How to sew silk fabric

How To Sew Silk Fabric – 10 Super Easy Guide in 2023

Sewing is a fun craft, you can make dresses for yourself, decor stuff for your home, and much more with it. There are various kinds of fabric out there and each one has different sewing methods. It can be easy, irritating, or tough. From my personal experience, sewing new silk fabric for the first time can be difficult. Even sewing experts face it sometimes. The amount of focus it needs for amazing results is really challenging.

How to sew silk fabric? Once you master the basics and know the instructions to sew silk, you can create beautiful and different things out of it without any hassle. Experts suggest starting with sewing other fabrics like cotton before silk sewing. The reason is, silk is slippery. You have to start carefully and slowly with different approaches. It requires some previous notes to get into the project of sewing silk fabric.

Key Takeaways

  • Before cutting your pattern for sewing your silk fabric you must prepare it for the sewing project.
  • Gather the equipment and ensure the right settings to start sewing step by step.
  • There are problems to come across while sewing and it’s easy to dodge them.
  • Make sure you take proper care of your silk fabric to get the best out of it.

Preparing Silk Fabric for Sewing

Since you have a basic understanding of silk you can select your silk fabric based on your requirement for sewing. Here are a few important preparations you need to make before you start your sewing project.

Preparing silk fabric for sewing
Preparing silk fabric for sewing


Wash your silk fabric before cutting the pattern for the project. Be sure to read the label before pre-washing it. It’ll let you know which cleaning method is suitable for the fabric. Silk fabric tends to shrink in most cases. But the washing can take out the crispness from the fabric. You’ll also be sure of colors running from your pattern. Generally, washing silk is not recommended but it is a great way to see whether you are okay with the changes or not.


Ironing silk fabric before cutting is essential for achieving a smooth and precise finish. This process not only removes wrinkles but also ensures the fabric is completely dry before cutting. Ironing prepares the fabric for a better pattern outline. To iron silk fabric, first, lay it flat on a towel after washing and drying, then gently iron over it. Make sure the dry iron is set on low heat, and press the damp silk gently. Overheating can damage the fibers and ruin the fabric.


Cutting silk fabric requires attention and focus. The outcome of your project depends on the accurate cutting of the pattern you’d sew. Keep your silk cloth flat on the table. Make sure there are no obstacles to moving or shifting the fabric. It is recommended to use a rotary cutter for better results.

By ensuring these preparations, you can do your sewing project perfectly. There would be no disruption to your favorite silk fabric. Remember, handle your silk pattern with care and be sure of its characteristics.

How To Sew Silk Fabric: Step By Step

Using proper needles and thread is the key to successfully doing the project of sewing silk fabric. But here are some general guidelines to keep in mind and equipment to gather. Altogether they can save your time and increase the chance of a better outcome.


  • Needles: Selecting the right needle has an impact on the result of your sewing project. Silks fabrics usually get along with a universal needle. The ideal size range could be from sizes 60 to 70. or a MicroTex needle if the fabric is densely woven. Use a new needle and make sure it is sharp. Unless the fabric is getting pulled or pushed out of the throat plate and it’s not puckering on the opposite sides, your needle is fine. Remember: lighter fabrics will need smaller needles.
  • Thread: A thread’s weight is the most important thing to consider. The weight of the thread needs to be suitable for the size of the needle eye. Because lightweight fabrics will require smaller needles. If it breaks during the sewing process, then you better change it. There are no particular thread requirements as long as the thread weighs it getting along.
  • Pins: Use pins to make holes in the soft fabric delicate fabric. Check it before sewing to make sure it doesn’t leave any visible marks. Then pin the edge of the fabric within the seam. It’ll allow you to keep the seam line parallel and won’t show any marks after the sewing is done.


The sewing process of silk fabric needs attention. Otherwise, achieving professional results wouldn’t be possible. There are various factors to keep in mind to consider throughout the sewing process. It’ll ensure you get the project done perfectly.

All 10 procedure explain here:

Step 1: Minding Thread Tension

When sewing silk fabric with a machine, it is crucial to ensure that the thread tension is not too tight otherwise, the fabric can become puckered. It might pull the fabric as it stitches. As a result, you’ll get uneven lines. Adjust the thread tension on your sewing machine to a lower setting for lightweight fabrics. With the balanced tension and quality thread, you can create smooth, even stitches on your silk fabric without any puckering or pulling.

Minding thread tension
Minding thread tension

Step 2: Stitch Length

Using a shorter stitch length is generally recommended for silk fabric. Longer stitches can cause the fabric to snag or tear. It is frustrating and difficult to fix. A shorter stitch length will help ensure that the stitches are small and tight, keeping your fabric safe from frying or pulling.

Stitch length
Stitch length

Step 3: Handling Fabric

Silk requires gentle handling during the sewing process. Pulling or stretching the fabric can damage it. The whole project would be lost. Using sharp scissors, rotary cutters, pinning, etc. can ensure the proper handling of the silk fabric during the sewing process.

Handling fabric
Handling fabric

Step 4: Using the Foot Pedal

Sewing silk fabric must maintain a consistent speed. This point is a must to maintain for sewing fabrics like silk because they get easily distorted. By keeping a steady pace with the foot pedal, you can ensure that the fabric remains in the correct position. It improves the overall quality of the sewing.

Using the foot pedal
Using the foot pedal

Step 5: Sew with Other Threads

There’s a myth that you can only sew silk fabric with silk thread. No, it is true. You can use other types of threads like polyester and cotton. Silk thread is good but there’s no thumb rule to use it. Cotton is durable and with the correct weight, you can use polyester thread as well.

By following these tips, you can successfully sew silk fabric with a machine and create beautiful, high-quality garments.

Step 6: Work Slow

Maintaining accuracy matters most in sewing silk fabric. If you work at a stretch there’s a chance to get hazed by the tiredness and fall out from the process. It’s always better to go slow and take breaks in between the sewing.

Work slow
Work slow

Step 7: Ensure Seams Allowances

The distance in the fabric between the cloth’s edge and the seam line is known as the seam allowance. With silk fabrics, the seam allowance normally ranges from 1/4 inch to 1/2 inch. Bias tape, zigzag stitching, or a serger can all be used for this. A sturdy, polished-looking garment must be made using the right seam allowance and finishing methods.

Ensure seams allowances
Ensure seams allowances

Step 8: Hand Basting Is Great

Hand basting provides better control over the edges of silk fabric. While it is a time-consuming process, it results in a higher-quality finished product. Hand basting also allows for easier adjustments during the sewing process, ensuring that the final product is as precise and perfect as possible.

Hand basting is great
Hand basting is great

Step 9: Apply French Seam

The delicate nature of silk makes it often fray which distorts the overall look of the finished product. The only way out of this is to use a French seam. It encloses the edges in the seam which provides longevity for your fabric.

Apply french seam
Apply french seam

Step 10: Practice

No matter which fabric you sew it is the step to follow especially, for silk. It’s important to test the stitches before you get into the actual sewing. How would you do that? Well, take a scrap piece of fabric, paper, or tissue towels. This helps ensure that the needle size and thread tension are appropriate for the fabric, preventing any damage or puckering.


Silk Sewing: Problems

There are various problems that arise when you want to sew your silk fabric. Knowing them beforehand and taking precautions can save them from the great mess. Out of all the fabrics, silk is elegant and luxurious and no one wants to ruin it while sewing.

  • Getting confused about the silk fabric is the most common problem for sewing. It’s better to know the silk you prefer would match your purpose or not.
  • Skipping the steps of preparation might lead to a miscount of pattern length after the shrinkage.
  • Uneven lines and cuts are most likely to happen because silk is slippery and soft. That’s why it’s better to pin the edges while sewing and cutting the pattern.
  • Using the wrong pin to stick the fabric. It creates a hole in the final result of the silk sewing.
  • Stains after washing the fabric. It is caused by hand washing due to dirt and other stuff in hand. Water also creates spots on silk. That’s why dry cleaning is recommended for silk.
  • Stopping of needle plates and slow pedal is another issue for silk sewing. It causes uneven seams and frying as the pressure gets wrong on the fabric.
  • Not using seam causes frying in silk fabric. Using French seam outside as well as inside can solve this problem.
  • Using the wrong interface and lining is a major problem to avoid while sewing silk fabric. it has to be lighter than the silk fabric. The same fabric is great for interfacing with silk. It gives benefits through the process of sewing.

Care and Maintenance of Silk Fabric

To ensure the longevity of silk fabric, it is important to avoid problems and take proper care of your fabric. From washing to drying each step must have to be carefully followed to keep the beauty of your silk fabric.

Care and maintenance of silk fabric
Care and maintenance of silk fabric

Read the labels

It is the thumb rule for all kinds of fabrics to read the labels. You’ll get the proper information and the exact instructions there about how to wash, the temperature of the water, and much more. It is the best way to keep up the quality of your silk fabric.

Follow the rules to wash it

Use a gentle detergent when you wash silk fabrics, but don’t wring it. Be more gentle during the process because of the delicate nature of silk. Otherwise, it’ll damage the fibers and ruin the cloth. After that, dry at normal temperature instead of sunlight. Don’t forget to check whether the colors are washing away or not.

Dry it properly

Don’t use any kind of machine mode to dry your silk clothes. Instead, dry them with a towel, slowly pat them with a cotton towel and then hang them in a safe place. It keeps the fiber of the silk strong and long-lasting.

Remove stains carefully

Only do dry cleaning. Don’t go for commercial cleaners to remove stains from your silk fabrics because they use bleaching ingredients that can permanently damage your fabric. instead, find out the stains form on your clothing and clean them one by one. Don’t go for bulk cleaning.

Iron low to remove wrinkles

No matter how delicate the fabric is, silk gets wrinkled after washing both before and after sewing. iron is the only way to remove wrinkles from the silk fabric. Try to use a lower temperature setting on the iron. Use another layer of cotton cloth before starting to iron. You can dry it by ironing too instead of putting it out in the sun for quick drying.


How many types of silk fabrics are there?

There are more than 30 types of silk. Only four of them are naturally produced and famous worldwide. They are: Mulberry silk, Eri silk, Tasar silk, and Muga silk.

Is it hard to sew silk by hand?

Yes, rather, you can sew it by hand. Silk is slippery in nature which makes it even more difficult to sew in a machine without proper guidelines and expertise.

Can I wash silk clothes in the washing machine?

Yes, you can but It is recommended to dry wash your silk fabric instead of the regular wash cycle.

Final Thoughts

Sewing with silk fabric can be an unforgettable experience. It requires careful attention and proper technique with high-quality materials. The needles and silk thread have to be new and strong. Go through preparation without skipping the steps before starting your project. When sewing, do it slowly. It’ll reduce puckering. Lastly, remember to handle your sewing project with delicacy and care.


Hey I’m Sherry Howes an expert in sewing, knitting, crocheting, and embroidery. With a passion for fiber arts and a talent for crafting, I Have spent years improving my skills and sharing knowledge with others. Whether teaching a class or creating a new project, I’m always excited to share my love of crafting with the world. I like researching new techniques and trends in the crafting arts community.

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