How to Sew Silk Without Puckering (Thread, Needle, and Tips)

Sewing may seem easy to the untrained eye at least. But the reality is sewing has a lot of pitfalls and fabric dangers that could ruin any sewing project. Learning how to avoid those pitfalls is the smart way to learn how to sew.

How to sew silk without puckering: Silk is a slippery fabric and one way to avoid puckering is to hand baste the fabric together so you can sew without worry. Then place a straight stitch needle plate on your machine. This little move will help prevent puckering as well.

Can You Sew Silk?


Yes, you can sew silk, it just might be a little more work as the fabric is very slick. One way to sew silk is to use tissue paper. This helps keep the fabric from sliding all over the place as you work on it.

Then you can use a fabric stabilizer to make sure the part you are working on does not move on you between stitches. These stabilizers should also help keep puckering away.

Because some stabilizers can mark up fabric, you should do a quick test to make sure your silk will be left mark free.

How To Sew Silk Fabric

When using your machine, make sure to cut the silk just right. Then either spray on some stabilizer, pin some stabilizer on, or use fabric weights to hold the silk material in place so you can begin working.

In the seam allowance, you can use silk pins as those items will cause the least amount of harm to the silk. Or you can loosely hand baste the fabric together to make sure nothing moves when you sew.

Next, put your tissue paper down, pull your thread spool and bobbin away from you and lower the needle by hand. Hold the silk firmly but don’t push or pull and go slowly making a few stitches then backstitching.

How To Sew Silk by Hand

The hemming aspect when working with silk and hand sewing has unlimited options. Which method you use will depend on the type of silk you are using and the type of outfit you are creating.

If you are doing a formal gown then a French seam would be best. Casual attire can get away with a stitch line to stop fraying. You will need a short stitch and keep the silk tight while you sew.

Then if the silk is really slippery, try holding it together with some fabric tape. For thread, 100% silk thread is the one to use. If you do not have any then go to a 100% cotton thread.

Can You Sew Silk on a Machine?


Yes, you can but many sewers prefer to sew silk by hand because puckering happens more often when you use a sewing machine. When using your machine you should use a very narrow and short zig-zag stitch.

Then fold the hem over and stitch the hem letting part of the zig-zag stitch go over the edge of the fold to create a rolled hem. Then when you are done, cut away any excess fabric as close to the stitches without cutting them.

How To Sew Silk on a Sewing Machine

The first step in this process is to make sure you have ct your fabric carefully and correctly. Then double-check to make sure your sewing machine is clean and free from dirt, dust, and grime.

Next, run a scrap piece of silk through the machine. This allows you to adjust the tension, adjust the number f stitches per inch, approx. 12, another adjustments so your machine is ready for the job.

After that, you need to pull the thread and bobbin thread away from you so that it does not get knotted up in the machine foot. Now lower the needle by hand, flatten but not tighten the silk, then sew a few stitches before backstitching. Do a French seam to finish the garment.

What Thread To Sew Silk

The recommended thread to use in this situation is 100% silk thread. It is a very strong thread to use when creating a silk outfit. It is used to help create silk ribbons and do embroidery work.

If you do not have any silk thread on hand, the store should have many types available for you to use. Or you can use 100% cotton thread to finish your outfit. The good thing about silk thread is that it doe snot leave holes behind. Plus, it is very flexible.

What Needle To Sew Silk


The smaller the better. A small needle doesn't create big holes in your silk fabric and ruin the integrity of the silk. You want a small needle because silk has a tendency to show off holes very easily.

A 60/8 is one recommended size or you can use a universal needle if you do not have the 60/8 on hand. Then you should have several spare needles of the same size on hand and ready to go when the one in your machine becomes dull or breaks accidentally.

Always sew slowly when working with silk as the slower speed cuts down on problems.

Sew Silk Stitch

There are two good stitches you can use when sewing silk. The first is the regular zig-zag stitch which most sewing machines have these days. The second stitch is the tricot option. The one with 3 to the right then 3 to the left.

What is important about stitching silk is that your stitches are even, straight and go along the seam line. If you do not get this correct then the silk will appear bumpy, look like it has distortions and imperfections.

Also, you should keep the stitch length to about 1 1/2 to 2 mm. Then never rip stitches that are in silk. You will damage the material.

How To Sew Silk Lining

First, make sure the silk lining is the right color and also not see-through. Then make sure you put the smooth side away from the jacket so it will slide over your clothes when you put the jacket on.

Then prepare your lining by pre-washing, cutting, and ironing. These steps will help you sew easier. Once all that is done, select a straight stitch and a thread color that matches the lining color.

Next, pin the lining to where it is supposed to be in the jacket and sew the two together.

How To Sew Ripped Silk


One way would be to put some fusible fabric on the wrong side of the rip and gently iron it into place. Make sure to close the tear as tight as you can. Then sew the rip with silk thread getting the edges as close together as you can.

Don’t forget to use fingernail scissors to cut away any of the loose edges the tear may have. Or you can cut a triangle silk patch and place that over the hole. Then pin in place and fold the edges of the patch under and sew all three sides.

How To Sew Silk With a Serger

One of the keys to sewing with a serger is to loosen the presser foot so the fabric does not sew with any drag to it. Then turn your differential feed dial to a minus setting. If you do not have that dial then hold the silk fabric tight in front and behind the needle.

After that, insert the smallest needle your serger is compatible with and loosen the tensions slightly. Those are the main tips you need to follow when using your serger sewing machine on silk fabrics.

You have stitch options so take a few moments and find one that you like and will work well with the outfit you are making.

How Long Does a Silk Closure Sew in Last?

Well, the task may take you between 2 and 3 hours to get done. If you have the patience to do it or sit through someone doing it for you then your fashion statement will be improved.

Once the sew-in closure is done, you should get about 6 months of use out of it. But the length of time depends a lot on the type of care you give the silk sew-in. If you treat it rough then you should not expect it to last very long.

What Can I Sew With Silk?


The type of fabrics that you can sew silk will depend on the type of silk you are using. While not all silks are dry clean only, you really do not want to match up a dry clean silk material with a wash and wear fabric.

Then you need to check the weight of the silk and sew it with a fabric that is similar in weight. Also, it will depend on where the silk will go and what its purpose is. You need to match the silk to the right fabric that will combine the two into a perfect outfit.

Sew Silk Pajamas

Start with the bottoms first as that is the easiest of the two patterns you have to work with. Then instead of cutting your pattern up into little pieces, trace the pattern size you need leaving the pattern intact.

After that, cut your material and mark which ones are the front and which ones are the back. Now pin the inner leg seams together and get ready to sew. Follow the instructions on the pattern and sew the seams together.

Once that is done pin the side seams together and sew them. The casing for the pajama tie is next and you will need a 1 1/2 inch fold with a 1/4 inch seam allowance then stitch the casing together. Then follow the instruction son the pattern the rest of the way.

Sewing Silk Pillowcases

Cut your fabric into four pieces measuring about 21 by 28 inches or whatever size you need. Then take two pieces and sew them right and shorter side together leaving 1/2 to the edge.

Now spread out your fabrics and pin the 20-inch zipper into its place keeping it centered as you go. Don’t forget to iron down the edges first then after pinning the zipper iron its edges.

The next step is to sew the zipper and fabrics together using an invisible zipper foot. Then sew over the edges of the zipper and fabric. Finally, flip the fabric over and examine the closed seam.

Rip out any threads covering the zipper keeping it exposed.

Sewing Silk Jersey


Sewing with silk on this project is different from sewing other fabrics for the same project. Start your fabric with about an inch of the material under your presser foot. Then use a slow speed to avoid having the fabric get caught as you sew.

Avoid using a stretch stitch and use a regular length stitch when you get going. Then stitch the seams together. A rolled hem is best but if you do not have a serger then go to a regular hem.

Make sure to reinforce the heavier trim because the fabric can stretch out of shape very easily. Speaking of stretching try to avoid overstretching when you work. Use a different material for the necklines and other areas yo want a lot of stretches.

Some Final Words

Silk is a very difficult fabric to work with. You need to make sure you take the right precautions in order not to damage the material before you get started working on it. Go slow as silk is also expensive and mistakes can be costly.

When you sew silk, make sure to go with the smallest needle possible and silk thread. That will protect the garment from holes and keep those holes hidden. If you are careful, your silk sewing project should turn out just right and you can be proud of your achievement.

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