What kind of fabric should you use for a patchwork?

Once you’ve decided to give a try to patchwork to sew your own beautiful fiber works, it may be tricky to figure out what kind of fabric to use.

Patchwork with any kind of fabric

Patchwork and quilting are needlework techniques that can apply to any kind of cloth.
A variety of projects and pieces can be made, based on the desires and the ideas of the artists and creators.

Visit our exhibition to discover the work and the creations of talented artists.

At home, you can try your hand at any size and any kind of patchwork. You could sew a beautiful bedspread in patchwork, make a quilted cotton cushion for your couch, create an original linen tote bag to go shopping or even, with a bit of practice, design a mid-season jean jacket!
There is no established rule: you can make a patchwork with any kind of fabric.

The best choice for your project

You will pick your fabric, as well as its weave, its color or its pattern, depending on your project.

Cotton is a good choice for any easy-to-sew project in a breathable fabric, such as a blanket.

To create light accessories for everyday wear, or decors for your home, you could use linen, hemp or jeans for your patchwork.

For a more resistant work, such as a handbag, you can sew together pieces of leather.

As you can see, patchwork is an adaptable technique for all your styles and all your ideas.

Printed fabrics and patterned cloth

To create decorative pieces with a unique style, you’ll want to primarily use printed fabrics and patterned cloth as a basis for your patchwork.

Of course, you can also work from cloth in solid colors, especially if you’re inspired by traditional Amish patchwork.

But most of the more modern and artistic creations use a selection of fabrics printed with all kinds of patterns.
Whatever your tastes may be, you will always find a patterning to use as the perfect basis for your project: flowers, fruits, animals, abstract patterns…
You can also play and use all the colors.

Cotton as a beginner’s choice

Cotton is the most commonly used for patchwork and the easiest fabric to find.

Although cotton cloth is sold in various weights and qualities, we recommend 100% cotton fabric as it has a great weave and is easy to work with. It’s also a breathable fabric which will fit most works: clothing, accessories, bedclothes…

A fragile and delicate fabric such as silk will be much harder to work with if you’re just starting. Likewise, creating a patchwork out of pieces of leather will be difficult, because leather is stiffer and harder to sew.

You will want to avoid elasticated fabric such as jersey and fleece, because they will distort and make your work on your project harder. You should also avoid fabrics made of polyester or nylon, because they aren’t breathable enough to be used for a comforter or a blanket.

The art of upcycling

If you’re just beginning patchwork, simply start with the fabric scraps you will find around your house.

Remember that the Amish patchwork is making upcycling to an art! Preserve, reuse old cloths and scraps of fabric, and make do with what you have.