Tip #1: Pre-wash and dry in your machines because Bengaline fabric will shrink on you. Sometimes you may have to do it twice to get all the shrinking done.
Tip #2: After machine washing, hang dry. Then use a wool setting on your iron to get the few wrinkles out.
What is Bengaline Fabric?
If you want to analyze the fabric down to its last detail then when you buy Bengaline fabric you are buying a stretchy material that comes with a cross rib style. The fabric can be made up of rayon, nylon, cotton, and wool with a little lycra and polyester thrown in as well.
It is the cross rib design that makes Bengaline clothing feel sturdy and tough. Because of the ability of the fabric to use a variety of different fibers, the result gives you material that can either be light or heavy.
That versatility allows you some flexibility in your sewing projects. As does its wide array of colors. If you do not like the color options available to you, then you can dye the fabric at home. Just be careful when polyester fibers are included in creating the fabric.
Tip #3: Because Bengaline fabric can have polyester and lycra, as well as other synthetic fibers, keep the heat away from the fabric when cleaning.
What is Bengaline Fabric Used For?
This material comes with a natural stretch to it making it perfect for those form-fitting clothing items you like to wear when participating in physical activities. Part of its function is to be a very sturdy trim on dresses, coats, skirts, and suits.
The fabric is also used for cocktail dress and wedding dress, articles of clothing that need solid construction. When applied to coats and other outwear it is done so to help the longevity of those garments.
Instead of wearing lighter more clingy clothes, something made from Bengali fabric may be a lot better for your movements. That is the advantage of this fabric. It lets you move as you want when you want.
Tip #3: Because it is hard to wear out, this fabric is often used for children’s clothing.
Bengaline Fabric Uses
This is a fabric that has a style all of its own. Ever since the French made this Bengal India fabric popular it has been known to be used for more than coats and children’s clothing.
Its durability has made it a great selection to use for drapes, curtains and other around the house options that you may have in mind. The one thing you have to watch out for is making buttonholes. For some reason, this fabric resists that sewing touch making that part of the garment the most difficult to work with.
Its toughness comes from the way it is woven together. A thin or fine fabric is used to weave the warp. Then a heavier textile is used to create the rib. This weaving style is what makes this fabric so versatile and popular.
Tip #4: Because of its stretch nature, this is a good fabric to use to make suit pants. Just dry clean or wash carefully then hang dry those pants.
How to Pronounce Bengaline Fabric
The pronunciation of the word bengaline is almost as it looks. Instead of saying -ga- line the word is pronounced ben- ga- leen. The word does not follow the last ‘e’ rule that makes previous vowels give their long sound.
Instead, the last ‘e’ here has no function at all and the short ‘i’ sound is pronounced with a long ‘e’ sound. Since the fabric originated in Bengal, India, you pronounce the first two syllables like the name of the city in that country– ben- gal.
There is no special meaning attached to the word bengaline. The term only refers to the identity of the fabric and where it originated.
Tip #5: Be careful of the fabric. The quality is not going to be the same and you may have to search long and hard to get a quality that will be easy to sew with. Some say the quality found in America is inferior to what is found in other parts of the world.
Bengaline Fabric Characteristics
One of the characteristics that was found in bengaline fabric was its silk-like quality. In fact, it was originally made as a silk fabric but that got a little expensive and cheaper fibers were woven in to cut the costs.
Cotton was first used to blend in with the bengaline fibers and this not only cut the cost but had the characteristics of cotton while maintaining a silk feel and look. That reason goes with the other fibers also used to make this durable fabric.
Another characteristic is that this fabric comes in a large variety of colors. You should not have trouble finding the color you want to use. Then its toughness makes sure the fabric remains popular when making clothes for very active people.
On top of that, the fabric is very flexible. You can cut it into ribbons or used as trimming. Having that flexibility lets you be more creative when you sew.
Tip #6: When sewing with bengaline fabric the key is to make sure the ribs match up. Keep your cutting speed slow and also precise.
Is Bengaline Fabric Stretchy?
Yes, it is and that characteristic is what makes this fabric quite popular. You can bend, twist, turn to your heart’s content and your bengaline clothing should not rip or tear.
This fabric is great when you are making form-fitting clothes. The natural stretch in this material should take a lot of worries from your mind. One thing they say about this fabric is that it may be more flattering than wearing clingy clothes.
Some of the stretch credited to this material may come from the percentage of Spandex that is included in some of the bengaline fabric options the fabric stores offer. Some of these blends may have as much as 4% spandex fibers included in their construction.
Not to put a negative spin on the fabric but it has been recorded in history that Lizzie Bordon wore a bengaline fabric dress when she was arrested. Why that fact came out is anybody’s guess.
Tip #7: it may not be a wise idea to dry clean bengaline fabric if it has rayon or other synthetic fibers included in its construction. If the fabric has plastic, PVC, or polyurethane included in its construction then do not dry clean it.
Does Bengaline Fabric Shrink?
It goes without saying that bengaline fabric doesn’t like heat and it will shrink on you. They say that if you pre-wash and dry then you should be fine after that. All the shrinking is said to be gone and you can wash the garments after that but hang dry just in case.
Some people have said that they need to pre-wash twice as the cloth seems to pucker on them after only one pre-wash cycle. If lycra fibers are included then you have to be careful of the heat you use when washing, drying and ironing.
It is the lycra that helps protect against wrinkling making ironing bengaline material a lot easier. You do not have to press as hard when lycra is included in the fabric’s construction
Tip #8: To protect your clothes better and have a better feel as well as breathing, you should have a bengaline fabric with a 30% rayon content. That amount of rayon may influence your cleaning habits.
How to Soften Bengaline Fabric
No one really talks about making bengaline fabric softer. That may be because of two reasons. One, it is a fairly soft material especially when it is combined with softer fibers.
Two, when it is made into silk. A silk-like fabric is already nice and soft and when combined with cotton, it can only get softer. But that doesn’t mean the fabric is not tough or weakens when it is made into a bolt of cloth.
It is the weave style that makes this material tough and very durable. The fabric fibers do not lose their softness when woven in the special way bengaline is woven. The best thing to do when trying to get some of the tough feel out of the garment is to check the cleaning instructions.
If the manufacturer’s instruction says not to use fabric softener then do not use it. When buying from a bolt ask the store clerks if there is any danger in softening the material.
Moire Bengaline Fabric
This style of bengaline fabric is made from 100% polyester or it can be made from 51- 49 rayon cotton blend. Its characteristics allow the fabric to be used as a liner since it does not add any bulk.
When made from polyester the fabric maintains a very classy and elegant look to it. Yet that characteristic does not lose its durability, machine wash or beautiful nature. The only thing you have to get used to is its thin, papery and glossy feel.
When purchasing this material you may want the style that has been calendared. This finishing technique produces a nice wavy watered look that makes other garments look so well.
The changeable moire uses one color for the weft and another for the warp. This combination helps produce a nice special effect when you walk and are seen from different angles.
It can be a delicate fabric that loses its watermark or stains when touched by water.
Where to Buy Stretch Bengaline Fabric?
This is still a popular fabric due to the different qualities this material comes with. That popularity translates into the fact that it is not hard to find. If you are tired of Amazon, which has a good selection, you can find this material almost anywhere.
Joann, Hancocks, Michael’s and other national fabric stores should have a fine selection of this material. If they don’t then try your local fabric stores or department stores. If nothing else they may be able to order some in for you.
Some Final Words
When you want durability, good looks and lots of colors, you should turn to bengaline fabric. When it is made of a high quality it is easy to work with and you have a large selection of colors to work with.
It is a good fabric when you are making clothes for your active children. The material is long-lasting and if you pre-wash it should keep its shape for years. The key is to keep it away from the dryer when cleaning your children’s bengaline clothes.