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  1. #1
    Senior Member SteelToe's Avatar
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    Question Need Advice on Finishing Raw Edges

    Howdy,
    I'm using some thin polyester taffeta (tag says "Silkessence"-probably a no-name fabric ) I got on sale at Joanne Fabrics for the panels/body of the hammock I'm working on. The way my design comes out, there are several convex/concave edges that need to be protected by a hem. The fabric I'm using has very little stretch, so I can't roll hem easily (~12" radius). I bought some twill tape while I was a Joanne's (only 100% Poly tape) to use for edging. Now I just need to figure out how to attach it properly...

    For thin, silky fabrics like sil and taffeta, does the edge need to be rolled over before the edge tape is fitted around it? This polyester stuff doesn't appear to unravel very easily (holds together than the ripstop I bought as well) but it feels tissue-thin. I've tensile tested some scraps, and will be doubling the fabric up in most areas, so I'm not real worried about the hammock body blowing out, but I'm concerned the edging will pull off over time if the fabric inside it is a simple raw edge.

    If you have used either method, please relate your experiences...

    Here's a close up of the fabric/edge, if that helps...

    TCB

    Once I start making progress on this thing, I'll put up a journal for ya'll...
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  2. #2
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    easiest way to do it IMO is to sear the edges with a flame. Go easy and practice on scraps until you get the hang of it. But that's just my 2 cents.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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    Fronkey's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    easiest way to do it IMO is to sear the edges with a flame. Go easy and practice on scraps until you get the hang of it. But that's just my 2 cents.
    I agree.

    IMHO, it's a little easier at first if you use a candle and bring the fabric to the flame.

    Fronkey

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    Senior Member SteelToe's Avatar
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    These edges/seams will contact the person laying in the hammock, is the flame-sealed edge very rough, and will it stand up to the abuse of someone sliding over it to get in/out of the hammock? It'd be sweet if it's that easy to treat the edges, way lighter and more compact, too.

    Thanks for the tip,

    TCB

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    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelToe View Post
    These edges/seams will contact the person laying in the hammock, is the flame-sealed edge very rough, and will it stand up to the abuse of someone sliding over it to get in/out of the hammock? It'd be sweet if it's that easy to treat the edges, way lighter and more compact, too.

    Thanks for the tip,

    TCB
    If what you are trying to do is keep the edges from raveling heat sealing is very sturdy and if done right does not leave a nasty wad of melted fiber. Hence the need for practice and patience.

    I am a bit confused as to what you are doing. Let me just clarify some terms for my own information. Seams join two or more more edges of fabric together. Hems are used on the edges to finish off one piece of fabric.

    So when you say the "seams" will be in contact with the occupant I am picturing joining two panels. If that is the case you want to use a flat felled seam, or its close cousin, a sewn over french seam. If you do that there is no need to treat the edges as they are sealed inside the seam. Those two seams are strong and durable.'

    On the other hand, the hem on the hammock is what would run along the edge. I would suggest a rolled hem rather than twill or bias tape for durability. I know you said the fabric was difficult to roll but IMO it would be worth the effort for a solid entry/exit surface. Fold over a narrow edge and sew it down. no more that 1/4" Then repeat. Again, as narrow as possible. Use a short stitch length around the curves and "ease" fabric. Curves run on the bias and so they do stretch to a degree.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  6. #6
    Senior Member SteelToe's Avatar
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    RR,
    I'm trying to make something I've not seen before: a bridge hammock with armholes, to eliminate shoulder squeeze. There needs to be some sort of edge hem or treatment at the openings, and I'll probably use flat felled or French seams for joining panels. I was looking at tape-based solutions since it looks like openings in garments are typically done this way.

    Would cutting the fabric with a soldering iron seal it up well enough?

    TCB

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    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelToe View Post
    RR,
    I'm trying to make something I've not seen before: a bridge hammock with armholes, to eliminate shoulder squeeze. There needs to be some sort of edge hem or treatment at the openings, and I'll probably use flat felled or French seams for joining panels. I was looking at tape-based solutions since it looks like openings in garments are typically done this way.

    Would cutting the fabric with a soldering iron seal it up well enough?

    TCB
    Cutting with a heated iron would be fine. Lots of people do that. As far as the "arm holes" garments often have a tape finish, but that is not placed over a raw edge on high quality garments. In the case of a vest, for example, there is a "facing" that is sewn on which effectively makes a sealed edge. That would be a possible approach for you to use.

    To make a facing, you would cut a piece of fabric to mirror the opening you want to face. Right side to right side sew around the hole within 1/4-3/8". Then turn the facing to the inside so the wrong sides are together. Press the opening with a suitable temperature iron. (Check on scraps first. Start cool and work up slowly. The stitch around the outside of the facing to secure it in place. You are good to go.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
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  8. #8
    Senior Member DemostiX's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelToe View Post
    RR,
    Would cutting the fabric with a soldering iron seal it up well enough?
    TCB
    My regret in using a soldering iron is I didn't shop harder to find a higher wattage iron than the 30 watt one I found. Hot cutters are standard industrial tools for fabric and rope too, but they are too pricey for home use. But the broadest tip for a soldering iron -- and that's where more wattage , say 50 watts, would be better -- will make it easier. Woodburning tools maybe?

    Outside or under an exhaust fan if you are doing much.

  9. #9
    Senior Member SteelToe's Avatar
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    IMHO, it's a little easier at first if you use a candle and bring the fabric to the flame.
    It's true, just like RR's signature line . I tried out a few "singed edges" and I don't think they'd be durable to slide over repeatedly. Maybe it's just the polymer in the fabric I'm using, but the melted edge material was very rough and brittle. It is way easier than cutting with scissors, though, and the edge won't fray while handling/sewing.

    I checked out a half dozen videos on "facing necklines" and I have to say, I couldn't understand a one of them

    Maybe it's because I'm an engineer, but I can only understand something if I can see a diagram. This facing thing appears to be in the same vein as affixing bias tape, only a curved pattern is used instead of straight bias tape. The result being a really small amount of "ribbon" showing on the outside of the garment.

    I suppose I wasn't very clear on what I meant by "taped edge" earlier. I want to use bias/twill/grosgrain tape to strengthen the edge against fraying due to abrasion (edge is not under load), but I'm worried something will hang on the raised edge of the tape and rip it out of the surrounding fabric. Do multiple rows of straight stitch over the tape make this a non-issue? Or is the raw edge typically folded under once before tape is sewed on?

    The way my hammock design works, is solid fabric panels support the heavy parts of the body (shoulder blades/chest, hips, thighs) and thinner mesh is used to "close-out" the gaps between. Large holes under the two bridge support lines on the sides allow the arms to protrude and rest in "side car" pouches, free from squeeze. Each leg hangs down it's own "footwell" divided at the inseam, with each foot resting in a "stirrup," also free from squeeze. You see, it's hot and humid in texas , and even with a thin bridge/gathered end hammock, I end up with my arms over my chest and my legs pressed together, which isn't the best positon for shedding heat. I'm hoping this setup allows for a more "spread out" and cooler, hang

    Thanks
    TCB

  10. #10
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by SteelToe View Post
    This facing thing appears to be in the same vein as affixing bias tape, only a curved pattern is used instead of straight bias tape. The result being a really small amount of "ribbon" showing on the outside of the garment.
    Ok.. that helps a lot. In effect you are correct. If you stitch the twill tape along the edges and fold them it over you will have the same basic effect. Stitch down the loose edge and you stabilize the whole thing. I had pictured using the twill tape in a different way.

    Now... the use of a curved piece instead of a straight piece is as follows. The "patch" approach allows you to have as wide a facing as you would like. Personally I would go for 1- 1.5" but there is nothing magic about that dimension. If you try that with a piece of twill tape it will buckle and fold as you sew it around. The flat "patch" will lie flat.

    Now narrow twill tape will not warp as much. But you have less to work with as a facing to get a nice smooth placement. Part of it is appearance but part of it has a comfort aspect because a smooth flat "Patch" is going to be less noticeable warped strip of tape.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

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