Fabric Cuts & Fabric Care

Fabric Cuts

The minimum cut for most of our fabrics is a 1/4 metre. Some of our fabrics are sold by the 1/2 metre and it will state on the product page if this is the case. Orders for a single 1/4 metre of quilting cotton will be cut as a fat quarter and orders for more than one unit will be cut in a continuous piece. A fat quarter (FQ) measures 50 cm long x 1/2 the fabric width and is a good size for many crafting projects. See table below for more details on how we cut our fabric.

Many of our dressmaking fabrics are cut in skinny quarter increments only which means an order for a single 1/4 metre would be cut as a skinny quarter and not a fat quarter. A skinny quarter measures 25 cm long x the full fabric width. Please see individual product descriptions for details on how your chosen fabric will be cut. We are sometimes able to accomodate requests for fabrics which we'd normally cut as a skinny quarter to be cut as a fat quarter instead. Please contact us before placing your order to check if we are able to cut your chosen fabric/s this way. Generally this applies to cotton and cotton mix fabrics only.

On occasion, it might not be possible to supply your fabric to you in one continuous piece. If this is the case, we will always contact you to let you know and to confirm whether you wish to proceed with your order.

Below is an example of fabric cuts from a 112 cm wide fabric (the standard width of most of our fabrics). Some of our fabrics vary in width and this will be detailed in the product description.

  Quantity    Width x Length
  1 unit    56cm x 50cm (22 x 20 inches)
  2 units    112cm x 50cm (44 x 20 inches)
  3 units    112cm x 75cm (44 x 30 inches)
  4 units    112cm x 100cm (44 x 39 inches)
  5 units    112cm x 125cm (44 x 49 inches)
  6 units    112cm x 150cm ( 44 x 59 inches)

Please note: Some of our fabrics feature quite large pattern repeats and some of these feature large scale designs/motifs, in particular some by Alexander Henry. Pattern placement may vary considerably when buying a smaller piece such as a FQ so please bear this in mind when deciding how much to buy. This would be of particular importance when using a large scale print/pattern repeat for dressmaking if specific pattern placement or pattern matching was required.

Cutting your fabric: We always try to cut our fabrics in line with the fabric grain and print at a 90 degree angle to the selvedge edge. However sometimes fabric can be pulled off grain during the process of being folded and rolled onto the bolt and sometimes a fabric design is printed off grain making it impossible to guarantee that your fabric will be cut in line with either the weave or print. We therefore ask that you take this into account when deciding how much fabric you need for your project. In cases where the fabric is considerably off grain, we will try to give an extra couple of cms for trimming purposes if possible.
Some of our dressmaking fabrics will be torn along the grain and fabrics with a striped or checked woven design will be cut in line with the grain / design.

To determine if your fabric is off grain, you can either pull a crosswise thread and cut the fabric along the thread, or alternatively, snip then tear the fabric crosswise to determine the straight grain. If the fabric isn't square, ie the cut edge isn't at a 90 degree angle to the selvedge, you can straighten "true" it by holding the fabric at opposite diagonal corners and pulling gently to realign. Alternatively you can fold your fabric selvedge to selvedge matching straigntened edges and smooth it out till it lies flat, pulling gently on the bias if necessary.

Fabric Care

Prewashing before use?  We were always taught to preshrink our fabrics before use by prewashing, though we have to confess that we often forgo the fabric prewashing bit, due to the impatient desire to get stuck in to creating straight away. However, because cotton fabrics can be prone to shrinkage, we do recommend that you prewash our fabrics to get the shrinkage bit out of the way. Imagine spending hours lovingly stitching a stunning garment only to have it shrink in the wash! We also recommend that you prewash zips and trims as these can sometimes shrink too and not always equally. If you are making a quilt with a  variety of fabrics some might shrink more than others, which could distort the finished quilt if the fabrics weren't preshrunk.  We recommend that you launder at the same temperature you would want to launder your finished item - generally we recommend a cool to warm machine or hand wash, max 40%. Please be aware that some fabric dyes may bleed a little, so always wash with similar colours. Please take possible shrinkage into account when deciding how much fabric to buy for your project.

Laundering: Most of our fabrics are 100% cotton, which as a general rule can safely be machine washed at 40 degrees, tumble dried warm and ironed on a warm setting. However some of our manufacturers recommend a cool wash and cool tumble dry for their fabrics, so we always recommend testing a small piece for laundering, tumble drying, colourfastness etc to determine the best way of caring for your finished items.

Upholstery fabrics: Our furnishing / upholstery fabrics  have not been treated with fire retardants. If you intend to use them for furniture coverings or upholstery, they will need to be treated with the appropriate fire retardants in order to meet the correct standards for flammability.