fabric terms and grain

9:17 PM

Bias: diagonal direction across the warp and weft of fabric. When pulling fabric on the bias, the fabric stretches considerably.

Selvage: tightly woven edge of fabric that is parallel to the warp and doesn't fray.

Warp / lengthwise grain: the direction that the yarns run along the length of the fabric. When fabric is woven on a loom, the warp yarns are strung first.
         -tips for finding warp

Weft / crosswise grain: the direction that the yarns run along the width of the fabric. When fabric is woven on a loom, the weft yarns alternately go over and under the warp yarns.
          -tips for finding grainline


Putting fabric on grain

9:07 PM

Putting fabric on grain: Laying out and/or manipulating fabric to return to it's true form- making the warp and weft yarns lie perpendicular to each other.

This is an important step in preparing your fabric. If you do not put your fabric on grain, the yarns will relax as you wash the item, and the seams can twist, and the fit can become weird.

Steps to putting fabric on grain:

  1. Pre-shrink fabric.
  2. Lay fabric out matching the selvages.
  3. Find the weft and cut or tear along the weft threads on each side of fabric piece (you can do this by either making a snip perpendicular to the selvage and tearing, or following directions below)
  4. Line up selvages. If the corners don't match, you know the fabric is off-grain.
  5. Stretch the fabric the opposite way (so the corners will match up) and repeat step until the corners do match up.
  6. Make sure all edges are perpendicular to each other and you are ready to cut!
          note: if fabric is being stubborn, you can steam it with your iron.

Finding weft:


Non-woven interfacing

8:29 PM

 Non-woven interfacing: interfacing that is made by pressing fibers together. Generally should only be used in craft-making as it is very stiff in nature. There are some non-woven interfacings with a directional comb on the fibers. This makes it more drape-able, but is still stiff and not the best option when sewing clothing.


Knit Weft-Insertion Interfacing

8:25 PM

Weft-insertion interfacing: interfacing that is knitted, but stabilized with an extra thread woven through the loops. This interfacing is good for use on knitted clothing items. ie: peter pan collar on a knitted shirt. Can either be sew-in or fusible.



8:19 PM

Pre-shrink: to wash and dry fabric with normal/future heat settings (Warm/Warm wash and regular dry) BEFORE sewing the fabric.

Pre-shrinking is necessary for fabric made with natural fibers. If you do not preshrink your fabric, your project will most likely shrink and become too small.

Pre-shrinking also relaxes the weave or knit of fabric which makes it easier to put on grain.


Sew-in interfacing

8:11 PM

Sew-in interfacing: interfacing that is simply fabric (no glue dots). It is applied by basting it to the fabric.

 Interfacing is trimmed to 1/8" from seam

General method for insertion:
  1. Cut interfacing to the size of the pattern piece
  2. Baste to wrong side of surface fabric 
  3. Sew fabric to lining/facing
  4. Trim 1/8" from seam


woven interfacing

10:26 PM

Woven interfacing: Interfacing has a plain weave and is structurally more stiff, but still drapes well. Can be either sew-in or fusible. Ranges from very lightweight (organza) to heavy (hair canvas).


fusible interfacing

10:20 PM

fusible interfacing: interfacing that has small dots of glue on one side. Can be woven, knitted or non-woven.

method of insertion:

  1. Use pattern piece to cut interfacing
  2. Trim off 5/8" around edges of interfacing
  3. Attach to fabric piece using a combination of heat and steam (instructions come with interfacing)
To pre-shrink fusible interfacing, hand-wash in warm water and hang to dry.

Popular Posts

Like us on Facebook

Flickr Images