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Thread: To tear or to cut?

  1. #1
    Super Member audsgirl's Avatar
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    I know this has been discussed before, but I think I have a very good example for why I think tearing is a better option. I bought this fabric, brought it home and washed and ironed it. When I squared up the fabric to wrap around my ruler to store it, I found that it had been wrapped terribly off-grain on the bolt. It wasn't the quilt shop's fault. But I will lose several inches because of the bad wrapping at the factory.

    fabric cut from bolt
    Name:  Attachment-273076.jpe
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    fabric on wrong side
    Name:  Attachment-273077.jpe
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    fabric on right side
    Name:  Attachment-273078.jpe
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Size:  78.8 KB

  2. #2
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    Oh bummer :(

    I don't know of any stores that will tear around here.

  3. #3
    Moderator QuiltnNan's Avatar
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    thanks for taking the time to post your example. sorry that you had to get such a bad piece of fabric. i hope that you can salvage some.

  4. #4
    Super Member valleyquiltermo's Avatar
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    When making quilts I will tear strips if from the selvage edge, but will cut if i need it from width of the fabric.

  5. #5

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    I'm new to quilting but not to sewing and I totally believe tearing is the way to go for getting fabric straight on grain. I wish the stores would tear it here but they won't. I'd rather tear it then cut off the ends.

    You can also "pull" a thread but tearing is easier.

  6. #6
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    I hate when this happens...I am a firm believer in Tearing fabric....and this is why!

  7. #7
    Senior Member Yellow Bird's Avatar
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    I have that fabric in my stash! I'll have to check it out.

  8. #8
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    I would take it back to the store. There is no way that the fabric laid flat or the selvages matched when this piece was cut. No matter how skewed the fabric was an experience person would have squared the piece. If I see a cut like that one, I would have asked them to make a usable piece.

  9. #9
    Senior Member Cagey's Avatar
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    I always tear when I'm resizing the back of the quilt. It always tears straight (unlike my scissor skills).

  10. #10
    Super Member cctx.'s Avatar
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    Wash it first, press and then cut.

  11. #11
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    I've learned to look at the grain lines of the fabric before buying it.
    Every once a while I forget - and sometimes want to smack myself.

  12. #12
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I really do prefer the fabric to be torn at the point of purchase, for the very reason you have shown. It is beyond frustrating , especially when working with small cuts , and they are so off grain you have to purchase double to get the amount usable.

  13. #13
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    if your shop won't tare then check how it is wrapped on the bolt and ask that it be evened up before cutting.
    This is especially true of wide backing. Cutting loses at least 8-12 inches. My local shop says they allow a bit of extra but it never compensates for the loss when squaring up the backing.
    When I cut strips, I will tare the end and line it up before cutting. This can more easily be done after washing and then iron it straight.

  14. #14
    Super Member 3incollege's Avatar
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    I like tearing, one of the shops I go to tears the fabric.

  15. #15
    Super Member audsgirl's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray
    I've learned to look at the grain lines of the fabric before buying it.
    Every once a while I forget - and sometimes want to smack myself.
    That's a good idea. I'll try to remember that next time.

  16. #16
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    I agree with Holice that the worst problems are with the wide backings. They are folded and folded again on the bolts, which just magnifies the issue.

    When we sell backings, we tear them, adding an extra 3" to compensate for the weakened edges.

    Everything else, we cut. Carefully. There are a lot of quilters who would be horrified to get a piece of fabric that had been torn. (I think there are definite regional preferences with regards to this issue.)

  17. #17
    Senior Member barking-rabbit's Avatar
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    I have that fabric.

  18. #18
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    Our stores used to tear all the time. I would rather they cut because when you tear cotton some of the threads will pull up and you have to cut that edge off to get rid of that, it is like a run in a stocking and I hate that look. If I have fabric that I think is too off grain I will tear to see what happens. Most quilt shop cotton is pretty good though.

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