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Advantages of Straight Grain Fabric Cuts in Quilts
Fabric Grain

Threads don't always run at exact 90-degree angles to the print in a fabric.

© Janet Wickell

Straight Grain Cuts Are Often Best

Straight grain patches, fabric pieces with edges cut parallel to either straight grain, are less likely to stretch out of shape than pieces with edges cut along the bias, because the interwoven threads give their cut edges extra support.

Cuts along the lengthwise grain are less stretchy than crosswise grain cuts:

  • Unlike the moving weft threads, the warp threads were firmly attached to the loom during the weaving process, holding them in place and enhancing their structure.
  • The interlaced weft threads help stabilize the warp threads.
  • There are usually more warp threads per square inch than there are weft threads. The extra density adds strength.

When to Use Straight Grain Cuts of Fabric

  • Fabric squares and rectangles are nearly always cut with their edges along the straight grains to minimize stretch during sewing and handling.
  • Because they do not stretch easily, long strips cut on the lengthwise grain make good quilt borders and sashing. They can stabilize and help you square-up the outer edges of blocks or quilt tops.
  • Sashing strips with long edges along the lengthwise grain add stability to blocks.
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