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Thread: Note to self about buying quilting fabrics online.....

  1. #1
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    Note to self about buying quilting fabrics online.....

    Find out if they cut their quilting fabric or rip it. I placed an order with G Street Fabrics recently when they were having a sale, and just started cutting the fabric. That's when I realized they had ripped the fabric. Every piece. I didn't know anyone still did that. I have ordered from Hancock's of Paducah online, jellyrollfabrics.net, and perhaps half a dozen other suppliers of quilting fabrics and the fabrics have always been cut, not ripped.

  2. #2
    Super Member liking quilting's Avatar
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    I think the ripping technique is to get the true "straight of grain."
    Mavis

  3. #3
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    Thanks for the head's up. I hope they gave you an few extra inches to make up for the amount you will have to remove because of the ripping.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  4. #4
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    I haven't had that happen online before, but a local shop here (now, sadly, out of business) would always rip the fabric. I know it's to find the straight of grain, but I don't prefer the method.

  5. #5
    Super Member NZquilter's Avatar
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    I don't think there is anything wrong with tearing instead of cutting the fabric. Personally I wish some places still ripped; I'm tired of needing to trim a good several inches off both ends of yardage in order to straighten it. I've seen Eleanor Burns rip her fabric into strips too.
    We didn't realize we were making memories, we just knew we were having fun. ~ Winnie the Pooh ~

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  6. #6
    Super Member SusieQOH's Avatar
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    Prism, I order fabric online almost exclusively. Here are my favs: Missouri Star, Green Fairy, Jordan, Shabby Fabrics, a few others that aren't coming to mind. I've never received fabric that was ripped rather than cut from these vendors.

  7. #7
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Have heard that about G Street Fabrics. I guess it's because they are also an all fabrics store, not just quilting. It will take a lot of demonstration to make me believe/accept that tearing fabric keeps it on straight of grain. I just can't stand it and have walked out of stores empty-handed if they tear.
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  8. #8
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    I like backing fabric to be ripped because it makes the back straight. When it is cut you end up with uneven edges.

  9. #9
    Super Member peaceandjoy's Avatar
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    I wish more stores did rip!

    If I have a piece in my stash that is large enough, I will rip to get a true straight of grain. You might end up with 1/4" to trim. But I've cut well over 2" many a time to get it straight when it was cut rather than torn.

    Ripping is more common when fabric is for clothing, when a straight of grain is more important for drape and fit.
    Last edited by peaceandjoy; 03-20-2018 at 06:20 PM.

  10. #10
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    The problem I have with ripping cross-grain is that it damages the fabric up to 2" in from the rip. You can't see the damage with the naked eye, but it is obvious under a microscope. Even if I were to refold the fabric on-grain, I would have to trim 2" off each ripped edge to be sure not to have weakened fabric in some of my blocks, since I don't have a microscope handy to see if the fabric was damaged only 1" from the rip.

    At least they were generous with the cuts to make up for the extra I had to cut off from each end.

    I don't have a problem with ripping fabric along the lengthwise grain, especially when long borders are needed, because it is a cleaner rip with damage not extending as far into the fabric. Cross-grain ripping, on the other hand, is the pits.

  11. #11
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    A lot of flannelette will still skew after washing even if it is ripped. So you have the straight of grain but you can't cut a straight strip if you fold the fabric selvedge to selvedge. So what is the benefit?? I also have found that many current cottons--especially Kona-- will ravel excessively if they are on the grain. I actually have started to cut them slightly off the grain as long as it does not interfere with the pattern, if there is one. I wish someone could tell me why I need my 3 inch square to be 'on the grain' and also why it is so important to have my sashing or borders 'on the grain' instead of just straight.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

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    Quote Originally Posted by GingerK View Post
    A lot of flannelette will still skew after washing even if it is ripped. So you have the straight of grain but you can't cut a straight strip if you fold the fabric selvedge to selvedge. So what is the benefit?? I also have found that many current cottons--especially Kona-- will ravel excessively if they are on the grain. I actually have started to cut them slightly off the grain as long as it does not interfere with the pattern, if there is one. I wish someone could tell me why I need my 3 inch square to be 'on the grain' and also why it is so important to have my sashing or borders 'on the grain' instead of just straight.
    It is not important in quilting. It is important in garment sewing, and it is mandatory in draperies and home dec.

  13. #13
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    Very disappointing if you didn't allow for extra fabric.

  14. #14
    Super Member sewingsuz's Avatar
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    I rip my backing Fabric if I have too much. I measure what I want and cut a little on the salvage and rip so I don't have to put on a large table and keep marking the measurement. It works out ok because the ripped two to four inches will be cut off with the batting when my quilt is done and ready to bind. I like the shops to cut my fabric.
    Suzanne
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    I rip sometimes, but mostly length of grain for borders. I love G Street Fabrics but thought they'd closed. Nice to know they are still around. My local chain hobby store uses scissors, so I always buy 1/4 yard extra there to make up for skewed cutting.

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    Prism99, I have never thought to look at my fabrics under a microscope but am very curious about what the damage is. I have occasionally ripped a piece to get a straight grain and would not want to continue if the damage is serious.

  17. #17
    Super Member ArtsyOne's Avatar
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    I've never had fabric purchased online ripped, but I wish the seller of a recent purchase I made from eBay had done it. The fabric had several rows of 6" elephants and I was only able to use a single row from the center because it had been cut so crooked. For me, the trouble with ripped fabric is that when prewashing one has to zig-zag all of the edges or there's a big tangled mess of thread at the edges.
    A fabric stash is always missing that one fabric needed to finish the quilt on which you're working.

  18. #18
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    I've bought from Green Fairy, Stitch Stash Diva, Fabric.com, and a few others overseas and never had anyone rip it. The only time I worry about straight of grain is with curtains and the like, and garments.

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    I don't usually like ripping fabric as it does damage to the fibers around the rip.

    I never thought about ripping lengthwise for borders - It must be difficult to rip lengthwise since fabric is supposed to be stronger along the length instead of crosswise - is it harder? Is there a special way to do it?
    I have a piece of backing fabric that I have to cut borders for a king size quilt and was thinking that it may be difficult to rotary cut the long strips.
    Deb

  20. #20
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    I used to work for Hancock's. The only time I ripped was if it was quilt backing. Those were never folded straight and it was impossible to cut them and still give the customer the length they asked for. So many fabrics have different finishes and dyes, that is one reason ripping stopped being the method of choice.

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    I would prefer that the store/seller tear my fabrics...recently bought 119 inch wide backing...added 1/3 of a yard for squaring...BIG problem...when I tore it to square, I lost over half a yard...the fabric was folded so crooked, that I lost 9 inches on one side and almost 12 on the other....which meant not enough for the back of my quilt....NOT happy...it's not as bad wne the fabric is 40-44 inches wide...but when you get to wider widths...it can make a huge difference. FYI...I took it back (LQS) and they had enough that they tore what I needed...(they tore the first edge to square it up....and the difference between the selvages was over 9 inches...

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    I rip my borders to make sure they are straight of grain and even.

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    I had a new employee at Joann's about to cut a panel, shaving off about 4-5 inches. I asked her to open the fabric up and cut on the border edge of the panel. She refused.....she started to cut, I yelled Stop! get your manager. The girl kept telling me that she was instructed to cut exactly on the inch mark, straight across. I explained by showing her that if she cut, she would ruin the panel. She said it didn't matter, she was doing what she was told. I said, if you cut it, you keep it and you will have to throw in away. Now, can you ask a manager to come over? while waiting for the manager, I asked her if she sewed.....that was a big fat "No, never". I just said, that explains it. The manager cut my panel. unbelievable ! I guess I could have asked her to tear it and would have been sort of OK.

  24. #24
    Super Member kristakz's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by grammamo View Post
    I would prefer that the store/seller tear my fabrics...recently bought 119 inch wide backing...added 1/3 of a yard for squaring...BIG problem...when I tore it to square, I lost over half a yard...the fabric was folded so crooked, that I lost 9 inches on one side and almost 12 on the other....which meant not enough for the back of my quilt....NOT happy...it's not as bad wne the fabric is 40-44 inches wide...but when you get to wider widths...it can make a huge difference. FYI...I took it back (LQS) and they had enough that they tore what I needed...(they tore the first edge to square it up....and the difference between the selvages was over 9 inches...
    When I worked at a quilt store I noticed that the wide backs were actually marked by the manufacturer with the recommendation to rip, rather than cut - for this exact reason. Not that the store did that, but at least the manufacturer understands the issue.

    We have one store in town who rips and refuses to do anything else. When I bought a black fabric from them and saw the white specs that showed up after ripping, a good 2" into the fabric, it became clear how damaging that technique is (What I was seeing is threads that twisted, so the undyed backside was showing on top). I shop there very seldom now, and always buy extra for trimming if I have to purchase there.

  25. #25
    Senior Member quiltybarb's Avatar
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    This is an interesting subject to me.....I usually cut all my fabrics, but yesterday I had a 3 yds to use for backing a smaller quilt. I did end up tearing it and I felt so guilty....lol

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