Checking the grain in woven fabrics


Checking the grain in woven fabrics

Fabric grain refers to the direction in which the threads run parallel to selvedge. It is important for the lengthwise and crosswise threads to meet at right angles otherwise the garment will twist or hang leading to an unbalanced garment.

The threads that are parallel to the selvage and have little or no stretch. On a garment, the lengthwise grain usually runs vertically from the shoulders to the hem. In the crosswise grain, or cross grain, threads run across the width of the fabric at right angles to the selvage. These threads stretch more than lengthwise threads. Occasionally garments are cut on the cross grain for some decorative effects. The “bias” runs diagonally across the lengthwise and crosswise grains. The “true bias” is at a 45 degree angle to the lengthwise grain and cross grain and has inherent stretch, even on firmly woven fabrics. (Figure 6.1)


Figure 6.1 Fabric showing lengthwise grain, crosswise grain, true bias, selvage

When the fabric is cut from a bolt, it is natural that the cut end is not on one single crosswise yarn and so the fabric edge has off grain. This needs to be corrected in one of the following ways:

Last modified: Wednesday, 16 November 2011, 6:17 AM