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Thread: tearing fabric

  1. #1
    Junior Member heart of Dixie's Avatar
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    tearing fabric

    I am just curious how many of you go to quilt stores where they tear your fabic. I went to one the other day and they tore mine. I do not like it. I like the nice straight cut. I have not see this at any other shops. what is your opnion.
    dlprecisionquilting.com

  2. #2
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    Years ago all fabric shops did that before good scissors and the cutting wheel. I do not like it, perfer cutting. I am 77 years old

  3. #3
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    I like it when it is ripped, as \i can be certain it is on grain.
    Attending University. I will graduate a year after my son and year before my daughter.

  4. #4
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    HATE to have my fabric ripped! I aways loose at least another 1/2 inch off the ripped sides as I trim away the distorted threads.

  5. #5
    Super Member lisalovesquilting's Avatar
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    I've only been to one where they did this. I prefer it cut.
    Peace is one of His greatest gifts.

  6. #6
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    I prefer the ripping because you know you have the straight of grain and much quicker than the pull the thread method. I find that the little bit I lose is more than compensated for when the blocks cut are on the grain they fit together so nicely. They press flat like a drea - match like a dream etc. When it is cut by the store I bring it home wash it and rip one edge to get the cut I want. But in the final analysis it boils down to personal preference -- all quilts look nice when done with either method. My problem is that I am old school, completed my first stitchery in the late forties - and old habits die hard.

  7. #7
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    I like the cutting edge better. I've never been anywhere where they ripped the fabric is it something new they are doing? Sue

  8. #8
    Super Member Annaquilts's Avatar
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    I like it ripped because it is on the grain. with cutting there is often a big distortion fro the top to the bottom as they do not cut straight.
    Anna Quilts

  9. #9
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    Quote Originally Posted by Annaquilts View Post
    I like it ripped because it is on the grain. with cutting there is often a big distortion fro the top to the bottom as they do not cut straight.
    I wish they all ripped instead of cutting! One example of really off grain happened on an extra wide piece for backing...before I ironed it I saw it was a bit off....so ripped..at start of "rip" it was about 1/2",by the time I got to other edge.....almost 6"......then had to have a friend come over and "tug" opposite corners w/me to straighten it out....good thing I bought a bit extra yardage to begin with! When fab is a cut piece and I am going to cut into it for the first time I always "tug" to get those woven threads straightened out...I think the factory bolting has a lot to do with the katywompness of some fab....and the price of fab does not make it immune to this

  10. #10
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    I prefer cut fabric. I have never had anyone rip mine.

  11. #11
    Super 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.

  12. #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.

  13. #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.

  14. #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

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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.

  16. #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!

  17. #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.

  18. #18
    Power Poster 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.

  19. #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.

  20. #20
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    this is my practice as well.
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  21. #21
    amh
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    I am old school and want my pieces on the straight of the grain. As a previous person said, they sew better, press better, etc., etc., and I straighten the fabric so it is on the grain. I think the art of tugging fabric to straighten it is a lost art. I buy extra when they cut it because the fabric is distorted, and then I straighten it before cutting. I think it`s a personal preference.
    Aileen
    Saskatoon SK Canada

  22. #22
    Super Member Floralfab's Avatar
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    Some fabric is off grain when you buy it so I just tear it across and everything lines up. I trim the torn edge so it is flat.

  23. #23
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    Mary Jo's in NC tears the fabric. Each time I've gone there in the past 3 years they have done it. Each time, each piece has been straight and when I prewash it, it seems to ravel less than fabric I prewash from other shops that cut the fabric.
    I have more issues with fabric cut crooked. Bless them, they cut like me. I can't cut a straight line without a ruler. I will not even try tearing in a straight line.

  24. #24
    Super Member mandyrose's Avatar
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    I don't have any quilt stores close so it's only joanns they don't tear the fabric but the one girl always cut a few inches then she slides the scissors rest of the cut that annoys me for some reason when she waits on me I remind her please cut straight to the end am I wrong? maybe I'm to picky and I am no expert by any means in quilting

  25. #25
    Super Member nancia's Avatar
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    i prefer it torn. it's good for you- you get an accurate amount of fabric, you have the straight grain- and it's good for the store--they are selling every inch instead of having to add extra so you get the 'right' amount end to end. i wanted a 1/4 yd of a fabric i knew i would never use again. i watched the girl cut it and i could tell i wasn't going to have much to work with by the time i straightened it. so i said, let me show you what happens when you straighten the fabric. i ended up with 2" of fabric, straight on the grain, and a handful of dog bed stuffing. of course, i had to pay for the whole 1/4 yd, but it was an eye opener for the clerk!
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