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Thread: tearing fabric

  1. #11
    Senior Member Gannyrosie's Avatar
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    Saves me from getting it on grain, and I don't have a LQS around, so to me it would save fabric.

  2. #12
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    Heirloom fabric shops tend to rip the fabric because of the grain issues, and heirloom fabrics can cost more than quilt fabrics. I like the rip.

  3. #13
    Super Member knlsmith's Avatar
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    I'm a ripper. I rip my backing for my longarm machine so it is straight. But i don't rip for piecing.

  4. #14
    JLe
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    I prefer ripped as well. I have found it worthwhile to sacrifice a bit to ensure a straight grain, especially working on something where pattern accuracy is a must.. you'd be surprised how many times the printing can go awry and sometimes it really matters

  5. #15
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    I grew up with fabric always being ripped, but with the advent of polyesters, etc. they had to be cut. A well-known designer's shop always sends fabric that's ripped. I discovered that even though it's straight grain, I have to stretch it back to shape because ripping distorts the fabric.

  6. #16
    Super Member Sierra's Avatar
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    OK, you know it is on "the straight of the grain" when they rip it, but that "straight" is really wonky because of the pulling they did to rip it! I always check my fabrics for even-ness by shifting the selvages until the fabric hangs absolutely straight w/o any diagonal gullies showing.

    I don't have trouble with ANY of my fabrics unraveling when I pre-wash (which I always do). I'm wondering, do other quilters put their fabrics into the washer on the "regular" dial? I soak my new fabric in hotest water to check for color fastness as well as take care of any shrinking that might want to occur later. I leave it for awhile, rinse if it ran, and add salt or vinegar to set the color. Then I put it in the washer on gentle (now I have a front loader so it is always basically gentle, but I use the "handwash" (most gentle setting) for this step as well as the final washing before gifting), then into the dryer on regular, but put the dial a little low (shorter time) so there is no chance of over drying (which will make a lot of wrinkles). Then I put any fabric that feels damp at all over my wonderful, huge (grandmother's) drying rack and let it dry that way. I don't have to iron it, or cut the non-existent raveled thread off.

    I'm saying all this because it seems a lot of people have trouble with pre-washing and unraveling and it simply is not necessary with the cottons we have today. I didn't even have trouble with Walmart's cottons which I bought when I first started quilting, and they were NOT top quality!

  7. #17
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    I haven't seen that done since I was a kid, and believe me, that's been a while. I would not like it. It will indeed distort fabric as someone else mentioned.

  8. #18
    Super Member Prism99's Avatar
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    Yikes. I do not purchase fabric at shops that rip. Ripping damages fabric fibers for a good 2 inches from the tear. Much of this damage is invisible to the eye, but can be seen under a microscope.

    Straight-of-grain is very important for garment sewing because it affects the drape of the garment. It is much less important for quilting.

    The biggest problem in quilting is distortion from bias edges. For people who do not prewash fabric, there is enough sizing in the fabric to prevent slightly off-grain cuts from affecting piecing. For those who prewash, all they have to do is add starch to the fabric before cutting. Starch stabilizes fabric.

    I do not prewash fabric (I do check for colorfastness of suspicious fabrics, and will wash and starch a fabric if necessary to ensure colorfastness) and I do not worry about being completely on-grain with cuts. I heavily starch backing fabrics before layering too. Once moderate quilting is done to a quilt sandwich, the batting takes control of fabric shrinkage so again it matters little if pieces are slightly off-grain.

    Many quilters come from a garment sewing background, and I think this is where the unneceesary concern about on-grain comes from. For quilting, it is enough to be reasonably close to on-grain. The only time I might start taking grain into consideration is if I were making a show quilt to win a prize when everything needs to be absolutely perfect.

  9. #19
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    I went to WAlmart the other week and was about to have the clerk cut me some fabric. I happened to mention to the lady next to me that I need 3 1/2 yds of a certain color. Next thing I knew the clerk was measuring 3 pcs of the same fabric. She was going to tear me 3 pcs of the same fabric. Glad I stopped her.

  10. #20
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    this is my practice as well.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

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