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It's Nap Time

Photo Credit: Professor Pin Cushion & Nancy Zieman
Hey Loves!

It's time for the Tuesday Tip!  It's all about nap.  Not the well deserved sleep breaks we rarely get to take.  But, the nap of the fabric.

Have you read the back of the pattern and wondered what was meant by with nap and workout nap?  *Raising my hand and nodding my head*  I know I did.  And boy, did I learn a lesson. I had a dress made of the same fabric that looked two different colors.  It wasn't the lighting.   It was the nap of the fabric.

What exactly is nap?  The Vogue Sewing book defines nap as a "soft surface with fibers that lie smoothly in one direction."  Oh by the way,  I love this book.  If you can get one, grab it.

Why is nap so important? Fabrics with nap must be sewn together with the nap in the same direction.  Otherwise, it affects the way the fabric looks.  Just take a look at the picture above.

How did nap affect my pattern?   If your pattern has a "with nap" layout, follow it.  It may require extra yardage, but it will allow you to layout your pattern in a way that will follow the nap of the fabric.  Trust me!  You don't want an unintentional two toned dress.

What are some fabrics with nap?  Fabric with nap includes napped and pile fabrics:

  • Napped fabrics include melton, flannel, serge, camel’s hair, sweatshirt fleece, brushed denim, mohair, lamb’s wool and synthetic suedes. 
  • Pile fabrics, which require a “with-nap layout,”include velvet, velveteen, corduroy, fleece, terry cloth, fake fur and bouclĂ©. (
How do I determine if my fabric had nap?  To determine if a fabric has nap, fold it right sides together matching the cut ends, then turn one corner back. Check that the layers look and feel exactly the same. If they don’t, the fabric has nap. If you still aren’t sure, use the cutting layout and sewing suggestions for nap fabric, just in case. (

I hope this helps you!

Until next time,  smooches!

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