General fabric terms
Understanding fabric terms is essential for any sewing or crafting enthusiast. Below, we've compiled a list of commonly used fabric terms to help you navigate the world of textiles with confidence:
- Bias: The diagonal direction of the fabric, which is formed at a 45-degree angle to the selvage. Cutting fabric on the bias can add stretch and drape to a garment.
- Cross Grain/Crosswise Grain/Weft/Fill: Threads that run horizontally from selvage to selvage, perpendicular to the selvage edge. They are always at a right angle to the selvage and have less stretch compared to the bias.
- Drape: Refers to the way that fabric falls and forms to the body when draped or worn. Fabrics with good drape flow smoothly and create graceful folds, while stiffer fabrics may have less drape.
- Fabric Grain: The direction of the threads used in weaving the fabric. It includes three main grain lines: a. Lengthwise Grain/Warp: Threads that run parallel to the selvage and the length of the fabric. b. Crosswise Grain/Weft/Fill: Threads that run from selvage to selvage, perpendicular to the selvage. c. Bias: Threads that run diagonally at a 45-degree angle to the selvage.
- Face: The front or right side of the fabric, which is intended to be visible in the finished project. The face usually has a more defined texture or design.
- Fold Line: Refers to folding fabric right sides together, aligning the selvages, to prepare it for cutting and pattern piece arrangement. This technique helps ensure symmetrical cuts and accurate pattern placement.
- Hand: The texture or feeling that a fabric has when touched or handled. It can range from soft and smooth to crisp and stiff, and greatly affects the fabric's suitability for different projects.
- Lengthwise Grain/Warp: Threads in woven fabric that run parallel to the selvage and the length of the fabric. They are typically stronger and more stable than the crosswise grain.
- Nap: The direction that fibers in textured fabrics lay down. Fabrics with nap, such as velvet or corduroy, have a distinct pile that creates different shades or textures when brushed or rubbed in one direction.
- Selvage: The tightly woven edge of fabric found on both sides along the length of the fabric. The selvage prevents the fabric from unraveling and fraying. It often contains important information like the fabric's manufacturer, designer, or fiber content.
- Wrong Side: The backside of the fabric, opposite to the face. It is usually less visually appealing and may have a different texture or finish compared to the face.
By familiarizing yourself with these fabric terms, you'll be better equipped to read and understand sewing patterns, choose appropriate fabrics for your projects, and communicate effectively with fellow sewing enthusiasts. If you have further questions or need assistance, don't hesitate to consult our customer service team or join sewing communities for additional support. Happy sewing!