As a novice sewist, I find that I keep coming across words I just don’t understand. To me, bias is not liking someone because they’re a Vikings fan, and the right side is the side I prefer to get photographed on (AKA all of my sides, I’m gorgeous). I figured I can’t be the only one out there who thinks grain is what people make bread out of, so I put together a little cheat sheet of the most commonly used terms when it comes to fabric.
The selvage is an edge produced on woven fabric during manufacture that prevents it from unraveling. This is typically along the length of the fabric, but can sometimes be along the width. This edge is usually pretty ugly, but more skilled and imaginative sewers can incorporate this into their designs.
The grain is the direction of the fabric that runs parallel to the selvage.
The bias runs diagonally to the grain of the fabric. It is the stretchiest part of the fabric.
The hand is simply the way a fabric feels in the hand; its texture, smoothness, softness, etc.
The right side is the front, or outside, of the fabric, which is also referred to as the face. Like the side you want to be photographed on, the right side is the one that you want showing when you complete a garment.
The wrong side is the back side of the fabric, or the side you want on the inside of a garment.
Warp (or Length)
The warp is the threads running along the selvage of a woven fabric, which is also referred to as the lengthwise grain.
Weft (or Width)
The weft is the threads running at a 90° to the length of a woven fabric, which is also referred to as the cross grain.
The horizontal repeat is the specific measurement of the pattern repeating along the weft.
The vertical repeat is the specific measurement of the pattern repeating along the warp. At Mood, the vertical repeat of the fabric is the length of a panel.
Are there any other terms novice sewists should know? Let us know in the comments!