47″ ACA Blue Ticking is a durable tightly woven twill weave fabric that is typically used for mattress covers, quilt backings, pillows, and bedding to prevent feather spines from poking through. It has the traditional navy stripe and is also available in a 32″ width.
If you’re concerned about the stipe pattern showing through the fabric covering it, solid bleached white ticking and natural ticking are good options.
Lighter weight fabric printed or woven with the ticking stripe pattern can be used where appearance is important rather than strength and durability. These décor fabrics come in many more colors than true ticking and the small stripe is often a great coordinating fabric. This would be suitable for decorative pillow covers, drapes, and other décor projects. Find designer ticking patterns in Covington stripe fabric and Waverly stripe fabric.
If you have a decorative ticking print fabric, it’s easy to sew like any other medium weight décor fabric.
Featherproof ticking can be a coarse, stiff material that’s a bit challenging to cut and sew. For this reason, avoid complicated shapes with many seams and use it for large flat panels.
If hand sewing is required, use a sail needle or a curved needle and a thimble or guard to give more force to help to pierce the cloth.
Preparation and Care
Pre-washing is an option if you plan to wash your finished project as this will shrink the ticking before you start. However, dry cleaning or vacuuming are the recommended ways to keep it clean when completed due to excessive shrinkage. If you do wash it, iron while it is still damp for a smoother finish.
Use sharp, long bladed shears to cut ticking. As it is coarse, it may be hard on the hands so take your time and pace yourself.
If pinning this dense fabric is difficult, use chalk or a fade away pen to mark a pattern outline for cutting out rather than pinning paper pattern pieces to the fabric.
When joining pieces of fabric try using household pins which are thicker than dressmaker’s pins or try holding the layers together using flat clips, like binder clips.
Working with ticking is similar to sewing and handling a strong, heavy-weight denim. A denim needle will penetrate the fabric. Choose a size 90/14, 100/16, or 110/18, depending on the density of the ticking.
Use a strong, heavy-duty thread and lengthen the stitch to approximately 3.5mm to work with the extra depth. If you feel your sewing machine is struggling and the needle is finding it difficult to penetrate the material, turn the fly wheel by hand to prevent damaging the motor.
Join panels with plain seams with the raw edges pressed to one side. Finish with top stitching to keep the seam flat or make traditional flat fell seams if the fabric isn’t too stiff to work with.
Use lots of steam and press the ticking with a heavy hand to smooth out any creases. Set the iron to its highest setting.