Two weeks ago, I stopped in my favorite fabric shop, Fulton Fabrics, just to browse their fabrics.    The store was super crowded, but I was killing time and as I browsed, I lucked up on a few pieces of fabric and waited my turn for cutting.  Of course, decided to squeeze past the other customers to get to the back of the store and see what else they had.

One woman was guarding a black bolt of fabric for dear life and of course, my interest is on high alert.  She told the second cutter to give her 6 cuts in 2 yd increments and I cut in (pun intended) and asked if that was knit.  She said yes, but abruptly turned back to the cutter.  My response...   alllllrighty then, and as the first cutter was approaching me I asked him what kind of fabric is that, pointing to the back, we walk back together and he told me it was neoprene.

With Flash

Finally, the woman walked away with her cuts and I moved right on in, and felt the fabric and asked the other cutter, is this neoprene... his response was yes, yes, yes.... ummm that response was a bit too fast & passionate.  Anywho, I told him I want some of that...

Without Flash

As I schlepped the fabric to the cash register I was smitten with the butter smooth texture yet spongy feel and the recovery as I pinched & pulled the fabric between my fingers.  When I got to the cash register, I asked the owner if this was indeed neoprene and his response was yes, yes, yes... ummm here we go again with the triple yes.  With all that said, I just purchased the fabric, left and didn't think about it again til this weekend while in the process of tidying up.

Pulled the fabric out of the bag and was again smitten with the butter smooth yet spongy feel.  I did compare it to a rtw neoprene dress that I have, and there are some similarities, but the black fabric had more of a butter smooth feel than the rtw.

Well, I just threw caution to the wind and used McCalls 7121 to work up a quick dress.  I didn't bother to wash it just wanted to see what the hell I was working with.  It serged up like a charm, but before I pressed on to the neckline and armholes, decided to throw it in the washing machine and see what I was still working with.

This is what it looked like when I took it out of the machine, and  laid it over a towel onto the dry rack.   Literally,  like in no time flat it was dry.  So I worked on the neckline using heatn'bond fusing a fold with a pressing cloth.  It handled heat well too.   I still need to do the armholes, and press the seams flat, the hemline is perfectly unfinished and ... just wondering...

... is it Neoprene ??? mmmmm


Faye Lewis said…
IDK, I've only seen it once but didn't buy because of lack of knowledge about how it handled. I am interested though. What kind of needle did you use? I've seen others say that they used a microtex? needle, although I do not have one of those in my collection either.
Sheila said…
Hi Faye, I initially serged all the seams, used heatn'bond to fuse the fold at the neckline. Last nite, I final stitched the neckline and folded the raw edges of the armholes, final stitched with a microtex needle and set the stitch length at 2.8. The dress hemline was folded to the inside with a 3/8" hem & fused with heatn'bond. All worked out. Now to see how wearable it is.
I think there are types of neoprene and if you didn't get one of the scuba types of neoprene maybe you got one of the lesser ones. I bought one similar to what you're describing and made a maxi skirt and top from it. It was okay but compared to a scuba type neoprene I have not as firm.
Sheila said…
After reading various articles on scuba/neoprene. It is my understanding that many of the fabrics labeled scuba are more than likely not to have any neoprene in them. Unless they are bona fide wet suits. It is made of a combination of stretchy fabrics, polyester, elastine, spandex, lycra, and processed and produced in varying thicknesses in a non-foam form resulting in a soft smooth texture, spongy and elastic fabric. I believe it’s safe to say most of the fabrics labelled “scuba/neoprene are glorified knits a/k/a neoprene. As the saying go I learn something everyday. However, I am loving the fabric… its butter smooth, spongey and thin enough to be comfortable.