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Thread: Cut or rip?

  1. #1
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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
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    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:
    http://andicrafts.wordpress.com/2010...ad-of-cutting/

    Andi

  9. #9
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    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
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    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

  11. #11
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I hate having my fabric torn. So far, no one has done that to me.

  12. #12
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    there are a number of shops in different locales that will only rip the fabric- regardless of what you may prefer. others will only cut with scissors---then theirs some that will use a rotory cutter- it all depends on how the owner was originally taught- but you will find all 3 methods common
    it does no good to get upset over a shop using one method over another-
    i've certainly had horrible rotory cutter cuts---where i had to trim up to 4" to straighten up my fabric- so having to trim 1/4"-1/2" on a piece of ripped fabric is much preferred to me- i've also lost 2-3" on raggy scissor cuts from some pretty expensive shops---it all depends- i usually either ask-or look around the cutting table to see if they have a cutter or scissors laying out- so i know to ask for extra to make up for the uneven cuts- if it's torn i do not usually need to purchase extra- the fabric is straight...even if the edge needs to be trimmed.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  13. #13
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    It doesn't matter to me which way they do it. I do it both ways myself

  14. #14
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    I cut and like my fabrics cut as well. Ripping seems to cause more headache because it then has to be trimmed.
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  15. #15
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    i do not trim my torn fabrics, that bruised edge goes into the seam... if you rip it fast, it's fine. and i do rip everything that i put aside for borders... (i rip borders off in 2, 4 and 6 inch widths and store that way because that way i'm not cutting away the length with piecing strips. but when going across, it depends on what i'm gonna do with it... so i do both.. from one end, i rip each strip i need for my strip piecing... but cutting template shapes and making magic squares for HSTs, i do it from the other end, because a small triangle or square cut on the double layer method does not go across the fabric so there is no real reason for them to be PERFECTLY straight, square from the selvedge and fold lines is good enough... i just fold my fabric from the ripped end (because i know that is straight) and then next time i use the end that is correct for that day's method...

  16. #16
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    I hate it when they rip fabric! I always have to retrim the edge because it stretches the weave. I also read a story where a shop owner possibly developed lung problems from the chemicals and fiber particles that she breathed in due to fabric tearing.

  17. #17
    Super Member Mad Mimm's Avatar
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    I haven't given it much thought, most places I go to cut with scissors and do a pretty respectable job. I am sure my own crapping cutting and fumbling has lost me more inches than any wonky fabrics, cut or torn. ;D
    Sheila N.

    When Thomas Edison invented the light bulb, he tried over 2000 experiments before he got it to work. A young reporter asked him how it felt to fail so many times. He said, "I never failed once. I invented the light bulb. It just happened to be a 2000 step process."

  18. #18
    Super Member SouthPStitches's Avatar
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    I've forgotten that they used to rip the fabric, it has been so many decades since I've seen it done. My thoughts are, with such excellant scissors and rotary cutters, I question to the need/desire to rip.

  19. #19
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    Cut or torn, I always pink the edges before I wash the material so that little bit is lost anyway. I also always buy a bit more fabric than I need 1/8 or 1/4 yd, just in case I cut wrong.
    peace
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  20. #20
    Senior Member katz_n_kwiltz's Avatar
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    i went to a shop once where they tore the fabric, i asked the woman to cut it for me, but she tore it anyway.
    was shocked to see that, you lose at least an inch of fabric on both sides if its torn, not to mention the occasional
    thread that pulls. too bad that shop went out of business, but this isnt the 1900's where you have to rip the fabric
    to get a straight line.
    katz

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