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Thread: Help needed for cutting large fabric pieces

  1. #1

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    Hello,
    I am trying to cut a piece of material that is 60in wide and 5 yards long in half. But I have no idea how to do it accurately. The only thing I can think of is taping it to the floor ( in a loooooooooong hallway) and using a carpenter's chalk line to make a line. Is this my only option?

  2. #2
    Super Member Butterflyspain's Avatar
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    Okay, This is how I do it and many shops. You know the way fabric is made that it will tear easily because there is a warp and the weft in the way material is made.

    Use your scissors to cut exactly the point 2 1/2 yds. that is the half way point right. Now is the time to be brave grab to two ends you have cut and it will tear completely evenly. Trust me. If you are unsure, do it on another piece of material. I do this all the time, have been sewing for upteen years. LOL


    Elle

  3. #3

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    That does sound very scary but I don't know if it will work. I should have explained myself better. It has to be cut in half width wise, meaning i need two pieces that are 30 in by 5 yds. Makes sense?

  4. #4

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    Not all fabric tears easily, when I did the sashing for dd's quilt I cut really long strips from my yardage.

    Which way do you want to cut it? I'll assume final dimension to be 30 X 180" (5')

    Iron it, being very careful not to wrinkle it. Now fold it in half 60" X 90" Line up the ends and edges exactly. Then fold it one more time 60" X 45" Make sure the edges are all lined up! (or trim them if you have a little extra you so you can cut the edges to match) Place on your cutting mat and cut as long as your quilters rule lets you cut, press firmly with the rotary cutter to ensure you cut through all four layers (my mat is 24" X 36" and my longest rule is 6.5" X 24") now gently side the fabric over your cutting surface (if you don't have a flat table big enough for it to lay flat the entire time do it on the floor) and cut the remaining 21" Vola it's in half.

  5. #5
    Super Member Butterflyspain's Avatar
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    Whichever way you tear it whether it be width ways or length ways it will tear straight, I agree some polyesters will not tear easily but if we are talking bout cotton here, then I reiterate the weft runs one way and the warp runs the other it will tear easily and straight I have just done it to prove that I am not talking out of my head. both ways long and short.

    Its the way many professional and trades persons will do it.

    Elle

  6. #6
    bj
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    Super Member bj's Avatar
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    Elle's right...not to be afraid. Just fold in half, snip, and tear. It will tear straight if it is cotton and the weave is not wonky. I tear mine all the time to get rid of excess at the top/bottom/sides from the backing when I'm ready to sandwich and quilt. I don't like all that excess beyond the quilt and batting.

  7. #7
    Super Member retrogirl02's Avatar
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    tearing is FRIGHTENING the first few times you do it....some of us never stop the cringing that naturally comes with ripping your precious goods....but it does provide an accurate "cut". The first time I saw this done I'm sure that my eyes popped right out of my head while I became faint LOL but it was all fine. Best of luck to you.

  8. #8

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    hi these ladies is giving good advice i tear my fabric also measure and tear. i learn this when i was in a guild. Annette

  9. #9
    Super Member Butterflyspain's Avatar
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    Thanks you all for giving her some faith and confidence to go for it. I should add dont try it on Nylon, Net, or Polyester. Cotton and cotton mix, Poplin, and it will work just great.

    Hey i even did it on my Daughters Japanese silk wedding dress material. How daring is that.... LOL


    Elle

  10. #10
    Super Member Barb M's Avatar
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    Don't you find when you rip fabric it stretches the fabric along the tear? I know that's happened when i've tried it, so now i just fold it real accurate onto my cutting mat and cut

  11. #11
    Super Member Butterflyspain's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Barb M
    Don't you find when you rip fabric it stretches the fabric along the tear? I know that's happened when i've tried it, so now i just fold it real accurate onto my cutting mat and cut
    Yes a bit, but nothing an iron won´t fix. You see I am always in a hurry and need it done there and then, patience is not my strong point
    :D

    Elle

  12. #12

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    Fold it in half long ways(5yr.long) and iron it then cut on the line if you wish to cut it that way. if not in half by the 60 why it is pressed in half on the long lenth then fold it againg and press and then cut . this will help.



  13. #13
    Moderator kathy's Avatar
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    I'm a firm believer in tearing BUT a few weeks ago I bought some white muslin to dye, it was $4+ per yd. I snipped and ripped 4 yds of it into fats and dyed my heart out all day. After the final wash I dried it and began to iron only to find that not a single one was straight! If you folded them in 1/2 in any direction the other edge was off 4-5 inches. I'm glad they were just for me but I was still dissappointed. I guess it must have been something about the weave? That's the first time I've ever had a problem, and if you RIP it quickly and not just slowly tear you'll have less stretch, and what little you do have is easily ironed out like someone said.

  14. #14
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    Good quality, evenly-evenly woven cotton fabrics will tear straight. If it doesn't tear straight, it's probably not worth using!

    For a long time, I thought tearing was inferior somehow, but eventually I learned to appreciate that nice straight edge. It does distort about 1/8" - 1/4" on the torn edge, but it would be equally hard to cut a perfectly straight edge on a 5 yard long piece. I have been using a rotary cutter for 22 years, and I think my "margin of error" is better with tearing!

  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by kathy
    I'm a firm believer in tearing BUT a few weeks ago I bought some white muslin to dye, it was $4+ per yd. I snipped and ripped 4 yds of it into fats and dyed my heart out all day. After the final wash I dried it and began to iron only to find that not a single one was straight! If you folded them in 1/2 in any direction the other edge was off 4-5 inches. I'm glad they were just for me but I was still dissappointed. I guess it must have been something about the weave? That's the first time I've ever had a problem, and if you RIP it quickly and not just slowly tear you'll have less stretch, and what little you do have is easily ironed out like someone said.
    Did it tear wrong (not on the grain) or did it tear correctly and the muslin quality was not good enough, so it distorted? I would check that before going to the work of dying!

  16. #16
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    What kind of fabric are you trying to divide?

    What are you going to do with it?

    Has it been washed?

    Is the grainline true?




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