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Thread: new fabric, shorter width

  1. #1
    Junior Member
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    Unhappy new fabric, shorter width

    Last week I got a yard of fabric at JoAnne's to make a pillowcase for my DD. Imagine my shock when I put it together with pieces from my stash to make the case & it was substantially shorter! I mean like 3-4 inches!! Is this a new trick by manufacturers to compensate for the extra cost of cotton? I guess I'll have to take my tape measure with me from now on to measure the width of the fabric before purchasing! I mean, I was stunned! Thank goodness, it was only for a pillowcase & not something that the yardage would have made a difference!!

  2. #2
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    what did it say on the end of the bolt? Was this after washing?

  3. #3
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    Thank you for letting us know. We will need to investigate closer from now on!

  4. #4
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    Thanks for heads up will be checking close from now on!
    QUILTNMO

  5. #5
    Senior Member Rubesgirl's Avatar
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    Many manufacturers are now using a 42" width. You really do have to check each bolt you want to buy from. It was a surprise for me when I bought fabric, assuming it was 44-45" and it only measured 42".
    Wendy in VA

    If I had a dollar for every time I got distracted I wish I had some ice cream.

  6. #6
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    Good to know. Most fabric no matter where you buy shrinks after washing.

  7. #7
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    It surprised the heck out of me when it happened the first time. Many manufactures have reduced the width of their fabrics. Its not just a JoAnns issue. I can now tell the newer purchases from the older in my stash by the width. I have been wondering ...Are we going back to 36 inch wide cottons?!!

  8. #8
    Super Member Raggiemom's Avatar
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    I hadn't noticed this, will definitely have to check when I buy fabric again.
    Heather

  9. #9
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    The 44-45" fabrics disappeared several years ago. The 42" fabrics are problematic for me because I wrap the fabric from back around to the front for the binding. This requires the backing to be at least 4" wider than the front. This is ok for the smaller children's charty quits but a real problem for the bigger boy's quilts that are the greatest need.

  10. #10
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    Some older fabrics (15 to 20 years old) are also narrower - this includes some of the "better" brands such as Kaufman and Hoffman.

    So - it isn't just the "new" fabrics that are narrower - some of the older ones are, too.

    I had also "assumed" that the "newer" cotton wovens - as in 1950 and on - were 45 inches wide. NOT SO!!! Even back then!!

    So - yes, it does seem that some of the fabrics are narrower - and some are - but this is not necessarily a "new" thing.

    I now try to check the end of the bolt for width - if it isn't shown - or covered up with a price tag - one can ask to have the width measured.

    Some fabrics shrink a lot (I've had fabrics shrink up to 2.5 inches in width) and some don't shrink at all. I can't tell ahead of time what a fabric will do.

    I'm one of those that prefer to soak fabrics in hot water (gasp!!!!) and then wash them in cold or tepid water before cutting them.

    There are also many sewers that skip the washing step.

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