Kona Cotton: The Quilters & Embroiderers Dream
What, Exactly, Is Kona Cotton?
Kona(R) cotton is a premium, 100% cotton broadcloth from Robert
Kaufman Fabrics in Los Angeles. The company introduced the fabric
in the 1980's in response to the then rapidly emerging quilting
industry, an interest that continues unabated today. It is a
soft, light fabric, often called the 'Quilter's Cotton', that is
also ideal for fine apparel such as children's clothing; soft,
comfortable shirts; dresses; applique and home decorating. It has
a 'meaty' hand, which means you can really feel the difference
when you touch the fabric and that makes it a joy to work
Warps. And Wefts, Too
Kona cotton has a high 60 by 60 thread count. This means there
are 60 warp threads and 60 weft threads per square inch of
fabric. Until I did some research, I didn't know what warp and
weft threads were. (I had never even heard the word 'weft'.) A
warp thread is a support thread in the loom, long and strong and
usually tied down onto the loom; a weft thread is passed back and
forth between the warp threads to form cloth. It is that high
thread count, all those warps and wefts playing together, that
make Kona cotton a soft, light, yet very durable material; one of
the best woven fabrics available for hand or machine
It's a good idea to launder the fabric to remove any
sizing/finish before using it in your project. Treat it as you
would any new 100% cotton fabric: Gentle wash, mild detergent,
tumble dry low, remove promptly and iron. Expect about a 1-3%
What About Color?
Kona is available in plenty of colors, 170 solid colors according
to the manufacturer's web site, RobertKaufman.com. And a quick
search for 'hand dyed Kona cotton' will pop up vendors offering
hundreds of colors and patterns of beautifully dyed Kona cotton
But Aren't You an Embroiderer?
Yes, I am a machine embroiderer and those same qualities that
make Kona cotton ideal for quilting and sewing apply to machine
embroidery, too. That meaty feel I mentioned makes it very easy
to hoop and quick to stabilize. The push/pull factor is minimal
and, best of all, the stitched out designs are gorgeous on it.
Even though there a many cheaper fabrics, I test all my
embroidery designs on Kona cotton and turn to it first for any
finished embroidery project I have.
Embroidery design digitizer Deb Schneider offers her
embroidery designs on her website, WindstarEmbroidery.com.
You can contact Deb by visiting her website or by email at
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