|The raveling begins. And yes, I pulled the yarn of this cotton knit fabric just for this pic!|
But the fact that a sweater knit fabric might ravel shouldn't scare you away. Most well prepared wool fabrics will experience little raveling or fraying as you put the cut fabric through it's paces serging and sewing. Wool, even the superwash variety, will full a bit in the preparation. This makes the fibers stick to each other enough to survive the normal stretching involved in constructing the garment without an incident of raveling.
I got my first taste of what terrible thing might happen while constructing the Turtle Beach Sweater. The main sweater fabric is 86% bamboo. The 14% merino mostly manages to hold the cut edges together, but there was one spot where I mishandled the fabric, playing around and stretching the neckline, and I got the beginning of a run that I feared would eat away my seam allowance. (For the record, it didn't.)
I am now in the midst of making a cotton knit sweater for summer using this fabric.
This loose cotton knit, will definitely have the tendency to run. But there is a solution. Actually, a solution is the solution. I made a paint-on stabilizer solution with Sulky Super Solvy. The instructions for making the solution are included in the package.
The product comes on a roll. Here's what the stabilizer looks like before the solution is made.
In its solid form, Super Solvy is used to make design templates and pattern guides. But by dissolving 18 inches of Super Solvy in 8 ounces of water, painting the solution on the edges of my cut fabric, and allowing it to dry for a couple of hours, I no longer need to worry about runs, ravels, and frays. The edges have a slight crunchy feel; the fabric feeds beautifully into sewing machine or serger. Once I complete the sweater, the crunchy will disappear in the wash.
Next time I'll only make half the recipe. I'm currently storing my remaining solution in an airtight container. I don't know yet how well it keeps.
Working with knit fabric can require other stabilizers, too, such as stay tape, clear elastic or interfacing. I'll get to these another time.