Grains of Fabric

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Before you pin and cut your fabric, take a good look at it to see that it’s straight and on grain. Here is some key things to know when dealing with fabric:

Selvage: the narrow woven border on the lengthwise edges of fabric.

Fabric grain: the grain refers to lengthwise and crosswise threads. Lengthwise grain runs parallel to the selvage; crosswise grain runs across the fabric from selvage to selvage at right angles to lengthwise grain.

Bias: true bias is the diagonal line formed by placing a crosswise thread parallel to a lengthwise thread or selvage.

Straightening fabric ends: clip the selvage and gently pull a crosswise thread out of the fabric. Cut along this line.

Shrinkage: To avoid a shrinkage “surprise”, wash your fabric piece prior to cutting and making your outfit, so it is already preshrunk and there won’t be any disappointments later on when you wash and dry your finished garment.

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