All About Quilting with Double Gauze Fabrics

Thursday, July 18, 2019


Now that I have two all double gauze quilts under my belt, I wanted to upgrade from my little list of tips to a full post all about quilting with double gauze. I've learned a lot between these two quilts so I wanted to share all of that with you today. If you've ever had questions about working with double gauze, where to buy it or even what it is, this post is for you!

What is Double Gauze?

https://www.incolororder.com/2019/07/all-about-quilting-with-double-gauze.html
Double gauze is a really lovely lightweight woven fabric. It is made up of two thin layers of gauze fabric, that are tacked together with small stitches every 1/2" of so. You can't see the stitches from the front side of the fabric, but they are somewhat visible from the back especially if the print is dark and the second layer is lighter. Most of the double gauze that I've seen on the market today is 100% cotton.

Personally, my favorite double gauze fabrics are Nani Iro by Naomi Ito for Kokka. The designs and quality of the fabrics are so good and really appeal to me. I also love the solid double gauze fabrics by Kobayashi. They're really reasonable in price and come in great colors.

Where to Buy Double Gauze

If you’re unable to find double gauze in your local fabric shops, here are a few online shops that carry double gauze:

Miss Matatabi (JP)
Fabric Worm (CA)
Jones & Vandermeer (NY)
Pink Castle Fabrics (MI)
Imagine Gnats (OH)
Stonemountain & Daughter Fabrics (CA)
Dry Goods Designs (WA)
Super Buzzy (CA)

Pre-washing Double Gauze
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Double gauze has a tendency to shrink quite a bit. It's also pretty loosely woven, so it can be prone to unraveling. Both of these factors make pre-washing important in my opinion. I normally only pre-wash fabrics for garments, but I think it's worth taking the time to wash double gauze for a quilt. I prefer to wash it on cold with a mild detergent and tumble dry with heat.

Prepping and Cutting Double Gauze
https://www.incolororder.com/2019/07/all-about-quilting-with-double-gauze.html
You may find that double gauze is easy to cut and handle if it's pressed with spray starch or a starch alternative like Flatter by Soak. Personally, I don't find I need either to work comfortably with double gauze, but I do use a lot of steam. I like to change to a fresh rotary blade before cutting double gauze, so that all my cuts go cleanly through the fabric.

Seams, Needles, and Thread for Double Gauze
https://www.incolororder.com/2019/07/all-about-quilting-with-double-gauze.html
When working with double gauze I find it helpful to use a nice new needle. My favorite size for working with fine fabrics is 75/11. I've used both 50wt cotton thread and 100% polyester thread when piecing double gauze quilts and found that they perform pretty similarly. I do think that especially for the quilting, polyester is the way to go. It's typically stronger than cotton and it glides nice and smoothly through the fabric. I use 1/2" seam allowances when piecing with double gauze to make it a little extra durable. I press all my seams to the side, alternating direction every other row so that the seams nestled. Double gauze seams can get pretty thick, but I'm not comfortable pressing these seams open. My favorite sharp, thin pins are ideal for working with double gauze.

Batting for Double Gauze
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For both of my double gauze quilts I've used Dream Orient quilt batting which is a bamboo/silk/tencel/cotton blend batting from Quilter's Dream. It is really airy and lightweight, which is a fantastic combination with the double gauze fabrics in my opinion. Regular cotton and cotton blend batting would be lovely too. Personally I wouldn't use anything super thick, but I have used 100% wool batting with double gauze and it's wonderful.

Quilting Double Gauze
https://www.incolororder.com/2019/07/all-about-quilting-with-double-gauze.html
For my first double gauze quilt, I sent it out for longarm quilting to Gina Pina. She did a beautiful dense loopy meander. For my second double gauze quilt, I did the quilting myself, simple lines on the diagonal. I followed all the usual steps that I take when basting/quilting and found no real difference between quilting this quilt and a quilt made from quilting cotton. I used pins for basting, spacing them about 7" apart. I used a walking foot and 100% polyester thread for the quilting, and I reduced the pressure of my presser foot slightly. I used a new 90/14 needle.

Binding Double Gauze
https://www.incolororder.com/2019/07/all-about-quilting-with-double-gauze.html
With double gauze quilts (and other non-quilting cotton quilts) I like to take an extra step to ensure it will hold up to wear. After trimming off the excess backing and batting, I use my serger to finish the edges of the quilt. In my mind this helps with durability if the binding were to get worn, but I have also found it made the edges lie flatter while attaching the binding which is a nice bonus. It's a totally optional step, but gives me extra piece of mind.

My other recommendation is to avoid double gauze for the binding. It can be thick and difficult to manage on garments, so I think it would be hard to use for binding on an all double gauze quilt. I've used voile or lawn as binding on my double gauze quilts and I love the difference in texture. It reminds me of baby blankets that have the wide silky binding.

Washing and Care for Double Gauze Quilts
https://www.incolororder.com/2019/07/all-about-quilting-with-double-gauze.html
I wash double gauze quilts pretty much the same way I wash all my quilts. I wash them by themselves, on cold. I use a mild detergent without fragrance and I throw 1/2 cup of regular table salt into the washer with my quilt to prevent color bleeds. A few years ago my Mom mentioned that my Grandmother used to do this and I've been doing it ever since! I don't know why it works, but I haven't had a problem since I started using salt. The fabrics are pre-washed in this case, so bleeding isn't as likely, but I still use it as a precaution. Once it's washed I throw it in the dryer and tumble it dry on high. I want it to shrink up to get that nice double gauze crinkle.

https://www.incolororder.com/2019/07/all-about-quilting-with-double-gauze.html
One difference I have noticed between my two double gauze quilts is that it seems like the more dense the quilting, the more wrinkled up the quilt will get. The extra quilting also makes the quilt surprisingly heavy compared to the one with less quilting. Just something to keep in mind when you're planning your quilt!

https://www.incolororder.com/2019/07/all-about-quilting-with-double-gauze.html
I wanted to share a little side-by-side comparison of the quilt before and after washing/drying. The fabrics were pre-washed before piecing. The photo on the left was taken right before I threw the finished quilt in the wash. The photo on the right was taken after it was washed on cold and dried on high.

My Double Gauze Quilts
https://www.incolororder.com/2019/07/all-about-quilting-with-double-gauze.html
Nani Iro Dreams Quilt
 

Double Gauze Plus Quilt
 

Nani Iro Vast Quilt

Happy Quilting!

17 comments :

  1. Great post/information on double gauze fabric for quilts. The look of your quilt reminds me of baby quilts from when I was a child. I have a question. Since the fabric will shrink considerably, do you recommend buying more than the fabric recommends? Perhaps this is not necessary but I thought to ask. Thanks again for another great post and inspiration for a new quilty project. D. Weeks (aka Momma Llama)

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    1. Yeah, if you're making something that calls for a specific amount, I might order a little extra! You could also look through the pattern and see how much extra is already built in, to help you decide!

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  2. This is very interesting and informative. Thanks! I haven't used double gauze - I love the look of the washed quilt!

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  3. Really helpful post - thanks for sharing, Jeni. Beautiful quilts too!

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  4. I’ve tried double gauze on quilts because I love it. I wish I had read this prior to that .... sigh... but now I can do it again with better results I’m sure! Thank you!

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  5. Thank you for posting your experience with making and maintaining double gauze quilts. I appreciate the time and energy you have put in your works of love. My experience was this: knowing that double gauze is extremely soft after washing I wanted to make some burpies with it. I found "cute" dog flannel that matched perfectly with a double gauze I got. I set about making my burpie. This particular burpie I decided to put a warm and natural batting in the middle. I am trying to bind it with normal double wide bias tape and the gauze is raveling faster than I can sew it. That was at least three years ago, I have steered clear of gauze since then. Any help woud be appreciated. I mean diapers are made of gauze how do I get my burpies to work? I did want to make a mixed fabric baby blanket of solid gauze one side and textural strips of minky on the other here soon but am still not sure how I can do it right - help!!!!!

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    1. If you're having a big unraveling problem, I would recommend serging all the edges before sewing. Or if you don't have a serger, a zigzag stitch on a regular machine would work too!

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  6. Thanks for sharing these tips! I love double gauze and would like to attempt a quilt one day. Your information will help immensely!

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  7. Hi Jeni! I have seen double gauze fabric and have been very tempted, but haven't given it a try yet. I am definitely going to PIN this for the future, because next time I see it I'll give in to the temptation. Thank you for all the tips and hints, and love the quilt! ~smile~ Roseanne

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  8. Thank you for these great posts! I've wanted to sew with gauze, but been afraid so these tips will come in handy. I have found that some gauze feels different than other types of gauze. Would it be better to stay with the brand you suggested? Especially purchasing on line where you are unable to feel it. I will start collecting gauze, but how much would you suggest to get - most likely, I'd do a full size. An idea for you- put these tips in a little booklet and an easy pattern to make. I bet lots of us would buy it! Thank you for any suggestions!

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  9. Jeni, thank you bunches for sharing this information. I have always had my eye on double gauze for a quilt, but felt like I did not have enough knowledge to go ahead.
    I have some gauze fabrics. Thank you for sharing your tips. I feel encouraged now.
    Happy Hot Friday and week-end. This is a good week-end to stay inside and sew

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  10. Your quilts are beautiful! Thanks for sharing your experience, good photos.

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  11. This is great information! Did you also use double gauze for your backing fabric?

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    1. Yes, I used double gauze for the backing too!

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  12. Jeni, thank you for your post full of great photos and information! It is so thorough I now feel confident to branch out and use this fabric too. I can't wait to try a double gauze quilt. Yours are beautiful!

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  13. Ooh, I love the vintage effect of your double gauze quilt after washing it! It looks like a treasured heirloom! Thanks for introducing me to a fabric I'd never heard of before. I'll definitely keep on the lookout for it!

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  14. I have been curious about quilts made from double gauze and you have answered all my questions ...Thanks for the post!

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