I have a new favorite fabric. Its name? Seawool!
A few weeks ago, I decided to film a Ribbed Neckline Tutorial using the M&M Fielder Dress pattern. I needed to pick a woven fabric to complement the precut ribbing I intended to use, so – on a whim – I selected the Black colorway of the uniquely named ‘Seawool Melton‘, just in from Robert Kaufman.
I have two beautiful daughters, a husband, and and amazing fabric store, so to say that choosing this fabric for my Fielder was the best decision I ever made would be an overstatement – but only by a little bit!
An environmental home run by Robert Kaufman, Seawool is made from post-consumer oyster shells (hence the ‘sea’). After being crushed, the shells are mixed with plastic (PET) from recycled water bottles and spun into a yarn that is naturally anti-static, anti-odor, anti-bacterial, and quick-drying! On paper, this fabric sounds less-than cozy, but in reality it is SO soft and incredibly warm! What’s more, it’s two-toned, so there’s also a fun option to color-block when sewing with this fabric.
The only drawback is it doesn’t come in enough colors! Here are the three colors Robert Kaufman currently manufactures:
You better believe we carry them all! In addition, we took the leap and purchased one of their Seawool Tweed Flannels, which is made in the same manner as these Meltons.
4 Sewing with Seawool Lessons
When sewing my Fielder, I discovered four important things about this awesome fabric:
- It can be washed and dryed by machine on warm. It doesn’t shrink at all. Plus, it gets softer and fluffier with every wash and dry cycle!
- You should iron it on a medium (wool) setting. I tried a hotter iron, and the fabric got a little shiny (the shine went away after the fabric cooled). I switched to a lower setting and used a press cloth to protect it from direct heat, and the problem went away.
- Seawool is a woven fabric with absolutely no stretch along the lengthwise or crosswise grains. It does stretch a little along the bias. Most wovens stretch some along the crosswise grain, but this Seawool does not. Therefore, if you’re making a skirt or pants out of it, you’ll want to make sure there is plenty of room for your tummy, because you won’t be able to count on any extra give in the fabric!
- Seawool frays, so you’ll want to finish all your edges with a zigzag stitch or serger. French seams are another good option.
Jumping on the 'Shaket' Train!
In a nutshell, Seawool is a joy to sew with, and it’s low-maintenance. It’s perfect for dresses, skirts, pants, or shakets (a shirt/jacket combo)! I think my next ‘wool of the sea’ project will be a chic shacket!