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Brocade is a fabric that originates from China. Brocade fabric is made on a jacquard loom, and is considered a jacquard fabric--meaning it is woven into predetermined decorative patterns. The difference between brocade and other embroidered fabrics, such as damask, is that brocade is reversible and is equally pretty on either side of the fabric. Brocade is a thick, slippery fabric, and can be difficult to work with. Fortunately, with the right tools, sewing with brocade is just as easy as working with any other fabric.
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Install a sharp-point needle on your sewing machine. The sharp-point needles are more effective at piercing between heavy fabrics, such as brocade, and will produce a smoother seam according to online sewing resource All Brands.
Cut the fabric with the sharp scissors. If possible, use scissors that are only used for fabric and nothing else. Using scissors for other tasks and then cutting thick fabrics like brocade will produce ragged cutting edges because the other items can easily dull the cutting blades.
Serge all edges of the fabric with the serger machine. The serger will automatically create a whipstich seam along the edge of the fabric. This keeps the brocade from unraveling.
Iron the brocade pieces using an iron set to the coolest setting, or iron the fabric by placing a towel over the fabric and ironing the towel. This protects the delicate fibers of the brocade. Some brocade is made from silk fibers, which can melt under extreme heat.
Pin the fabric pieces together where you need to line up the brocade to match the pattern of the item that you are making. Make sure to place the right side of the fabric together.
Sew the edges of the fabric together. Work slowly, and carefully hold the slippery fabric straight. Work in small sections, rather than trying to run the entire side through the machine in one run.
Open the seam and iron the seam flat with a cool iron or with a towel placed over the seam.
Continue to sew and iron in this manner until you are finished making the brocade item. Turn the brocade right side out. Cool iron any wrinkles areas.
Do not wash brocade in the washing machine. Brocade can pull along the seams, causing a puckering effect that is very hard to remove. The fabric may also shrink, depending on what the brocade is made from.