Understanding the Anatomy of Fabric for Informed Choices
The choice of fabric plays a pivotal role in the success of your sewing project. It's crucial to comprehend the composition of fabric and its intended use. With a vast array of fabrics available, grasping these elements will empower you to make informed decisions for your projects.
- The warp threads, running parallel to the selvage (lengthwise), make up the lengthwise grain. The weft threads, woven through the warp threads and running crosswise to the selvage, constitute the crosswise grain.
- The selvage, the fabric's finished edge, is tightly woven and resistant to fraying. However, it may have a slightly different color or be left unprinted.
- The right side is the exterior or finished side of the fabric – the side you want to showcase. Identifying the right side is often straightforward, especially with printed fabrics.
- The wrong side is the interior or unprinted side of the fabric, hidden in the finished project.
- The bias is the fabric line lying at a 45-degree angle from the selvage, falling between the lengthwise and crosswise grains. Cutting a woven fabric in the bias direction adds a bit of stretch to the material.
Remember, the selvage serves as the fabric's finished edge, resistant to fraying, although it may have a distinctive color variation.
Yardage Conversion Chart for Sewing
Fabric comes in various widths and is typically rolled onto bolts. To purchase the specific amount you need, take the bolts to a cutting counter where it will be measured and cut accordingly. Sewing patterns include charts specifying the required fabric amount, often based on a standard 44- to 45-inch width. However, what if you opt for a different width, say, 60 inches? The chart below simplifies conversions for using fabrics of varying widths:
Use this chart to easily convert yardage measurements when working with fabrics of different widths. Simply find the standard width measurement, locate the corresponding factor, and apply it for the desired width.