Tips on Sewing With Brocade

Brocade is a heavy fabric woven with shiny thread into intricate patterns. It is often used to sew formal curtains or reupholster furniture. You can also pair brocade with other fabrics to sew clothing. Brocade is temperamental to sew, but with a few considerations, you can have a successful project.

  1. Preparation

    • You cannot wash brocade with soap and water. It will damage the threads and fray the ends. If you need to clean your brocade before you sew it, have it dry cleaned. If the brocade is wrinkled, iron it carefully. Use a low temperature setting and test a piece of scrap fabric to make sure the brocade does not burn. Use the iron with slight pressure to work out the wrinkle.

    Mock Up

    • If you are sewing your brocade into a complicated pattern, consider making a muslin version of the garment first. A muslin mockup will help you avoid mistakes that will show in your final version and allow you to figure out changes needed in the fitting.


    • Once brocade has been punctured by a pin or needle, the hole will always show. If you are sewing a simple straight seam, do not pin your brocade. For more complicated seams, pin on the seam allowance, close to the edge of the brocade, so that your stitches are on the inside of pins. Use burr-free pins to avoid snagging the thread.


    • You can use a universal needle, sharp-point needle or quilting needle to sew brocade. Sharp-point needles have a thin shaft with a sharp tip that is capable of piercing heavy fabrics like brocade. A sharp-point needle is more likely to break, however, than a sturdier universal needle or quilting needle. Universal needles have a sharp tip with a slightly rounded end and quilting needles have a tapered end.


    • Since brocade can fray, sew with a wide seam allowance. Use cotton or polyester thread with an overlock stitch. To finish the internal seams, bind the seams with satin binding or sew a flat fell seam. Line garments with interfacing, such as batiste, silk organza or flannel.

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  • Photo Credit Hemera Technologies/ Images

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