Sunday, 28 August 2011

August Book Analysis - Fabric Guide: The Ultimate Fiber Resource

I'm very happy to be reviewing this book by Simplicity. I love it! I was very lucky to have been offered the chance to get a free copy for review and have had it for a couple of months now. This is the fabric guide I didn't have but wanted when I first started sewing. The illustrations and photos are gorgeous and super clear, the text informative and easy to understand and the layout is brilliant. And charts, oh my, what a joy! Also being on a ring binder, always adds points in my book.
The first chapter of the book tells us a little bit about fabric construction. What's a weft and a warp and differences between different weaves. The illustrations make these different weaves easy to understand.
The second chapter introduces us to fibers and explains, like I never read before, where does fiber come from and how it comes to be. For me it is one of the most fascinating chapters to read. Did you know it's possible to make fabric out of camel hair? What about from these cute rabbits? Always wanted to do a burn test on fabric and don't know how? It's in it.
Progressing very nicely on from fibers we have fabric types and here we can find a vast array of fabric types with fairly large and quite clear photos and a small description of its characteristics. One thing I particularly enjoy is that if the fabric has a different name in the UK it will say so(although I confess I'm not sure it does it for all).
Next on there's a fairly small chapter on fabric finishes and trademark fabric, such as Lycra or Teflon. For me, personally, it's the only chapter that doesn't arouse much interest.
Chapter 5 explains us all about linings, underlinings, interfacings and stabilizers. It is so easy to get confused with all these different materials and great to read such a easy to understand guide to them all. Charts (or whatever they are called) like the ones below make it a great reference resource. I'm sure I will be using it frequently.
 Next you get some valuable help and advice on how to work with fabrics, including grain, yardage conversion, cutting layouts and pre-shinking. It also lays out the most common and useful tools to use in sewing. With very nice photos!
Colour is very important so next there's some advice on how to combine colours, what works and what doesn't and the book presents a few colour storyboards. I love the blue one.
The next chapter also gets me quite excited. It's about fabric care. How to wash and remove stains and how to press. Lots of charts here making it very, very easy to find the information wanted when you need it.
The last chapter expands on different threads including how to match to fabric and to needles. Again all in easy to find charts.
This book is lovely and if you like fabric books you have to get this one.

I must say that even though I was sent this book for a review, all I wrote here is my most sincere opinion and I have not gained anything to say it.


  1. Great review! I've always wanted a book like this describing the differences between fabrics, working with them, pre-shrinking, burn testing etc. I will certainly be looking more closely at this one now before deciding which one to buy.

  2. This book looks great! I just ordered a different book, hope it is as good as this one:) thanks 4 the informative review!



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