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Thread: Cut or rip?

  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Oct 2011
    the beach

    Cut or rip?

    I had my own personal shop hop last weekend and bought fabric at three different shops (between shopping and hanging out on this board, I may never get around to actual sewing, but that's another story.) At two of the shops, the clerks cut my fabric, but at the third, she tore it. I remember, years ago, cotton fabrics always used to be ripped, but I have gotten so used to seeing it cut, I had forgotten and it was almost a shock to see it done.

    In my experience, some ripped fabrics get weird along the torn edge and you have to trim them before use. That didn't seem to happen this time, but it is the reason I think I prefer cutting. I know you get a reliable straight of grain on ripped fabric, but I think I like it to be cut.

    Just wondered about others' experiences and preferences?

  2. #2
    Senior Member pacquilter's Avatar
    Join Date
    Aug 2011
    I agree with you...I'm not really comfortable with tearing. You would always lose a little fabric by having to trim off the torn part.

  3. #3
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Feb 2011
    S. Texas
    As quilters we don't worry too much about the straight grain like we did even making clothing. Therefore I would prefer my fabric cut. I don't ever recall a quilt shop tearing my fabric.

  4. #4
    Super Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2011
    Central NJ
    Doesn't really matter to me one way or the other. Yes, torn edges do need some 'help' but at least it's on grain. Hopefully they tear on the 'heavy' side when they do that to make up for that inch or so lost.

  5. #5
    Super Member CorgiNole's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jun 2010
    Chapel Hill
    The places I've shopped where they tear, the do it on the heavy side so that there is room for cleaning up the torn edges.

    I buy end of bolt lengths at the end of bolt sale most months, and more than once I've torn a smaller piece from the yardage when I need it for a project to make it more manageable to use.

    Cheers, K

  6. #6
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2010
    I am a fan of tearing. It is so frustrating to try to cut strip sets and get that wonky wave , because the fabrics are lined up on the straight. So many times I have had to straighten the grain to avoid getting the wonky wave , and loose way more than if the shop had been tearing from the bolt.
    As a quilter who does alot of strip cutting , having the fabric on grain right from the start , is important.
    Last edited by Lori S; 01-25-2012 at 11:42 AM.

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Mar 2010
    Manchester, NH
    I absolutely prefer my fabric to be ripped. It's unbelievable how off grain some places cut the fabric, and if you don't want screwy squares, you want them on the straight grain. Don't talk to me about how much fabric is lost when having to cut off the little bit of edge when a piece is ripped. There's not anywhere near as much fabric lost that way than is lost when the fabric is cut wierd. When I have to have strips etc, I always rip it because I never get it cut straight, and neither does anyone else, I think.

  8. #8
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
    Join Date
    Nov 2010
    S. Dakota
    As a shop owner, I cut my regular width fabric. I do try and check the bolts to be sure they are wound fairly straight - if not I will straighten the first edge and then adjust when I make cuts from it.

    HOWEVER, with wide backing fabric, I ALWAYS tear. I have a post on my blog with photos that will explain why:

    Andi R
    Proud owner of "Smart Alec" (A-1 with IntelliQuilter) and "Maggie" (the Prodigy)

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan 2011
    My LQS doesn't rip, but I wish they did. I can't tell you how many times I've come home with a beautiful, expensive piece of cut fabric only to line it up properly and find I have a very uneven edge to trim up, and therefore lose a good chunk of my beautiful, expensive fabric - grrrrr. Really, it forces me to buy more fabric than I need because I know this is going to happen (does anyone else sense a conspiracy here?? - Just kidding!! )So If they would do it, I would love them to rip it for greater accuracy and less waste.

  10. #10
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Aug 2008
    Northern Virginia
    Around here they do both or either depending on what you want, except for The Quilt Patch, she says she would turn away a customer that wanted fabric cut. I thought that was a little extreme, but it's her shop. When I was discussing this with one shop owner who preferred to cut she said the tearing sound makes her think the fabric is screaming, little creepy, huh.

    Now for me, I always tear my borders along the length of the fabric, not the width of the fabric.
    If you quilt fast enough, does it count as aerobic exercise? Bernice Manning

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