Results 1 to 9 of 9
  1. #1
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jun 2009
    Location
    Northeast Georgia
    Hammock
    DIY Gathered
    Tarp
    DIY Diamond
    Insulation
    DIY Down
    Suspension
    Webbing/Whoopie
    Posts
    464
    Images
    10

    Finding straight on raw fabric

    I'm about to start work on my third DIY hammock and want to do a little more professional job than on my previous two. For my first 'upgrade' I wanted to make sure the edges are square when I start(I know. But it has to do with mindset.). I trimmed across the fabric using one of the ripstop pieces as a guide thinking this would be the best idea, but it's the crookedest looking thing I've ever seen.

    How do you make sure you are square to the edges of the fabric?

    Jbo

  2. #2
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Milton, PA
    Hammock
    Hennessey Explorer Ultralight
    Tarp
    Hennessey Hex
    Insulation
    HH Super Shelter
    Suspension
    ring buckle
    Posts
    7,298
    Images
    101
    This is a more complicated question than you think it is.

    You need to be concerned about two (2) aspects. One is the line perpendicular to the selvage (the finished edge running the long way of the fabric.) Each full width has two selvages, one on each side. The second dynamic you need to pay attention to is the "grain" of the fabric. The grain is the straight lines the threads make when they are woven. The two rarely match up. It happens on occasion but rarely.

    Here's the difference it makes. Tension in the direction of the threads is a stable tension. At least for the most part. Tension which pulls the threads askew is called bias tension. It is not stable. If you assume the perpendicular line to the selvage is the "straight" you will almost inevitably end up with the end cut on the bias and the fabric is be stretchy and hard to work with. Unless of course you want the fabric bias cut.

    So... to answer your question having given you TMI. Most patterns have you line up the grain of the fabric. If you want a good solid stable piece the grain is what is improtant. A rolled hem will be easier to sew if you follow the grain because that's the way the fabric wants to go. If the end is cut on the bias, the roll will want to pucker and pull and you will be fighting the fabric.

    Now to complicate things even more... trying to follow the ripstop across is very difficult to do precisely because the threads of the fabric will wriggle and squirm while being woven and cut.

    The general rule of thumb _I_ use is this. If I am cutting out all the edges of the a pattern piece I say phooey on trying to make the piece square. If I am using the end as an edge of the piece then I will notch the selvage and rip the fabric across the width. That follows the width of the grain. If you _really_ want the fabric to be square in form and grain then you need to block the fabric. Talk about a PITA!!! Particularly with a large hammock sized piece.

    Edit: another way of cutting on the grain is to use VERY SHARP scissors and open them to a small "V". Using the "V" slide the scissors thorugh the fabric. (don't cut... no up and down). That will follow the grain without leaving the collateral damage that ripping the fabric does. But the scissors ahve to be SHARP!

    In short... The grain is probably what you want to follow rather than the perpendicular if that makes sense.
    Last edited by Ramblinrev; 08-20-2009 at 07:31.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  3. #3
    use a carpenter's square and a straight edge

  4. #4
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Milton, PA
    Hammock
    Hennessey Explorer Ultralight
    Tarp
    Hennessey Hex
    Insulation
    HH Super Shelter
    Suspension
    ring buckle
    Posts
    7,298
    Images
    101
    Yeah... just skip my dissertation and do that..
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  5. #5
    Frawg's Avatar
    Join Date
    Jan 2009
    Location
    Dayton, OH area
    Hammock
    DIY (various)
    Tarp
    DIY 5x10 pseudocat
    Insulation
    GI+
    Suspension
    UCR custom
    Posts
    1,709
    Images
    95
    Quote Originally Posted by Ramblinrev View Post
    Yeah... just skip my dissertation and do that..
    I thought your dissertation was pretty instructive -- even saved it in my "sewing" folder for reference.

    I use a drywall T-square, btw. Has the square and a nice 4 foot straight edge.
    - Frawg

    {generic tagline}

  6. #6
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Milton, PA
    Hammock
    Hennessey Explorer Ultralight
    Tarp
    Hennessey Hex
    Insulation
    HH Super Shelter
    Suspension
    ring buckle
    Posts
    7,298
    Images
    101
    Quote Originally Posted by Frawg View Post
    I thought your dissertation was pretty instructive -- even saved it in my "sewing" folder for reference.
    If one simply wants 4 yards of fabric and the grain on the ends don't matter (which is where I would put the vast majority of the projects most DIY folks do) then I think a square is fine. After all that's essentially how the fabric shop does it. I am still apt to simply rip the fabric because if the end grain is not really all that critical then the perpendicular is not really all that critical and I don't have the space to lay out the fabric and a square. On the rare occasion where the end grain IS critical then I end up trying to zip it with my pitifully dull scissors. But those instances are very rare
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

  7. #7
    Senior Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2007
    Location
    Austin, TX
    Posts
    142
    Aother way to square your fabric before cutting is to use a straight edge and chalk to follow a ripstop line across the fabric from selvage to selvage, then pin one selvage straight (on a cutting board or some suitable surface). Then use a square or just the old 3-4-5 ratio to establish the true perpendicular to the selvage beginning where your chalk line starts on the pinned selvage. Then, just pull the fabric gently from one corner opposite the pinned selvage until the chalked line is true to the square you determined. Then immediately lay out your pattern and cut. Otherwise it will get out of true again just from handling. This works only on uncoated fabric. If coated fabric is not true, there is nothing you can do.

  8. #8
    Merganser's Avatar
    Join Date
    Mar 2009
    Location
    Apple Valley, MN
    Hammock
    DIY (BASHIN)
    Tarp
    CCS 10x12
    Insulation
    DIY CS UQ
    Suspension
    sliding ring
    Posts
    224
    Images
    4
    I've tried doing this just eyeballing the ripstop lines and squaring it up. I always wind up cussing about how hard it is to follow those lines. Highlighting one should have been an obvious solution. That's what I'll be doing next time... Go Spock!

  9. #9
    Ramblinrev's Avatar
    Join Date
    Apr 2008
    Location
    Milton, PA
    Hammock
    Hennessey Explorer Ultralight
    Tarp
    Hennessey Hex
    Insulation
    HH Super Shelter
    Suspension
    ring buckle
    Posts
    7,298
    Images
    101
    Quote Originally Posted by Merganser View Post
    I've tried doing this just eyeballing the ripstop lines and squaring it up. I always wind up cussing about how hard it is to follow those lines. Highlighting one should have been an obvious solution. That's what I'll be doing next time... Go Spock!
    You are still likely to find the ripstop lines do not run perpendicular to the selvage. For the vast majority of projects it probably doesn't matter.
    I may be slow... But I sure am gimpy.

    "Bless you child, when you set out to thread a needle don't hold the thread still and fetch the needle up to it; hold the needle still and poke the thread at it; that's the way a woman most always does, but a man always does t'other way."
    Mrs. Loftus to Huck Finn

    We Don't Sew... We Make Gear! video series

    Important thread injector guidelines especially for Newbies

    Bobbin Tension - A Personal Viewpoint

Tags for this Thread

Bookmarks

Posting Permissions

  • You may not post new threads
  • You may not post replies
  • You may not post attachments
  • You may not edit your posts
  •