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Thread: I need long strips....best way to cut?

  1. #1
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    I need long strips....best way to cut?

    I have 1-1/2 yards of 108" wide fabric that I need 3 strips from, selvage to selvage (108"x 16"). Is there a good way to cut the fabric without problems? Or should I rip it? How much usable fabric will I lose by ripping? Any help here is appreciated. TIA, Rose

  2. #2
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    If you have a good cutting mat and rotary cutter and 24" ruler, you can fold the fabric into quarters, matching selvage edges and cut through 4 layers (you will have to slide the ruler or use 2 rulers butted side to side to finish the length in one cut).
    That said, with 16" wide strips, I would have no problem ripping....I ripped ruffles for 75 square dance dresses (2" for sleeves and 8" for bottom of skirts) with no problem many years ago when we didn't have rotary cutters. I would still be cutting if not for ripping! I made clips along the edges 2" apart (and then 8" for the larger ruffles) and enlisted a friend to grab every other cut and walk across the room away from me as I held the other every other ones! Went fast, no waste, I stitched them end to end, rolled the hem with that funny shell foot (before serger) and ruffled the other side. No waste....but others will disagree, I can guarantee! lol
    Last edited by linda8450; 04-25-2013 at 08:43 AM.

  3. #3
    Senior Member AndiR's Avatar
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    Tearing will give you a straight-of-grain strip. If you tried to fold several times and cut with a rotary cutter, you may end up with a zig-zag instead of a straight strip. You may lose a half inch or so due to 'bruising', but I'd rather lose that and have a nice straight strip.

    Andi
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 04-25-2013 at 09:36 AM.
    Andi R
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  4. #4
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    ​I hate ripping fabric because you aways loose about 1/2 inch on each torn edge from re-trimming. In a case where you need such long strips though, it woud probably work the best. I would rip then 108 X 18 so that I could trim off the distorted ruffled torn edges.

  5. #5
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I would cut it with a sharp rotary blade and my rulers. It would be the same and maybe even easier. If it needs to be trimmed after it is torn. What is the difference?
    Another Phyllis
    This life is the only one you get - enjoy it before you lose it.

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by linda8450 View Post
    If you have a good cutting mat and rotary cutter and 24" ruler, you can fold the fabric into quarters, matching selvage edges and cut through 4 layers (you will have to slide the ruler or use 2 rulers butted side to side to finish the length in one cut).
    That said, with 16" wide strips, I would have no problem ripping....I ripped ruffles for 75 square dance dresses (2" for sleeves and 8" for bottom of skirts) with no problem many years ago when we didn't have rotary cutters. I would still be cutting if not for ripping! I made clips along the edges 2" apart (and then 8" for the larger ruffles) and enlisted a friend to grab every other cut and walk across the room away from me as I held the other every other ones! Went fast, no waste, I stitched them end to end, rolled the hem with that funny shell foot (before serger) and ruffled the other side. No waste....but others will disagree, I can guarantee! lol
    This is what I would do. I have done this before and most times I am not really losing anything. I would do a test rip and se what you think.

  7. #7
    Senior Member charsuewilson's Avatar
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    I would rip it. I haven't had much problem losing fabric at the edge of a rip, particularly for the wide backing fabrics.

  8. #8
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    Folding works if you're very careful with your alignment, otherwise...zigzags. I hate that and I'm lazy so I'd rather rip and trim than fuss with trying to exactly line up folds for a truly straight cut. For me, it's faster and I'm less twitchy about frayed edges than I am about zigzags so that's what works for me!

    I might not rip if it were something I intended as an heirloom quilt just because it MIGHT damage the fibers beyond my cuts (I don't know if it does or not)...but I consider all my quilts so far to be "useable" so that's not an issue for me. I want them used to death, loved and worn out so I have an excuse to make more! LOL

  9. #9
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    I've ripped long strips without a problem also.

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