Problems Sewing Corduroy? 6 Tips For Perfect Results (explained)

Sewing with corduroy can be a bit tricky due to the nature of the fabric. Corduroy is a cotton-based fabric that has a nap, which means that the corduroy fibers has a slight direction to them.

This can make it difficult to cut and sew the fabric, as it can shift and move around while you’re working with it.

Additionally, corduroy tends to creep or shift as you sew, which can be frustrating when you’re trying to create a precise seam. Some corduroys creep more than others, so it’s important to have a few strategies in mind to combat this issue.

Let’s dive into the challenges – and look at how to achive a great result!

In this article, we’ll explore some common problems that arise when sewing with corduroy and provide you with tips and tricks to help you overcome them.

Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced sewer, this guide will help you achieve professional-looking results when working with this unique fabric.

Corduroy has a nap that must be considered

Corduroy is a fabric that has a nap, which means that the fibers in the fabric do not lie vertically. This nap can create a different color or texture depending on the direction of the fabric.

When sewing with corduroy, it is important to consider the nap and how it will affect the final product.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when working with corduroy:

  • Directional cutting layouts:
    Corduroy requires directional cutting layouts because of the nap. You can determine the direction of the nap by running your hand over the fabric. The direction that feels smooth is with the nap.
  • One-way design:
    If you are using a corduroy fabric with a one-way design, make sure to lay out your pattern pieces in the correct orientation to avoid any design issues.
  • Ironing:
    When pressing corduroy, be sure to use a low heat setting and press gently to avoid crushing the nap. You can also use a pressing cloth to protect the fabric.
  • Thread:
    Use a thread color that matches the corduroy fabric to avoid any visible stitching.

By taking the nap into consideration when sewing with corduroy, you can ensure that your final product looks and feels the way you want it to.

With a little extra care and attention, you can create beautiful garments and accessories that showcase the unique texture and style of corduroy.

A sharp or universal needle is needed

When it comes to sewing corduroy, the right needle is crucial to achieving a good result. Corduroy is a thick and dense fabric, and using the wrong needle can lead to skipped stitches, broken needles, and frustration.

Check also our guide to overcoming problems with sewing fleece (good tips also you can use for corruroy).

A sharp or universal needle is the best choice for sewing corduroy.

A sharp needle has a fine point that can penetrate the fabric easily, while a universal needle is slightly rounded and can handle both woven and knit fabrics.

Here are a few things to keep in mind when choosing a needle for sewing corduroy:

  • Choose a needle size appropriate for the weight of the corduroy fabric. A larger size needle may be needed for thicker corduroy.
  • Make sure the needle is sharp and not dull. A dull needle can cause the fabric to pucker or snag.
  • Consider using a denim needle, which is designed for heavy fabrics and has a sharp point that can handle thick layers.

Remember to change your needle frequently, especially if you are working on a large project. A dull or damaged needle can cause frustration and lead to a subpar finished product.

By using a sharp or universal needle and following these tips, you can successfully sew corduroy without any problems.

Aligning Corduroy Patterns or Wales Can Be Challenging

Corduroy is a fabric that has a distinct pile, which means that the fibers are raised in rows.

These rows are called “wales.” When sewing with corduroy, it is important to consider the direction of the nap and the alignment of the wales. However, aligning corduroy patterns or wales can be challenging.

Here are a few tips to help you:

  • Before cutting your fabric, make sure the wales are aligned in the same direction. This will ensure that your finished garment looks neat and professional.
  • If your corduroy has a directional pattern, make sure to cut all the pattern pieces in the same direction.
  • Use pins or clips to hold the fabric in place while sewing. This will prevent the fabric from shifting and ensure that the wales stay aligned.
  • If you are having trouble aligning the wales, try using a walking foot or a roller foot. This will help feed the fabric evenly through the machine and prevent the wales from shifting.

Remember, aligning corduroy patterns or wales can be challenging, but with a little practice and patience, you can achieve great results.

Selecting the Right Thread

Choosing the right thread is crucial when sewing corduroy.

The thread you use should be sturdy enough to withstand the weight of the fabric and the tension of the stitches.

Here are some tips to help you select the right thread:

  • Use a high-quality, all-purpose thread that is strong enough to handle the weight of the corduroy fabric.
  • Consider using a slightly thicker thread than you would normally use for other fabrics, such as a 40 or 50 weight thread.
  • Choose a thread color that matches the color of the corduroy fabric as closely as possible. If you can’t find an exact match, choose a slightly darker shade rather than a lighter one.
  • Test your thread on a scrap piece of corduroy fabric before sewing your project to make sure it can handle the weight and tension of the stitches.

By selecting the right thread for your corduroy project, you can ensure that your stitches will be strong and secure, and that your finished project will look professional and last for years to come.

Adjusting Tension

One of the most common problems encountered when sewing corduroy is tension issues.

The thickness of the fabric can cause the upper and lower threads to pull unevenly, resulting in puckering, skipped stitches, or even thread breakage.

Fortunately, there are several ways to adjust the tension on your machine to ensure a smooth and even stitch.

The first step is to check your machine’s manual to see how to adjust the tension. Most machines have a tension dial that can be turned to adjust the upper thread tension.

If your machine has a bobbin case tension adjustment, this can also be adjusted to ensure even tension on the lower thread.

Another way to adjust tension is to use a different needle. A larger needle size can help create larger holes in the fabric, allowing the thread to pass through more easily. A ballpoint or stretch needle can also be used to prevent the fabric from snagging or breaking.

If you are still having tension issues, try adjusting the pressure on your presser foot.

A lighter pressure can help the fabric move more smoothly through the machine, reducing the risk of puckering or skipped stitches. Additionally, raising the presser foot slightly can help create more space for the fabric to pass through, which can also reduce tension issues.

Remember, adjusting tension can take some trial and error, so don’t be afraid to experiment with different settings until you find the one that works best for your machine and fabric. By taking the time to adjust the tension, you can ensure a professional-looking finish on your corduroy projects.

Using the Right Stitch Length

One of the most common problems when sewing corduroy is using the wrong stitch length.

It’s important to choose the right stitch length to ensure that your seams hold up and don’t break or pucker.

Here are some tips for choosing the right stitch length:

  • Set your stitch length between 3.0mm and 4.0mm.
  • Adjust up or down if needed after you sew a sample seam on some scraps of the fabric.
  • If your corduroy has any spandex/polyester content for stretch, be sure to use a stretch stitch or a narrow zigzag stitch so your seams will stretch with your fabric.

When you set your stitch length, keep in mind that shorter stitches will create a stronger seam, but they may also cause the fabric to pucker.

Longer stitches may not hold up as well over time, but they will help prevent puckering.

Here’s more on stitches for stretchy fabric and materials.

It’s also important to use the right needle when sewing corduroy. A universal needle may work, but a denim needle or a needle specifically designed for heavy fabrics may be a better choice.

By using the right stitch length and needle, you can avoid many of the common problems when sewing corduroy and create beautiful, durable garments that will last for years to come.