|The term ‘nap’ refers to the raised surface on the fabrics that have undergone napping treatment. They can either be woven or knitted. Examples of napped fabrics are flannel, serge etc. Napped fabrics are soft to touch, heavier and are warmer, hence preferred for baby’s clothes. The raised fibres of napped fabrics lie in one direction and feel and look different when viewed from different directions. So it is important to have the nap running in the same direction on all the pattern pieces.
Pile fabrics are woven with an extra set of warp that forms a loop on the surface of the cloth. This loop may be cut or uncut. Examples of pile fabrics are: velvet, corduroy, terry cloth etc. They might appear light and shiny when brushed in lengthwise direction and dark when brushed in the other direction. To avoid a two toned look in the garment a ‘with nap layout’ should be planned.
One way prints are printed fabrics with the prints running in only one direction. Motifs should be placed in such a way that they flatter the wearer. These fabrics also require special handling and a ‘with nap layout’ is generally recommended.
Satin fabric reflects light differently in different directions. Hence ‘a with nap layout’ is preferred for cutting satins. All the pattern pieces must lie in the same direction so that light reflects equally and fabric color appears uniform. For all the above mentioned fabrics, extra fabric is required to allow for matching of the nap.
Rules to remember while working with napped/pile/one way prints:
- Identify the direction of the nap by brushing with the hand. If it feels soft, then one is brushing with the nap. Video clip from you tube
- The nap should run down the garment, from the top down toward the lower hem. This feels softer, and the fabric tends to pill less and wears better. When the nap runs up, the color is richer.
- Lay all the pattern pieces so that they run in only one direction.
- If the fabric is to be folded crosswise, fold with the right sides together, cut open and rotate the top layer 1800 to keep the nap direction consistent.
- Outerwear fabrics with heavy and longer surface fibers, such as fleece and camel’s hair, should be cut with the nap running down, so the pile is smooth and the garment repels moisture better.
- Short-nap fabrics, such as corduroy and velour, can be cut with the nap running up to achieve a richer, deeper color and a more interesting texture.
- For design interest certain pieces like patch pockets and yokes, can be cut in different directions to create shading.
- If the design demands facings, cut them from light weight fabric.
- Simple designs showcase the napped fabrics better.