Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Pareo fabric quality

The Heiva Hibiscus Pareo is considered by the industry to be of high quality due to the weight of the fabric. Fabric quality is judged by weight of fabric and/or thread count. The same as what you see in the store for sheets, the more expensive sheets have a higher thread count. All fabrics have selvage edges on the top and bottom that run the entire length of the bolt. One bolt is 1,000 yards. The selvage edges are the tiny holes you see from the manufacturing process. The looser weaved fabrics, lower thread count, would still have the same selvage but it would be less obvious due to the looser weave. Although the tiny holes are less obvious in a looser woven fabric, the fabric is less in "quality". Quality is a subjective term because the light weight fabric may be what you are looking for and the "quality" you want. Selvage edges naturally do not unravel and therefore need no further work. It is important to keep this particular garment with the lightest kind of edges as heavy edges would impair the ability to drape it or tie it easily for the best effect. The two side edges are cut and would unravel. The smallest kind of finished edging to do on a garment that prevents unraveling is a pearl serged edge which is what is on this garment. We have several pareos that we use and wash with this kind edging and have no problem with unraveling.

Another 100% cotton pareo, the Mahana Pareo, is a lighter weight fabric but due to the hand-dyed process, is more expensive. The selvedge is less obvious. Either pareo, Mahana or the Heiva Hibiscus, are stiff in the beginning due to the dying and starching from the manufacturers but will soften up after a few washings.

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