What Do You Line a Wool Coat With? (Plus Tips for Sewing It In)

what to line wool coat with

What To Use To Line a Wool Coat

If you are making a wool coat, adding a lining gives it a professional finishing touch. But what goes with wool?

You have a variety of options and should make your selection based on the weight of your wool. Line a light to medium weight wool coat with silk or satin. While they may seem rather slinky in comparison to your wool, they serve double purpose. Both silk and satin are dense despite being lightweight. As such, both fabrics will provide another layer of insulation for your wool coat.

If your coat is particularly scratchy, the softness of the silk or satin will be a welcome texture for your skin. If you are concerned about the expense of silk fabric, think of it as an investment. The wool probably wasn’t cheap; the lining shouldn’t be, either. You could choose to line only the back of your coat, leaving the front panels and sleeves unlined, to save some money without sacrificing the quality of the back lining.

If you are making a heavy weight wool coat, you can line it with quilted fabric. Pre-quilted fabric is easy to work with. Most of it is made from polyester or acetate fabrics, so you may have to dry clean them. Since it is okay to dry clean wool, this shouldn’t be an issue.

Here’s a word of caution – adding a quilted lining to a heavy wool coat is going to make it very warm. The quilted synthetic lining is just the opposite of the breathable wool. If you want a lighter weight lining for your heavy wool coat, try a heavier-weight silk. Both are warm and breathable. Quilted fabric is generally expensive, too. With it, you are getting one or two layers of fabric plus a layer of quilt batting that has already been assembled and quilted for your use.

Silk thread is a good pick for sewing in your lining, whether you have selected a lining made of silk, satin, or quilted fabric. Because silk is a strong thread, it works well with wool. 

Tips for Choosing a Lining For Your Wool Coat

Choose a Fabric That Slides Easy

You want the coat lining to be slick so it can easily slide over your clothing. Go to the fabric store and begin your search by doing what we tend to do naturally in a fabric store – touch the fabrics! Look for one that feels smooth (no nubs or bumps) that easily rubs across your clothing. Unroll a section of the fabric and just give it a try right there in the fabric store aisle.

Check The Care Label of The Fabric

While you are in the fabric store, check the care label of your possible choices. Look for fabrics that can be cleaned the same way your wool coat will be cleaned.

Use a Non-Transparent Fabric

While your lining fabric should be easily draped, it should not be easy to see through. If you can see through the fabric when you hold it up to the light, you will probably be able to see the seams under it that it should be hiding.

Select a Comfortable Fabric

Make sure the fabric you choose for your lining is comfortable. If the fabric is stiff, your coat will not be as comfortable.

Wash The Lining First

Launder your lining fabric before you begin your coat lining project, especially if it has any cotton in it. That will help preshrink the lining. You should also press your fabric to remove any fold lines or other wrinkles before you cut your lining pattern pieces.

Tips for Sewing with Silk or Satin

  • Don’t use your regular cotton fabric straight pins for pinning silk or satin because they will leave holes in your cloth. Instead, use a rounded ballpoint tip straight pin. The same is true for your sewing machine needle. Change to a ballpoint needle. Ballpoint is also a good choice for wool.
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  • Make sure you press your silk or satin before starting. You will have to be very careful since heat can damage both fabrics. It can discolor silk and can melt satin. Use the coolest setting on your iron and press just enough to remove the wrinkles.
  • Both silk and satin fray easily. I like to run a steady bead of Dritz Fray Check around all the edges of my cut silk and satin pieces. The downside is that you have to give it time to dry. The pro is that it is less time consuming than overlocking all around each cut piece of fabric. Don’t be alarmed if the fray check leaves your silk or satin with a water mark around the edges. That section will be sewed into your seams. Keep your bead think to keep the Fray Check from expanding well beyond the edges of the fabric.

Tips for Sewing Quilted Lining

  • A ballpoint sewing needle is also recommended for this quilted lining. As with silk and satin, a sharp tip needle can leave holes in the polyester fabric.
  • You do no’t have to worry about this lining fraying as you cut it. Polyester does not fray like silk or satin. If your quilted lining is cotton or satin, however, those pieces might fray. The same trick with adding the Dritz Fray Check can help eliminate fraying around your cut edges.
  • If you are lining your wool coat with double-sided quilted lining (meaning that your quilt batting is lined with fabric on both sides and the batting in between), your seams will become bulky. To help reduce the bulk, remove a few of the quilting stitches along all the edges of your cut lining pieces then trim away the excess batting from the seam allowance of just the batting layer. This leaves you sewing just the fabric into the seams, not the batting. The batting remains secured by all the other quilting stitches.
  • If you are lining your wool coat with single-sided quilted lining (fabric is on one side only of your batting), make sure the batting side is against the wool and the quilted fabric side is against your skin. Having the batting side close to your skin will invite the opportunity for much snagging or tearing of the lining.
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