Thursday, October 6, 2011

To Tear or Not To Tear...

...that is the question. 
 buy these gorg fabrics here

Have you ever purchased fabric and been surprised (or alarmed) when they tore the fabric instead of used scissors to cut it?  There's a bit of a debate about whether it is better to cut yardage or tear it...but here are my views after speaking with several different sources. 
The first question you might have is why would you tear it in the first place? 
When you tear a fabric (usually done with cotton) it will tear perfectly straight along the weave of the fabric.  The weave may or may not be perfectly straight with the pattern on the fabric. 

So it depends on what you are sewing.

When you are sewing clothing, it is really more important for the fabric to hang straight than for the pattern to be straight.
If you are using fabric for crafting or quilting it is not as important for the weave to be straight - it's really more important for the pattern on the fabric to be square.

So if you are buying yardage to make clothing, be sure that you tear both cut edges from selvage to selvage (if they didn't do it at the store).  This will give you a perfectly straight piece of fabric no matter how the pattern on the fabric may appear.

If you are making something else - like a pillow - you can cut both non selvage edges so that the pattern looks straight.

**If you are totally confused by what I mean by tearing the fabric, this is how you do it.  Make a small snip in the selvage with scissors (about 1" from the cut edge) and then tear it all the way to the other selvage then snip the other selvage.**

Now you may be thinking - okay...I want my pants to hang nicely, but I don't want the pattern to be wonky either...

Sometimes you can do it half way.  Tear the fabric so you know it's straight, then even the pattern up a little so it's not too off.  Is that confusing?  I hope not. 
Oh and once you get the fabric straight you should use scissors to cut out your pattern pieces.  (Just didn't want you to think you have to tear the fabric the whole time ;)

Happy fabric shopping!


  1. In many shops,fabrics are teared(Madrid,Alicante,Mucia).

  2. When you tear fabric you can damage the fibres of the fabric for several centimeters from the torn edge (in both directions).


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