Broadcloth for blouses?

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Broadcloth for blouses?

New postby SmilieFace on Tue Jun 08, 2010 5:28 am

I have a couple blouse patterns, and I don't know what material to use to make them. Is broadcloth something that's used? I feel like I have some thin shirts in my closet. What other materials do you use for the button down blouses?
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Re: Broadcloth for blouses?

New postby DorothyL on Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:42 am

It seems what they call broadcloth now is much lighter than what we used to call broadcloth and would probably work just fine for a camp shirt style, I think.
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Re: Broadcloth for blouses?

New postby MartySews2 on Tue Jun 08, 2010 8:25 am

I use linen for blouses as well as challis, rayon, & matte jersey or 100% polyester. I don't like the feel of cotton or cotton blends on my skin. I use broadcloth for muslins or sewing children's clothing. It does have a nice hand & drape.
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Re: Broadcloth for blouses?

New postby neefer on Tue Jun 08, 2010 10:43 am

Broadcloth really only means that the fabric is 44/45 inches wide instead of 36/39 inches. That is, it is broad. The term comes from a time when the fabric mills started using wider looms.

So what is broadcloth today? I've found that it refers to a plain weave (over under over under) fabric in solid colors, usually cotton. Because broadcloth refers to the loom, not the fiber or weave (hm, loom does imply weave in a factory, hm, must ruminate on this) (oops back on topic) ... Because broadcloth refers to the width of the loom, broadcloth really can be any fiber, cotton, cotton blends, linen, rayon, silk, etc etc. I don't believe that broadcloth can be any weave; I'm pretty sure it is only plain weave. Other names for broadcloth include quilting cottons, shirting, ... um ... I'm sure there are more.

What fabric you choose depends on the pattern and how you intend to use the blouse. If you want a crisp blouse, then yes use broadcloth, quilting cottons, shirting, etc. Cotton is always a nice choice, widely available, washable (be sure to prewash). Linen will work fine; linen, usually, is not crisp like cotton. Linen wrinkles and can be droopy (or drapey depending on the application). Rayon fabrics are (usually) not as crisp as cotton either. Rayon does not breathe as well as cotton or linen, so it's not my choice for HOT (100F/40C and up) wear.

Choose fabric can be overwhelmingly complex. For example, I made a blouse out of rayon/linen. Is it drapey? NO. Does it wrinkle? NO. Does it breathe? Not really. Is it crisp? Yes.

I could go on and on blathering about fiber, and I have barely mentioned weave.

Here's what I recommend. Look at the labels on the shirts you like. Are they cotton? Is the weave a plain weave? If yes, then to replicate the shirts, look for fabric like that. It will be with the broadcloths, quilting cottons, shirtings, and so forth.
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Re: Broadcloth for blouses?

New postby bridesmom on Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:17 pm

I agree with Neefer, it is a matter of choice of what you want in a shirt. I like my shirts to be crisper, and I wouldn't use broadcloth, it's too drapey. But I find that broadcloth here is a light cotton/poly blend, so it doesn't need ironing, washes and drys beautifully, and would be nice in a blouse style rather than a shirt style, if you know what I mean, at least that'd be my preference.
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Re: Broadcloth for blouses?

New postby Sancin on Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:40 pm

DorothyL wrote:It seems what they call broadcloth now is much lighter than what we used to call broadcloth Dorothy


I am glad you noted this Dorothy as I have been noticing this for quite a few years and thought it may have been my imagination. I have purchased solid colours of 'plain' cotton in quilting fabric as it seems a bit heavier. And I have used it for blouses.

Smilie - You can buy fabric called shirting fabric as well as fabric called dobie recommended for blouses. I like the shirting fabric for tops but the dobie seems to have a lot of poly in the cotton and while it looks good on the bolt it tends to be a bit warm when worn....but no ironing required.
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Re: Broadcloth for blouses?

New postby LeapFrog Libby on Tue Jun 08, 2010 6:54 pm

I like Chambray for shirts for myself.
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