You’ll gain the confidence you need to start your first tulle project by using this helpful, full-of-tricks guide to sewing tulle.
Tulle fabric, which resembles netting and is light and airy, was named after the French city of Tulle, where it was first created. Bridal veils and wedding dresses are frequently made with them.
Due to its lightweight and sheerness, tulle is a delicate fabric that can be difficult to sew. It is vulnerable to shifting, snagging, and tearing. Most frequently, it is constructed from netted nylon fibers.
In this post, you’ll discover how to sew tulle.
How to Sew Tulle?
Tulle is available in a variety of styles and weights. While others are soft and flowy, some are thick and rigid. Be sure to understand the needs of your project because each has a function in sewing. English tulle, Silk tulle, and Bridal Illusion are the three basic varieties of tulle. Since sewing with tulle can be a bit tricky, here are some helpful ideas:
- Static electricity is drawn to the tulle. Grab a spray bottle filled with water to combat this and lightly spray. A gentle mist will do the trick; take care not to soak.
- Due to its low melting point, tulle should not be directly ironed or pressed. The best way to get wrinkles out of tulle is to use steam or a pressing cloth along with a low setting on the iron.
- Use a rotary cutter and self-healing mat to stop shifting while cutting. For cutting on a mat, I prefer to fold the fabric over, lay it flat on the table, and hold it in place with a big quilting ruler.
- The slippery fabric tulle can be challenging to sew. Put a piece of clear tape on the bottom of the presser foot to stop it from shifting and snagging. This will help prevent sewing snagging.
- Under the fabric, tuck a piece of seam binding to act as support for the stitching. The fabric won’t get caught in the feed dogs and jam your machine as much if you do this.
- This is fantastic news because it allows for unfinished edges because tulle does not fray. Tulle’s raw edges can help create an airy feel.
- When hand sewing, it is best to use a bigger needle and heavier thread.
- When gathering tulle, you can use your ruffle foot to gather a lot more than you’ll need for your pattern in terms of length. You can increase the number of layers this way, giving your project more depth and interest.
- Use broad zigzag stitches rather than looped ones or short straight lines when sewing tulle, whether you’re doing it by hand or with a sewing machine. The longest stitch length setting should be used when sewing on a machine.
- Tulle should be pinned to the base fabric with several safety pins before sewing anything with it. The pins should be taken out as you sew. This can aid in avoiding bunching and uneven sewing.
You can also watch this video to learn how to sew tulle:
Tips on How to Sew Tulle
Tulle is a little trickier to sew because you usually have to pass your needle through multiple layers at once. Due to the mesh fibers and slight stretch factor, tulle seams are slightly trickier to sew than those in woven fabrics, but with a few adjustments, you can achieve fantastic results.
Here are my top 5 tips on how to sew tulle:
- Use safety pins
- Switch to a zig-zag stitch for seams
- Replace your sewing machine foot
- Don’t iron tulle
- Leave hems raw
Use Safety Pins
Safety pins should be used to temporarily secure seams when sewing tulle because pins will easily fall out. When you need to work with or cut multiple layers at once, safety pins are a great alternative because they will keep everything in place. Use the smaller safety pins so that your tulle won’t be marred.
Sew Tulle With Zig-zag
Straight-stitching tulle seams frequently result in skipped and broken stitches that won’t hold up through numerous uses and washings. This issue can be resolved by using a very narrow zigzag stitch to sew side seams.
Test a scrap with a 3.0 length and a width of 1.0 to 2.0. Check to see if the stitches come out by giving the tulle seam a light pull. If the issue persists, try slightly widening the zig-zag.
Once the seam is sewn, carefully return and trim the seam allowance to 1/8 inch to ¼ inch (3-6mm). Due to the tulle’s sheerness, the seam on the right side will be visible through the fabric.
Consider using a French seam instead of a regular side seam if you don’t like the way the seam edges look. This is an effective technique to use on children’s tutus where a rough seam might itch their skin.
Replace Your Foot
Try using a Teflon sewing foot if you discover that your tulle isn’t feeding under your presser foot or catching in the dog feed below. An additional option is to put a piece of clear tape under your all-purpose sewing foot. The tulle will be able to slide under the foot more easily as a result.
Don’t Iron Tulle
The iron should never be placed directly on the tulle because it will melt since it is entirely synthetic. Use a clothing steamer or your standard iron with a thick pressing cloth on top if you need to remove wrinkles from clothing.
The tulle will benefit as well from hanging while you take a long, hot shower because the steam will work to remove any stubborn creases. What a good reason to unwind!
Consider dry cleaning to remove wrinkles if the tulle is particularly delicate or expensive. You’ll want to safeguard your investment because embroidered and beaded tulle can become very pricey.
Tulle doesn’t fray, so there’s no need to hem it. Consequently, it’s critical that the hems are cut precisely, without any sharp edges. For a nice, tidy edge, use a good pair of fabric shears.
To achieve perfectly squared edges, use a cutting mat, rotary cutter, and quilting ruler. In order to cut through numerous layers, you will require a fresh, sharp blade. Avoid making it too thick.
Use a Pressing Cloth
You can use an iron and a pressing cloth to smooth out the tulle if it has bothersome wrinkles. It’s crucial to avoid placing the iron directly on the tulle because it might melt onto the iron.
How to Cut Tulle Fabric?
When the tulle is still folded from the bolt, cutting it is simpler and faster. From my experience, if you want neat and even tulle edges, a rotary cutter, ruler, and cutting mat are a must.
It’s possible to cut the tulle with fabric scissors, but it’s more difficult to achieve a nice, clean edge. Don’t worry about it, though. It doesn’t matter much if the hem is not perfectly straight in a gathered tulle skirt.
Conclusion: Steps to Sew Tulle
Tulle is a slick material that can be challenging to stitch the first time. With long pins or safety pins, you could hold the tulle layers in place while sewing. On scraps of the tulle fabric, you’ll be working with, practice your stitches before you start sewing.
Tulle is a really beautiful fabric when used in the right ways, so I hope you’ve found some great sewing tips.
What is the Best Needle for Sewing Tulle?
The ideal needle to use with tulle fabric is a fine jersey needle in size 70/10. Try stretch needles in place of jersey needles if they don’t work.
Can You Cut Tulle Without It Fraying?
If your tulle or netting has a sufficient body, you can typically hang the dress and cut the layers with scissors. It’s a little intimidating, but with accurate markings, simply cutting the excess fabric does the trick– tulles and nettings generally are not “hemmed” with any kind of stitch, since they don’t fray.
What is the Best Embroidery Stitch for Tulle?
The Best Tulle-Friendly Embroidery Stitches. These include stem stitch, chain stitch, running stitch, and lazy daisy stitch. When working with see-through fabric, these stitches appear more disorganized on the back.