Essential Fabric-Related Terms, Part 3 of Unraveling the Magic Thread

Essential Fabric-Related Terms, Part 3 of Unraveling the Magic Thread

Welcome back to "Unraveling the Magic Thread," our comprehensive sewing glossary series. In this third installment, we'll explore fabric-related terminology, including selvage, grain, directional fabric, bias, and bias tape. As a beginner, understanding these fabric-related terms will help you choose and work with fabric more confidently, ultimately leading to better final products. So, let's dive in!

Explanation of Selvage, Grain, and Directional Fabric

The selvage is the finished edge of the fabric that prevents it from fraying. Most selvages are printed with important information, such as the fabric's manufacturer, type, and color. It's important to take note of the selvage when working with fabrics, as it can affect the final product's appearance.

Grain refers to the direction of the threads in the fabric. Lengthwise grain runs parallel to the selvage, while crosswise grain runs perpendicular. The bias is the diagonal direction between the lengthwise and crosswise grain, which gives fabrics stretch and drape.

Directional fabric is a fabric with a clear "top" or "bottom" or "right" or "wrong" side, such as a print with flowers that would all be facing the same direction. It's important to take note of this when cutting and sewing.

Definition of Bias and Bias Tape

The bias refers to the 45-degree angle between the lengthwise and crosswise grain of the fabric. Cutting along the bias creates a stretchy and fluid fabric edge that can be useful in certain sewing projects.

Bias tape is a narrow strip of fabric cut on the bias. It can be used to cover raw edges, bind seams, and add decorative detailing. Bias tape can be purchased pre-made or made by cutting and folding a strip of fabric.

So now you've learned about important fabric-related terminology to help you make more informed fabric choices and create beautiful, professional-looking sewing projects.

If you've missed blog #1 and 2 of this series, catch up here. Stay tuned for more "Unraveling the Magic Thread" installments where we'll continue to explore comprehensive sewing terminology. Until then, keep practicing and creating.

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