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straight edge

bernie_gaffney | Posted in The Archives on

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What do you guys do to ensure that you cut out your material straight? Could use some tips.

Replies

  1. Ghillie_C | | #1

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    It depends on the fabric. Some, even some silks, are better ripped than cut. Just make a small cut to get started and then pull! However some fabrics will distort for an inch or so on either side of the rip.

    Sometimes you can pull a thread or two out of the fabric, starting with a small cut and then carefully removing one or two threads leaving a track across the fabric which you can then cut along.

    If neither of these methods is going to work, I would lay the fabric down carefully on my marked cutting mat, carefully measure and mark with tailors' chalk where I wanted the cut and then slice along it. Some people prefer to use rulers and cutting wheels these days, but I am in love with the 'ergonomic' spring loaded scissors. Whatever you use it has got to be REALLY sharp.

    Good cutting.

    Ghillie

    1. Karen_Vesk | | #2

      *The best cutting tools I own are my rotary cutter, clear plastic 24" ruler, and cutting mat (the larger, the better) for long straight edges. I still use scissors on curves.Another detail that keeps your edges straighter is the size and shape of your cutting surface. Ideally, your fabric, especially if it is drapey, should not hang over the edge. If it does, accordion-fold the hanging part onto a tray or chair beside the table. Any part that hangs over is likely to pull the grain out of alignment. Cutting on a round or oval table is inadvisable.If you do rip the fabric from selvedge to selvedge, you may want to check that you have not pulled the grain out of alignment. If that has happened, gently pull it in the opposite direction to true out the grain before you lay patterns on it.Very large pieces of fabric can be cut on the floor, sliding the cutting mat under the fabric as you work.

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