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Preparing Pantyhose and Fabric for use with the Singercraft Guide

Fabric cut for the Singercraft guide fabric for using with the Singercraft rug guide

Singercraft rugs are a great way to use up small amounts of leftover yarn and unravelled worn-out knitwear but you can also use old pantyhose, scrap fabrics and worn out sheets.

The following instructions show you several ways of preparing them for use.

Stockings and Pantyhose

Once your pantyhose get runs, don't throw them away, make rugs out of them instead! If you're squeamish about using hose that have been worn, hand wash them in hot water and discard the crotch section before cutting them up. You can discard the entire panty section if you prefer.

I find op shops/thrift stores to be a great source of unworn hose, although they can be a little expensive in Australian op shops.

To increase your colour range you can start by dyeing nylon pantyhose with any acid dye that is used to dye wool. Even though nylon is a manufactured fibre it dyes well with acid dyes.

Once your hose are all clean and dyed you're ready to cut them up. You'll need a rotary cutter, mat and ruler, or a pair of scissors. The rotary cutter makes the job extremely fast if you are cutting a lot, but if you're doing one or two pairs at a time then scissors will be fine.

Cutting the pantyhose apart

Cut off the thick part at the waist of the panty section of your hose.

Lay the pantyhose down on your mat. If you haven't already discarded the entire panty section, cut in half between the legs.

Cut open

Next, turn the legs sideways so that the cut that was made up the centre of the panty section is aligned with the centre of the leg.

Cut into strips

Cut up the centre of each leg, leaving roughly 3/4" still connected at the toe. Open up the leg and you'll have one long strip of stocking.

Stockings cut into strips

Roll into a ball and you're ready to go! I aim for strips 2-3" or 5-7.5cm wide. The strips will naturally curl inward, making them thinner in width and thicker in texture when you wind them on the Guide.

When you wind them on the Guide, fold the cut edges so they're underneath. This is not as fiddly to do as it sounds :)

There is also a set of instructions for cutting stockings in "Sewing for the Home" that I won't repeat here.

Fabric

There are two ways to prepare fabric for making Singercraft rugs. The one you choose will depend on whether you are using old yardage (such as sheets) or scraps, and whether you want to cut the loops afterwards.

Tear off the hems

If you have a large piece of fabric and do not want to cut the loops, the best way to prepare the fabric is to tear it into strips. Tearing it will separate the fabric along the grain and not leave any small threads that can work loose.

If you're using a sheet or old curtain, start by making a small cut and tearing the hems off your fabric. If you're going to tear your strips widthways you will also need to cut off the selvages.

Snip the selvedges

Make small snips along one edge of your fabric, about 2" or 5cm apart.

Tearing the fabric

Tear the fabric along each snip so that you have many lengths of fabric 2"/5cm wide.

Fabric torn into strips

Roll your fabric strips neatly, pulling off any loose threads as you go.

When you use the fabric on your Singercraft Guide, fold the outer edges in as you go. Once you have started, they will naturally fold over if you pull on the fabric slightly before you wind it around the guide.

If you want to use fabric and cut the loops, you will need to cut your fabric on the bias to prevent fraying.

I found two excellent videos on youtube to explain how to do this with a rotary cutter. You will want to cut 5cm/2" wide strips. You do not need to sew your fabric into long strips as you would when making bias binding as loose ends can be treated the same way as if you were making Singercraft with yarn. (See the end of this article for instructions on changing colours or adding a new ball of yarn)

This technique is good for cutting bias strips from old clothes or smaller pieces of fabric.


Copyright Sarah Bradberry, 8th August 2010. All rights reserved. You may not edit, email, publish, or distribute the contents of this page in any form without the prior permission of the copyright holder. If you would like to share the information on this page you may do so by giving the link to this page which is http://knitting-and.com/singercraft/stockings-and-fabric.html