To Cut or Rip Fabric

Todays blog post is going to be different to the one I had planned. I was preparing projects for the next couple of weeks, one of which is the Christmas dress for Robyn. I unwrapped the fabric which I purchased a couple of months ago ( I had left it in the plastic bag to keep it clean ) to find that the fabric had been ripped along the crossgrain and not cut straight from the fold. This method of “cutting” fabric works on the principal that the crossgrain – the Weft – is at right angles to the selvage and the Warp threads. However quite often in the weaving process the weft moves away from the right angle ( 90°) This can lead to a significant loss of fabric at both ends of the piece.

In this case there is a loss of 2″ at each end of the fabric. This is irritating for me but not too much of an issue as I ordered a couple of metres so I have plenty of fabric. So why write a blog post about it?

Imagine, as a patchworker, you have purchased a long quarter to make a bargello quilt. This is a piece of fabric which has a useable area 42″ ( selvedge to selvedge) by approx 10″ ( 25cms) If the fabric has been torn along the crossgrain and there is a fall away of 1″ at each end you have lost 2″ of useable fabric. It may be actually worse than that.

So how to cut the fabric to make sure this does not happen?

Firstly take the line to be cut from the FOLD of the fabric as the selvedge may be uneven.

line up ruler with the fold

Place a quilters ruler so that one of the inch lines is on the fold ensuring a right angle – 90°- at the fold.

one of the inch lines is on the fold

Walk your hand up the quilters ruler as you cut to prevent it from moving as you cut away from yourself.

this shows how much fabric is lost

Open the piece of fabric out and it should be perfectly straight across the fold.

I once purchased a jelly roll which had been cut at an angle which made it impossible to use for strip sets. Again there was a loss of fabric because of the V shaped fold and it limited how the jelly roll could be used.

ruler lined up to cut a 2½” strip

I hope that you have found this post useful when cutting fabric for patchwork

Spirit of Flight fabric bundle competition.

Don’t forget to add a comment to the Spirit of Flight blog post before 30th November 2020 to be in with a chance to win the beautiful fabric bundle.

Have a good weekend


Published by bevmayo6129

I am a textile tutor and artist specialising in patchwork & quilting.

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