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Thread: If you prefer your fabric to be torn, rather than cut...

  1. #1
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    If you prefer your fabric to be torn, rather than cut...

    You can't really use *all* of the length of fabric, because you will lose at least 1/4" and possibly more, at each end.

    So... what to do about that?

    Do you buy a bit extra? Does your LQS throw in a little extra to compensate? If so, how much extra?

  2. #2
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    When I worked at Hobby Lobby, I ALWAYS cut an extra couple inches. When I'd get fabric at Walmart, they always cut the exact amount...not even a smidgen over.

  3. #3
    deema's Avatar
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    Well, yes, I lose about 1/4"...but that is SIGNIFICANTLY better than the 1-6" I've lost, many times, because of a wonky cut...also, my lqs always cuts an extra inch or two to be on the safe side...

  4. #4
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    I've never noticed it being an issue. Once in a while my LQS throws in an extra inch or two for something else (last time it was because mine was the first tear), but normally not.

    I seriously have not seen this distortion and raveling everyone has talked about. Dampen and press - done. Since 1/4" is in the seam allowance I guess I just don't fuss if the edge is a little more ragged than it would have been with a rotary cutter.

  5. #5
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    'Nother question just occurred to me... if the fabric is a printed plaid, or a panel... you wouldn't want those torn, would you? 'Cause if they are printed even the slightest bit off-grain, it will show up.

    Would you prefer that the fabric be cut in this case?

  6. #6
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    I always straighten up the fabric so cutting is not an issue
    EXCEPT for wide backing. I have started asking that wide backing be torn because it is double/double folded on the bolt and even adding a smidgen I loose significantly more than an inch or so. Last I bought I lost 6" on both ends.

  7. #7
    Senior Member diannemc's Avatar
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    Hobby Lobby is very good at giving extra..Wal-mart no..I went to Joann's for the first time the other day and won't go back. the fabric was cut so bad.. when I said something to the lady about giving a little extra to even it up she got mad and made sure she didn't give a bit more then what I asked for. She even pulled and stretched it to be what I asked for.. So ugly!! Won't go back ever!!

  8. #8
    Senior Member fun2quilt's Avatar
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    At least with it torn you know you are getting a straight edge and that is worth losing the 1/4". Got some at Joann's once that was cut so bad I lost over 6", both sides were not straight. The cutters get upset when you make them place the fabric so you get what you are asking for.

  9. #9
    Super Member JulieR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Favorite Fabrics
    'Nother question just occurred to me... if the fabric is a printed plaid, or a panel... you wouldn't want those torn, would you? 'Cause if they are printed even the slightest bit off-grain, it's really going to be a problem.

    Would you prefer that the fabric be cut in this case?
    I probably wouldn't buy it.

  10. #10
    Decoratenu's Avatar
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    I rarely tear -- unless I suspect a fabric has been cut WAY off grain. I think tearing stretches the fabric, but if you're pre-washing, that would solve the stretching issue. Not everyone likes to pre-wash. I definitely think stores should train their cutters to recognize where the grainline is, so a fabric can be cut straight. It doesn't have to be perfect -- just close, so there aren't waste issues -- for them or us. I've bought lots of "remnants" (for crafts) that no one else would buy at the end of a bolt because it was way off grain. The worst is sheer fabric & I always have to buy extra.

  11. #11
    Super Member aorlflood's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deema
    Well, yes, I lose about 1/4"...but that is SIGNIFICANTLY better than the 1-6" I've lost, many times, because of a wonky cut...
    Agreed! At least if it is torn you know it is on the grain of the fabric!

  12. #12
    deema's Avatar
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    I also always buy at least a 1/2m extra to put in my stash and/or compensate for my own mistakes...so I can't really say that I use every last bit of fabric...well...ever.

  13. #13
    Senior Member Daisydoodle's Avatar
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    Prefer tearing so I can see if it is really off grain or not. I also tear my fabric after washing at home. Selvages and all, then press and it is ready for the rotary cutter. Guess old habits are hard to break. Was taught to tear by my home-ec teacher 50+ years ago and it stuck. Hobby Lobby will not tear but LQS will if you prefer.

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    Quote Originally Posted by diannemc
    Hobby Lobby is very good at giving extra..Wal-mart no..I went to Joann's for the first time the other day and won't go back. the fabric was cut so bad.. when I said something to the lady about giving a little extra to even it up she got mad and made sure she didn't give a bit more then what I asked for. She even pulled and stretched it to be what I asked for.. So ugly!! Won't go back ever!!
    The same exact thing happened to me just this past week at one of my LQSs! I had gone out of my way to stop by that store while running some errands, but I won't be going back there either. Luckily for me, the Jo-Ann store closest to my house has awesome staff at the cutting table and I have several wonderful LQSs nearby, also. The Jo-Anns in Ahwatukee is nowhere near as good.

  15. #15
    Super Member Rosyhf's Avatar
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    I normally order from Handcocks or my LSQ. The Handcocks always come with extra and a straight cut. My LQS cuts straight and I watch if the beginning is straight, if not I call their attention to it and they do the right thing or they can keep it.

    I do tear fabrics for projects tho. I tear on the lenght of grain if I am making a strip quilt. I can't see cutting hundreds of strips and wearing my arm out. If there is a lot of yardage, I cut it into half yard lenghts and tear from there. As long as it's good fabric, it won't fray much.

  16. #16
    Super Member ilovetosew's Avatar
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    I like mine torn because then it's on the straight grain, but you do lose a bit on the edge.
    Janie

  17. #17
    Super Member hobo2000's Avatar
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    If they won't tear, I won't buy. It's just that simple.

  18. #18
    Super Member sewwhat85's Avatar
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    i agree

  19. #19
    Senior Member sewaholic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by hobo2000
    If they won't tear, I won't buy. It's just that simple.
    Isn't that funny - If they tear I don't buy. Except for quilt backing as it is so wide. But they usually give you a little bit extra to compensate for what you loose.

  20. #20

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    I had a similar experience with difficulty with Jo Ann's cutting policy. I asked for a yard of clear vinyl to line up my applique and it was the end of the roll with only 2 inches left that had even been taped to the roll. They wanted me to pay for the last 2 inches automatically. I told them I did not think I should have to pay for the 2 inches with tape, but they should just include it in my order since it was the last of the roll and there was nothing they could do with it anyway, besides I spend a lot of money in that store. They gave me some story about having to account for all of their material and could not give it to me, so they proceeded to cut my yard and not a bit more and left the last 2 inches on the roll. They then took it off the roll and wadded it up and threw it in the trash right in front of me. I was furious they would rather throw it away and make a good customer really angry. Kat

  21. #21
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    i have purchased 'cut' fabric from some pretty big fabric stores where the cut has been so crooked that when i squared up my fabric i lost 7" on one end...and 1/2" on the other...i would much rather have a straight fabric where i have to trim 1/4" to fix the edges. at least if it;s torn it is straight and you loose lots less than when people give you really bad cuts.

  22. #22
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    not near as much as you loose from a bad cut
    Quote Originally Posted by ilovetosew
    I like mine torn because then it's on the straight grain, but you do lose a bit on the edge.
    Janie

  23. #23
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by 3dogslover
    I had a similar experience with difficulty with Jo Ann's cutting policy. I asked for a yard of clear vinyl to line up my applique and it was the end of the roll with only 2 inches left that had even been taped to the roll. They wanted me to pay for the last 2 inches automatically. I told them I did not think I should have to pay for the 2 inches with tape, but they should just include it in my order since it was the last of the roll and there was nothing they could do with it anyway, besides I spend a lot of money in that store. They gave me some story about having to account for all of their material and could not give it to me, so they proceeded to cut my yard and not a bit more and left the last 2 inches on the roll. They then took it off the roll and wadded it up and threw it in the trash right in front of me. I was furious they would rather throw it away and make a good customer really angry. Kat
    Kat, they made you angry, and they made their accounting department happy. I've been told by several of the long-time sales associates at our local JoAnns that it *is* true that they do have to account for every little bit of fabric, trim, tape, and whatever. And that makes perfectly good sense, from a management perspective. What would be a good addition to their policy would be to have some means by which the useless dribs-and-drabs could both be written off (happy accountants) and also given to the customers (happy shoppers).

    Just my thoughts...

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