To answer the question about what is minky fabric, this fabric is synthetic, hypoallergenic fabric. Made from 100% polyester fibers, comes in many colors and textures. This is a knit fabric, which gives a fur-like texture on the top side. This minky fabric sometimes called mink fabric is very warm.
Originally used for babies’ products because it’s soft and warm yet lightweight. But now it’s also popular for all ages. Not only for baby products but also for household items like pillows, fur-like throw blankets, or the backing of the quilt. It also can be used for warm clothing.
Texture, Pile Length, and Quality
The top side of the minky fabric has a fur-like texture, which is soft and warm. Sometimes comes with raised patterns such as dots or lines, and even rose-like patterns. The fibers’ length is usually short.
The pile length of the fibers can give a different feel of warmth. The longer surface fibers will trap more air so it will feel warmer. This is often used as linings for warm apparel or accessories, it will look like luxurious animal fur.
The good quality of minky fabric will retain its soft smooth surface, but it will be more expensive. But the less expensive varieties may pill, so you should be careful if it is used for babies products or toys.
Working with Minky Fabric
Now you understand what is minky fabric and how it is usually used. Working with mink fabric needs more understanding that this fabric has a slight stretch because of its knitted construction.
This stretch makes mink fabric comfortable to wear, but this could make a problem when sewing it. So, here are a few tips to prevent it from stretching out of shape.
1. Preparation and Care
Preparing minky fabric to work usually by washing it first. Especially if you are using other kinds of fabric that may shrink. So, wash it all first before you start working on it.
One of the good things about minky fabric is that it’s easy to wash. Machine wash with cold water is enough. It can be dried on low heat, but it is recommended to flat dry. This fabric will stay soft even after many washes.
2. Cutting the fabric
Before cutting the fabric according to the pattern you’ve chosen, check the direction of the stretch first. Follow any guidelines of the pattern instruction and put your pattern accordingly.
Always use sharp shears to cut through the fabric layer because it may be quite bulky. That way, the shears will not snag and stretch the fabric. Take care of the shed fibers when cut, especially with long fibers. It could be messy.
3. Pinning, Needle, and Thread
When placing the paper pattern on the fabric for cutting, use long pins. Since this fabric can be bulky, long pins will not easily be lost in it. Choose the big or colorful head to make it easier to see. Pin it closely since this fabric is stretchy.
The needle that is usually used is a stretch needle. Or you can also choose a fine to a medium universal needle. The best choice of thread to sew mink fabric is a polyester thread. It works well with the stretch fabric.
Be careful when sewing stretching material such as this mink fabric. It can stretch out of shape. You can prevent this by using a walking foot to the sewing machine or placing strips of stabilizer under the seam.
If sewing this fabric with other fabrics, such as cotton, put minky fabric in the bottom so the feed dogs can help pull it through.
Even better if the sewing machine has a stretch stitch option. It could prevent the thread to break when the garment is worn. Alternatively, choosing a narrow zigzag also works as well.
Usually, there’s no need to iron mink fabric. But if you think it is necessary, then use a pressing cloth above it. Set the heat to low or minimum because too much heat will melt the fabric.
Is Minky Fabric Baby-Friendly?
There is concern about is it minky fabric is baby-friendly? Because during the manufacturing process, as for all fabric, there are chemicals involved. But this can be solved by washing it cleanly before use.
The soft texture and the warm yet lightweight feel are very nice for babies. Even though it’s fur-like, mink fabric will not cause allergic reactions in babies. This fabric is also easy to clean, stain-resistant, and dry quickly. So, it is safe for babies.
In discussing what is minky fabric we learned that this kind of fabric can be called a comfortable fabric. It feels soft, warm yet lightweight, and easily use in many products. Maintenance is also simple and easy. A good choice of fabric for babies and adults alike.