Tricks for Cutting Decorator Fabric

Tricks for Cutting Decorator Fabric

Drapery and upholstery fabric require a little finesse to cut. Cuts for these types of fabric must be made on the crosswise grain of the fabric in order for the finished project to hang correctly. Before cutting, preshrink dry-clean only fabric by steaming. Don’t let the iron touch fabric; simply move it just above the fabric surface. Preshrink washable fabric by washing and drying it in the same way you will care for the finished product.

A carpenters square makes a handy tool when cutting fabric. Measuring tools designed for quilters are also handy.

Tightly woven fabrics without a matchable pattern:

Align your carpenter’s square or other similar implement with the selvage. Mark and cut the perpendicular side.

Loosely woven fabrics—linens and so on:

Make a straight line by pulling out a thread of the fabric along the crosswise grain from selvage to selvage. Use the line left as your cutting guide to trim the fabric evenly.

Tightly woven fabric with a repeating pattern.

Mark both selvages at the same point in the pattern repeat. Draw a line between the points, using a straight edge ruler as a guide. If you need to stitch together two or more full widths of the fabric, make all the cuts in the same point of the pattern repeat. This frequently means that you will cut your pieces longer than needed in order to cut them at the right point; if this is necessary, stitch the pieces together and then trim them to the right length.