the seam allowances. Padstitch the canvas to the garment fabric, and trim away the seam allowances after the padstitching is complete. Make sure the interfacing doesn’t shrink up as you stitch it to the garment fabric.

How to work with hair canvas (3)

APPLYING TO WAISTBANDS AND BELTS

For other garment pieces, such as a wide waistband or fabric belt, cut a piece of hair canvas using the pattern piece, but trim off all seam allowances. Center the hair canvas in the middle of the fabric piece and catchstitch (page link) around the edges of the hair canvas. If you’re using thick fabric, cut the hair canvas piece a little smaller so there’s room for the interfacing to lie flat inside the garment piece without puckering.

How to work with hair canvas (4)

APPLYING TO HEMLINES

To apply hair canvas to hemlines, cut a bias strip (page link) of hair canvas. Extend the canvas into the fold of the hem about ½” (1.3cm) for a softer fold, and extend it about 1″ (2.5cm) higher than the hem allowance so the hem can be stitched to the interfacing.

Source : The Sewtionary An A to Z Guide to 101 Sewing Techniques + Definitions
About the Author : Tasia ST. Germaine