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How To Prepare Fabric For Sewing

Sewing has made our lives simpler and better. No more tempting about trendy apparels as you can now sew anything if you know the right technique. Yes, sewing has made it possible for people to sew clothes, mend their outfits and even use the art of sewing for décor purposes. Learning how to sew can make you versatile in your task and open up new horizons of creativity for you.

When it comes to sewing, prepping the fabric beforehand is the most crucial part. This article will cover everything about preparing your fabric for sewing.

How To Prepare Fabric For Sewing?

First, you need to identify the right and wrong side of your fabric, without which you cannot begin. Now straighten out all the grains of the material to make it sewing-ready. Now, serge the edges to prevent the unravelling. Make sure to pre-wash, dry and iron your fabric before you feed it into the machine. That’s all you need to do to prep your fabric.

Steps To Prepare Your Fabric For Sewing

Now that you have got the overview of preparing the fabric let’s take an in-depth look into the process and understand it better.

Step 1: Identify The Right Side

There are two sides of a fabric, the right side always comes at the front, and the wrong side will fall beneath. You need to pick the ride to face it out. Generally, the right side is glossier than the wrong side. Sometimes manufacturers give markings on the wrong side to identify which is the right side for sewing. Remain vigilant and act smartly as this step will decide the efficiency of your end product. You would not want to start sewing from the wrong side, so pick a right side before moving forward.

Step 2: Straighten The Grain

Checking grains on the fabric is extremely important. You can easily find the crosswise grain made of fabric threads running parallel to the cut edges. The lengthwise grain is fabric threads running parallel to the self-finished edges. You need to straighten the edge by holding crosswire thread close to the cut edges and then using it as the trail to cut the new edge. Be extremely careful while straightening the grains as you would not want to hurt your fabric.

Step 3: Serge The Edges

Before you can begin with the pre-washing and then sewing process, serge the cut edges of your fabric and prevent it from unravelling. There are chances that threads from the edges may come out creating a challenging situation for you. Hence, it is best to serge the cut edges of your fabric before pre-washing it. This step will save you from the hard work you might have to do after washing.

Step 4: Pre-Wash

There are some fabrics that shrink after washing, making the stitches inappropriate. So, you can think a step further and pre-wash your fabric before moving ahead with sewing. If you want to avoid the puckering along the seam that comes during post-sewing wash, you need to think about pre-washing and drying your fabric. It is also essential to understand that some fabrics are machine-friendly, and some are not. So wisely segregate them during washing.

Step 5: Iron It Out

Once your fabric is completely dry, there is one last step you need to do for making it ready, i.e., pressing the fabric. Use a hot iron press the fabric and even out the wrinkles. It will give a proper finish to your stitches, making the fabric look new as ever. Don’t forget to set the temperature of the iron according to different fabrics.

How To Straighten Fabric Grain?

It is one of the crucial steps in preparing your fabric before the cutting and sewing process. Moreover, you can straighten the grain either before or after the pre-washing and shrinking process. It depends on the type of fabric you are using for sewing. Here are the steps you need to follow to get the best results:

Identify Crosswire Grain

The crosswire grain is the one that runs perpendicular to your fabric. To find the crosswire grain, you need to tear your fabric by clipping into selvedge and tearing fabric. Now hold the crosswire thread and pull it to pucker the fabric. Keep puckering the fabric all the way opposite to selvedge. Now cut the fabric along with lines close to cut edges.

Check Your Fabric’s Grain

Fold the fabric in half length that will bring the selvedge together. To check the fabric grain, you need to align the edge you cut with the fabric. If they don’t go together, correct it. Even if the edges align, the fabric is on grain, and you need to straighten it out.

Straighten The Fabric Grain

If your grain is slightly off, you can mend it just by pressing the fabric. Fold the fabric in half, align the torn edges and pin it. Now pin the selvedge and press the fabric firmly. Make sure to press the wrinkles. Damping your fabric before this process will make the step easier for you.

It is important to note that sometimes the fabric design is little crook-style. In such cases, you can easily straight the edge, but the design will remain the same.

What Is the Role of Serging In Your Fabric?

Serging works on almost every fabric; it helps in giving a nice finish to your fabric. Generally serging the edges before beginning is considered ideal for giving a neat look to your fabric and preventing the puckering. It trims and locks the seam allowances. You can use your regular sewing machine to serge the edges. Its primary aim is to finish the raw edges and give a professional appearance to the fabric before you can begin with the process. Make sure to serge the edges, before you put it to pre-wash.

How to Identify The Right On The Fabric?

There are many fabrics that look alike from both the sides that might confuse you during the sewing process. Hence, it is important to distinguish between the right and wrong side of the fabric. Here are a few tips to check the right and wrong side-:

  • Check the label information to understand
  • Mostly the fabric is smoother on the surface of the right side. The wrong side is mostly rough.
  • Wool and rayon fold with the wrong side out.
  • The cotton fabric folds with the right side out.
  • The woven fabrics will not have embellishment on the wrong side.
  • The printed fabrics are dull on the wrong side and brighter on the right side. Prints will get blurred on the wrong side.
  • Twill fabric runs downwards on the right side and the napped fabric has loose yarns on the right side.

How Do You Wash Fabric For Sewing?

Using warm water is always a smart option for pre-washing. Take some warm water, and pre-shrink the fabric. Do not use any detergent or soap to wash the fabric as your main purpose is not cleaning it but to shrink it. Simply shrink the fabric, give it a gentle rub, and squeeze out the excess water. Now put your fabric into the dryer on high heat. Read the label of the fabric and follow the drying instructions.

What Are The Types of Fabric Ideal For Making Clothes?

When you are making clothes with different fabric, there are a myriad of options that can confuse you. Here are few fabric suggestions that can help:

  • Silk
  • Rayon
  • Cotton
  • Nylon
  • Linen
  • Polyester
  • Denim
  • Flannel
  • Hemp
  • Satin
  • Wool

Where is the Straight Grain On Fabric?

You can find the straight grain in the direction of the warp threads. They usually run parallel to the selvedge, whereas, cross-grain run parallel to the weft threads. It is important to identify the grain on the fabric and straighten it before you cut or start sewing fabric.


Hello, I am Jessica Flores, and you are welcome to my website. I am a professional fashion designer and a seamstress. I always carried a passion for craftwork. My love for craft grew along with time. I have spent years researching and practicing in this field to gather colossal experience.

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