How to Check the Grain of Your Fabric

Welcome to “How to” Wednesday! Leading up to our Imagine. Make. Believe digital magazine launch in September, we thought it would be great to teach you or give you some tips on some of the basic skills you will need to do the projects in our magazine. Of course, we hope you will find them useful to use at other times too!

Imagine Make Believe Craft Children Kids Sewing

Our first “How to” is about fabric. Fabric has something called ‘grain’. The grain of your fabric is about how the fabric is woven.  On most fabric you will see lines of threads that make the fabric.  Some will be horizontal (going across), and others will be vertical (going up and down).  This is called the ‘grain’ of your fabric.  In most sewing patterns, you need to know which way the grain of the fabric is going.  The arrows on the diagram and the photo below show the grain of the fabric.

How to Check Grain

The arrows could be pointing in the opposite direction but the grain of the fabric stays the same.

Photo fabric how to check the grain

When you are lining up a pattern, especially square and rectangle shaped patterns, you will need to line up the edge or arrow (if there is one) on the pattern or template, with the grain of the fabric.  If you don’t, you may find that the fabric is harder to keep straight when you are stitching, as the fabric will stretch when you don’t want it to.

How to Check Grain

Sometimes you will have a scrap piece of fabric that is not cut in the direction of the grain. Check to see which way the threads are running.  Note the direction of the threads or grain (and arrows) on the two diagrams below.  The edges of the template are not going with the grain of the fabric in the first diagram.

How to Check Grain

In this case, the template needs to be turned to go with the direction of the grain of the fabric.

How to Check Grain

We hope you have found this “How to” helpful and we would love you to come back next week for the next one in the series.

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