I personally like to use a fabric that is comparable in weight to the stitched canvas. Why? A stitched canvas has a lot of personality based on the stitcher and the quality of the materials. The stitching tension may be tight or relaxed depending on the stitcher. Even if you stitch on a frame, you can still tell the difference between a stitcher that is stitching with a tight tension versus a stitcher that is relaxed. I found that a sturdy fabric is a good match for a canvas that needs support. But there are times when a customer provides their own fabric and I think it is too flimsy.
Here is my tip to give some stability to the flimsy fabrics.
First, check to make sure the fabric will not melt by taking a sample of the fabric and testing it with the steam iron. The fabric may change color for a few moments which is normal, you just want to make sure the fabric doesn’t melt!
Work from the back of the fabric!!
Photo 1: Flimsy fabric (which I mean is thin)
Photo 2: A layer of Stitch Witchery
Photo 3: A layer of unbleached muslin
Adhere the muslin to the BACK of the fabric using an iron on the steam setting. Press until the Stitch Witchery is melted and there are no buckles/ripples in the muslin. You can feel the stiffness when the muslin is firmly attached to the fabric. Don’t let the iron sit in one spot too long or you will scorch the fabric.
Photo 5: Adhered
You can see there is more stiffness to the fabric compared to photo 1. Notice how the fabric has a nicer weight to it.
After the fabric has cooled you can draw the dimensions directly on the muslin.
This process prevents gathering and ripples while attaching the fabric cording, it also prevents the fabric from stretching during the sewing process. You will end up with nice, neat edges.