Saturday, August 16, 2014

Scuba Knit


Hola! Last Sunday I finished the garment using the fabric from Britex. I expect this to be posted soon.

Meanwhile, I am having a lot of fun sewing up some scuba knit. I have been seeing a lot of scuba knit in high-end ready to wear.

But what is scuba knit?

Scuba is a double-knit fabric. Some people compare it to ponte, which is also a double-knit, but these fabrics have different qualities. Scuba knit is generally polyester and lycra, where ponte is often a blend of rayon, nylon, poly, and lycra. (Though I have seen poly/lycra ponte fabric, but my favorite generally contains rayon and nylon.)

Scuba knit is created with a very fine gauge, smooth thread and the resulting surface is generally smoother than a ponte. It also has a "sproingy" quality, similar to what you see in a neoprene ("wet suiting") fabric, but it's thinner and more malleable than traditional neoprene. It has a lot of body, and doesn't hang the way a ponte does.

Scuba, being a polyester fabric, takes dye very well and comes in beautiful prints and vivid colors. I have two pieces from Emma One Sock, but I have also seen some beautiful scuba knits on the Britex web site.

Like ponte, scuba is a dream to sew. I have seen very high end garments made from scuba knit that left the edges raw, on a hem, for example. It is also a good candidate for finishing with a binding.

Have you made any projects with scuba or seen any interesting garments made from scuba?

18 comments:

  1. I own a piece but I haven't used it yet. Primarily because every RTW piece I've seen shows it made up in a super tight garment...I don't do super tight so my piece sits waiting for inspiration. Will be interested to see how you used it!

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    1. I've seen it in a variety of RTW, tight and not-so-tight.

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  2. I have piece that was labeled neoprene. I haven't used it yet but the plan was/is for a pencil skirt.

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    1. My second piece is destined for a skirt, Vicki!

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  3. I've steered clear since it is poly. I don't do poly as it is too hot for me, and I generally don't like how it feels. However, I've enjoyed seeing the creations made by those who do sew with this new, popular knit.

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    1. I haven't worn a scuba knit garment yet, but it does strike me as one that wouldn't breathe too well. I hope that the garment I made will counteract that tendency.

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  4. Thanx for the explanation on the difference between scuba and neoprene. I was wondering. I'm confused though.. I thought polyester wasn't good for dying. Is it only for home dying? Or am I confusing it with something else?

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    1. Hi Sharon!

      Polyester *used* to be difficult for home dyers. Dyes like Procion don't work on poly. But manufacturers (who are creating the fabric) have processes/products that they can use to dye poly and it does work well. And there are *now* products available that regular folk can use to dye polyester. I used such a product a year ago and was amazed how well it worked, though it created some truly noxious fumes in my kitchen. I wouldn't do it lightly.

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  5. I think one of the Project Runway garments last week had either neoprene or scuba sleeves. They were molded looking and stood away from the model, giving a severe 40s look. shams, I have some endurance riding pants made with something similar. They have been through 2 wrecks and are still usable!

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    1. Yes, that's right, Mary! I can't remember which garment, either, but I do remember the scuba sleeves that stood away from the body. A nice effect!

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  6. Ehh, I just can't quite wrap my head around wearing a wet suit by choice. But since it is all over RTW I feel like I have to give it a try. Maybe in a slim silhouette - like a pencil skirt? What do you think?

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    1. LOL, Maris! Even though the fabric is a bit "foam-ish" (foamy isn't the right connotation) like Neoprene, it's thinner and more suited to RTW.

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  7. Britex has a scuba fabric with cats on it that I want... but it's a bit too dear so my scuba initiation will have to wait a bit. I look forward to seeing what you do with it!

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  8. Love the dress! I just got some scuba knit from Fabric Mart and was thinking about making the Marcy Tilton shingle dress with it. Do you think scuba would work well for that pattern? I've made it once with an ITY knit and it worked beautifully. Perhaps the scuba knit is too thick and stable?

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    1. Hi Deb! Wow, I would not use a scuba knit for the shingle dress. I think it *would* feel like wearing a wetsuit and would not breathe. But feel free to do it and prove me wrong! :)

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  9. I'm sorta scared of this fabric myself. Brings back memories of my scuba certification days in Monterey Bay and freezing to death underwater.

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    1. LOL. Well, I can understand that, Star!

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