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Thread: How to rip fabric?

  1. #1
    Super Member nannyrick's Avatar
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    Smile How to rip fabric?

    I was wondering how to rip fabric and end up with a straight piece. I have tried before and it was a
    disaster. I would appreciate your replys.
    Thanks,
    Elaine
    so many quilts to make, so little time.

  2. #2
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    What kind of a disaster did you get?

    The edges will always be ripply if you rip rather than cut.

  3. #3
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    explain disaster

  4. #4
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    I notice that my first rip is always differnt- sometimes up to 6 inches difference from one side of a wide backing to the other side. But once it is straight I feel better.

  5. #5
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    the only reason I would rip is to either get a good straight edge to start cutting, or if I was making something that required ripped fabric such as a toothbrush rug or a woven fabric bowl. When I worked in a fabric store, we always ripped only silk and I believe satin (been a long time)

  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by KarenR View Post
    I notice that my first rip is always differnt- sometimes up to 6 inches difference from one side of a wide backing to the other side. But once it is straight I feel better.
    Are you saying the tear went off grain - or that the cut end was cut on the bias?

  7. #7
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    Quote Originally Posted by Deborahlees View Post
    the only reason I would rip is to either get a good straight edge to start cutting, or if I was making something that required ripped fabric such as a toothbrush rug or a woven fabric bowl. When I worked in a fabric store, we always ripped only silk and I believe satin (been a long time)
    The only piece of silk I bought (at $24.00 a yard) - the clerk pulled a thread, and then cut the piece.

  8. #8
    Super Member patchsamkim's Avatar
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    Fabric will tear better if you tear parallel with the selvage. Crosswise tearing doesn't usually tear as well. If you are going to tear crosswise, it works best if you make a clip at the fold of the fabric, and tear towards the selvages, instead of one long tear from one selvage to the other.

  9. #9
    Power Poster PaperPrincess's Avatar
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    I have also found that if I really go for it, ripping it quickly in one go, it produces less ripples than if I go slowly and do a few inches at a time. Seems counter intuitive, but it works for me.
    "I do not understand how anyone can live without one small place of enchantment to turn to."
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  10. #10
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    yes, that is how I tear crosswise.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  11. #11
    Super Member nannyrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Favorite Fabrics View Post
    What kind of a disaster did you get?

    The edges will always be ripply if you rip rather than cut.
    It was anything BUT straight. I have heard that if you rip, you will get straight strips. Mine were not.
    so many quilts to make, so little time.

  12. #12
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    I think you will always have a wonky strip the first one you rip. The fabric will only rip on the grain. So your first ripped strip will usually be wonky. After that, you should have straight of grain strips that aren't wonky. I think the majority of the rippers always rip larger than they need and then trim it down. I don't rip often enough to consider myself an expert though.
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  13. #13
    Senior Member sewplease's Avatar
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    I always tear my borders the length of the fabric (so I don't have to piece wider pieces) and have never had any problems. I usually add a half inch to the size I need, snip an inch or so, and rip away. If I want a 6" border I rip it at 6.5" and then carefully fold it so I can use my 6x24" ruler to quickly even it up to 6 inches. Works so much better for me than trying to cut out a long piece the length of fabric.

  14. #14
    Super Member Central Ohio Quilter's Avatar
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    If you ripped your fabric and then the edges were not perpendicular to the selvedge, you need to "pull" your fabric to make squared edges. Yank your fabric along the bias the length of the whole bias until your edges are perpendicular. I can not tell you how to figure out which bias to pull on, but, if you pull on one bias it will make your fabric more wonky and if you pull on the opposite bias it will straighten it. If you start on the wrong one and find it is getting worse, just pull on the other bias instead. It will eventually get the edged perpendicular. The fabric will work so much better if it is on the straight of grain, especially if you are using long strips!

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