The Role of the Grainline

The different characteristics of the grainline play an important role in the final appearance of the garment. If we error in the cut we can twist the garment and spoil the result; however, after some practice, if we do it right the characteristics of the different grainlines can be used to create awesome effects.

Grainlines consists in the direction of the threads within a woven fabric. The warp threads, or straight thread sense, run parallel to the selvedge; the weft threads, or the crossed threads, run across the fabric, at a right angle to the selvedge.

The warp threads run down the fabric. They are very solid and provide strength to the material. The weft threads form the woven pattern and tend to be more elastic than the warp. Even more elastic is the bias of the fabric, which runs at any angle of 45 degrees with the warp, and is the most elastic part.

The closing ribbons for the edges of the seams or the cord for the seams with piping are cut in the line of the bias. Bias cuts adapt to curves without deforming the seam. The bias cut takes advantage of this natural elasticity and is often used to create garments that adapt to the body and fall smoothly, although generous amounts of fabric are required when unfolding the patterns. The bias cut is commonly used for nightwear and lingerie.

Would you like to know more about grainlines?

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