In Grain Line cutting: What is and how to cut a fabric correctly

The success or not of a seam in many cases depends on the details, being able to understand the best techniques can help in the most complex operations during the processing. Among the basic concepts of the world of sewing there is certainly the cutting; not all the cutting techniques are identical to each other and differ in type and tool of use. 

We, Hoplites S.r.l., use this technique to produce all garments.

One of the most important aspects in the cutting phase, to obtain a quality result, is the “In Grain Line Cutting”, but what is it about?

The use of the term “In Grain Line”, identifies the cutting phase after the positioning of the pattern on the fabric respecting its grain line

This type of cut allows to obtain a shape of fabric as much straight as possible, helping to reduce manufacturing timing and above all the waste of materials.

From a technical point of view, it is used on the paper pattern in the form of a real symbol printed in the shape of a arrow positioned on the paper patterns themselves. Its usefulness mainly lies in allowing a process without errors in which there is maximum versatility to make changes.

However, entering the merits of the concept of “In grain line”, it is evident that this identifies the thread of the tissue weft; an essential element to avoid errors during the cut of the chosen material.

 Each fabric is characterized by an intertwining of threads, some of these are presented on the horizontal line, others on the vertical one by denoting a clear direction of cutting.

This condition also differentiates what are the types of “In grain line”:

  • horizontal
  • vertical
  • trasversal
  • and respectively inherent in the weft, the warp and the aslant of the cut.

How to find the “In grain line” in the trousers?

Taking note of the fact that a “In grain line” is nothing but the thread of the fabric weft, it is interesting to understand how to find it in the fastest and direct way possible.

Being able to understand what the “In grain line” of a fabric is, guarantees a better success of the final seam work. In case you need to find the “In grain line” in a trousers, it is very important to perform following steps to do it in the best way.

First of all it is essential to take the cut of cloth and place it on a large table or a well solid surface and fold it gently, overlapping among themselves the selvedges.

From a visual point of view, the reverse of the trousers must be outside. In this position, the “In grain line” shows itself as the horizontal thread parallel to the selvedge. Visually it is evident to observe it especially if the fabric used has a clear colouring.

When carrying out this operation, in most cases it is advisable to cut the fabric taking into account the “In grain line” of the warp; this is because the longitudinal and vertical threads have a greater stability and resistance. After the cutting process, it is possible to proceed with the seam. The one just described happens in tailoring processes or in the prototype phase, while as regards serial productions, the positioning “In grain line” of the patterns is carried out directly with the computerized CAD system by creating the placement of the various pieces that make up the pattern in the correct “In grain line”.  After the placement, it is performed the printing of the pattern itself, which is positioned directly on the fabric, in order to be able to proceed with the cut

What is the warp?

One of the most used and important terms in the world of sewing is certainly “grain line”. This word identifies that set of threads that make up the longitudinal part of the fabrics, physically presenting themselves in parallel to the selvedge.

When buying a clothing garment, whether in cotton or in different material, in most cases it is cut into vertical grain line. This condition happens because the fabrics, in this way, can have a greater versatility and guarantee the tailors that they can amend clothes with great ease.

You can see this feature by pulling two points of the same tissue close to each other, precisely in the part of vertical grain line: it will be evident also to an expert eye that the fabric subjected to traction will not extend, this will remain rigid even under a remarkable force. This condition is obviously missing when this system is applied to clothing realized with elastic fabrics.

In order to prepare the warp in the best way, it is very important to have warper, a tool that allows the realization of the warp without too much difficulty.

In the event that you should work on a fabric such as velvet, synthetic fur or any fabric that present hair it is important to always cut towards the sense of hair, that is, downwards. It is recommended to pass the hand on the surface that must be cut, to place the hair in the most consonant position for cutting downward.

What is the weft?

In addition to the warp, in the sewing terminology, there is a very important word, essential to obtain a perfect cut and seam: the weft.

When using this term, we come across the opposite of the horizontal verse of all those threads of the fabric, that is, that verse that goes from one selvedge to another. Visually it can be easily identified as it is positioned perpendicularly to the vertical in grain line. Most of the cuts in this mode take place on a transversal in grain line, this is because to obtain ease of printing we try to avoid deformation.

It is important to understand what the differences between warp and weft are to obtain a cut and a consequent seam as precise and clean as possible.

What is the Bias?

Once you learn what the warp and the weft are, it is very simple to understand what the Bias can be. When making a cut, the latter can be performed in different directions.

When you find a diagonal direction that forms precisely a 45 ° angle with to the selvedge, then you are in a Bias position. This type of cut is widely used as it manages to give great elasticity to the fabrics and an excellent versatility when there are particular needs for changes.

The Bias is mainly used in the skirts of the 50’s; These have undulations that can hardly be generated with a linear cut.

In the condition in which two points of the fabric are pulled close to each other, following the Bias line, an extremely extensive extension is evident. This highlights how elastic and ideal it is to make clothing in which necklines or arm holes are planned.

Although it may seem like a simple cut to apply, it is actually essential to detect the “in grain line” to understand how to better use the fabric, so that it can be applied to the style without incurring smears or small swellings.

Tailors particularly love the cut on Bias, as it allows you to facilitate processing operations, especially when these are aimed at making the fabric as malleable as possible.

The biggest error that is made when you do not have experience in the art of sewing is to consider the cut on bias without in grain line, in reality it is essential to place the fabric in the best direction in order not to completely ruin the cut.

In order for the “in grain line” to be found in the shortest possible time, it is advisable to keep in mind, when the pattern is made, to mark the original in grain line; the latter easily identifiable once positioned at the beginning of the processing.

What is the Selvedge?

The use of the term Selvedge is very common not only for the tailors, but also for the suppliers of fabric rolls. When using the word Selvedge, the fabric edge is identified which is not cut, that is, the left and right side when the fabric itself comes out of the frame, rolled up.

In many cases the distance between one Selvedge and another is highlighted; this is called height, technically the width, which turns out to be the real height of the roll of fabric.

Buying a quality Selvedge is very important to create excellent manufacture processes. In fact, all the warp threads that come to compose the Selvedge, guarantee compactness and a better structure when they pass in the comb.

The advantages of a well -made Selvedge are many, this allows you to protect the fabric from the fraying, guarantees the attachment to particular wedges without leaving signs and is usually used as an ornament in many clothing manufacturing processes.

The choice of quality fabric is as important as to know all the secrets of these terms.

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