Nobody is a bigger fan of silk taffeta than Della of della Q, one of True Up’s sponsors. She has a popular collection of silk knitting bags and needle cases, and recently branched out into selling silk taffeta yardage, fat quarters, and quilt kits. She sent me a fat quarter stack to experiment with (shown above: dark yellow and yellow-green check), and I’ll write about that in a separate post. But I thought there’d be nobody better to explain the properties of silk taffeta than Della herself, so I asked her all about it:
What attracted you to silk taffeta?
Iridescence, iridescence, iridescence! Taffeta silk is one of the few fabrics than has this quality.
What are its characteristics? How does it compare to other types of silk?
Taffeta silk is much stiffer in hand than many other silks. Compared to dupioni, another popular silk, taffeta lacks the nubbins of dupioni which also contributes to its iridescence and luster. Taffeta silk fibers are dyed before it is woven. Some silks such as satin silk, the entire fabric is dyed after it is woven.
What projects are best for this fabric?
You can really use taffeta silk as a replacement for any cotton project. I also like combining silk and cotton together in a simple quilt. Typical projects, however, include home decor projects such as pillows and table runners. You can add a touch of floral embroidery for something different. I also have some beautiful taffeta silk jackets and taffeta crop pants that I like to wear to cocktail parties at friends.
Is it difficult to work with? Do you need any special equipment or techniques?
The main difference between working with taffeta silk and other common fabrics is the need to use a fusible interfacing. By interfacing before you cut, you’ll minimize the fraying that occurs from the woven fabric. You’ll want to use an ultra-light weight interfacing to avoid changing the hand. If you are using the fabric for wearables, simply use a french seam. You see more tips about working with silk here.
You started out selling bags for knitters — what made you decide to expand to selling fabric too?
Many of my knitting customers are also sewers who wanted to use my fabric in their own special projects.
Can you tell us about Vietnam Quilts, and your partnership with them?
Vietnam Quilts is a non-profit organization that teaches rural and low-income Vietnamese women the art of quilting as a means to a steady income. della Q donates funds for equipment and education. We also bring quilting instructors from the U.S. to Vietnam to educate the women about new techniques. The women of Vietnam Quilts are talented and inspiring. You can learn more about Vietnam Quilts and see photos from our last trip here.
Thank you so much, Della! della Q has a special offer going on right now — buy five Mix and Match fat quarters and get the sixth free with coupon code 6FQFREE.