Shirring (pronounced like shur) is when you have rows of gathering. Since nylon chiffon is lightweight and delicate, it produces an elegant effect when shirred. Most often, an elastic thread is used when shirring to make the fabric stretchable.
How to shirr nylon chiffon
- Wind (by hand) an elastic thread onto the bobbin of your sewing machine. Use a moderate tension when winding. Attach the bobbin to the sewing machine.
- Fix a spool of regular cotton thread on the machine and insert the thread in the needle. Sew on a scrap piece of fabric to test the tension. It should be tight enough to hold the fabric taut, but not make it stretchy.
- Leave a long tail of elastic thread and forward and reverse stitch three times to lock the stitch and give a firm foundation to the elastic. Use long length when stitching the nylon chiffon that you want to shirr. Follow the edge of the chiffon for alignment.
- End the line by forward and reverse stitching three times to keep the elastic firmly stitched. Leave a long tail before starting the next line of stitches.
- Knot the elastic tails two or three times so that the thread does not unravel. Cut away excess elastic thread.
- Stitch at least 4 more rows to give a professional shirred look to the chiffon fabric. Stitch more rows, as desired.
- Iron over the sewn lines using steam so that the elastic bunches up to give a shirred look to the chiffon. When ironing, use a medium setting to make sure that the fabric does not burn.