Learning to work with fabric will allow you more versatility when it comes to your home's décor. You can create custom drapes, throw pillow covers, or linens. As your skills increase, you can even tackle reupholstery products to make your old furniture look new again. Before diving into the world of sewing for the home, take some time to learn about fabrics. The following tips can help a beginner that is just starting to take on DIY décor projects.

Tip #1: Pick Between Weave and Knit

Fabrics come in two main types – woven and knitted. As a beginner, woven fabric is preferred. Knit fabric stretches when you pull on it, which makes it both difficult to sew and can make it look misshapen and stretched. Woven fabrics have more structure. They don't stretch much when pulled or weighted down, and they don't slip as much as knit when you are working with them. Even better, you can press and starch most woven fabrics for a sharp crease, while knits tend to resist pressing. When you shop at the fabric store, walk through the aisles carefully to inspect the knit. 

Tip #2: Know the Weight

There is no need to be exact when it comes to fabric weight for most home décor uses, but you need to be able to make a general judgment. Lightweight fabrics are best suited for low-wear uses, such as cafe curtains in the kitchen or a simple cover for a decorative pillow. Medium-weight fabrics can withstand heavier uses. For example, use these for living room curtains or to create dining room seat cushions. The heaviest fabrics are reserved for heavy use areas, such as reupholstering a chair. Cotton quilting fabric is generally lightweight, cotton duck is medium weight, and denim is heavy weight.

Tip #3: Choose the Right Fabric Material

Your first option will be between natural or synthetic. For the beginner, cotton or cotton-synthetic blends are generally a good place to start. These fabrics are readily available, sturdy, and they are easy to work because they hold a pressed seam and don't snag in a sewing machine. Cotton and cotton blends are also usually machine washable, which makes it much easier to care for home decor items. Full synthetic fabrics can be more difficult to work with. Many of the polyester and nylon fabrics are slippery, which means they slide about as you try to work with them. When working with a material that is new for you, consider cutting off a test piece and sewing a few hems. This way you can adjust sewing tension, accustom yourself to any working problems, and judge how easily you can work with the material.