Friday, January 29, 2010

Finding the grain of your fabric. It's easy!

I've got a new project on my cutting table! I knew I'd blog about it, but while taking pictures I decided I'd give the beginning sewers a couple of basic tips needed to make things easier!

Have you ever wondered, what in the heck do they mean "with the grain"? Well I may not know how to find it in a roast, but I sure can find it in a piece of fabric!!

This is the salvage edge of the fabric, where you find things such as the company who makes it, the designer, the line name and the name of the fabric. This reprints throughout the entire bolt of fabric and tells you the LENGTHWISE grain of your fabric. Most patterns will have you lay out your pieces going this way. <---------> So in this fabric your stripes would run vertical. (photo below)

This is a picture of what your fabric looks like on the edges where it was cut by the seller, after being washed and dried.

You can see the crosswise grain strings here.

So that's super easy right!
What if you have a SCRAP of fabric with no salvages? Then how do you find your grain??
Do not despair; it's just as easy I promise.
Take your fabric and give it a little pull on both edges. Does it have any stretch to it? If you answer YES than that is your LENGTHWISE grain. Your CROSSWISE grain doesn't have much if any give!

Okay, so one more thing on finding the grain. Sometimes you have to find the bias of your fabric.
Your bias runs corner to corner and has LOTS of stretch! See how I pulled on the corners of this fabric and it gathered in the middle?

Yep that's the BIAS of your fabric.

Hope that was helpful and I'd love to hear any questions!

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