How to Find the Bias

comments (6) July 1st, 2008     

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Shannon_Dennis Shannon Dennis, contributor
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This drawing shows the different fabric grains.

This drawing shows the different fabric grains.

Photo: Shannon Dennis

Bias is by far my favorite part of the fabric. To understand a little better what the bias is, we'll start with grainlines.

Grainlines are the directions in which the fibers of fabric go.

Selvage: This is the edge of your fabric piece. When you purchase fabric, it is typically folded in half with the selvages together. One selvage is usually white with text printed on it stating the designer, the company, and the copyright.

Lengthwise Grain: This is the grain running parallel to the selvage.

Crosswise Grain: This is the grain running perpendicular to the selvage.

Bias Grain: The bias grain runs on a 45-degree angle from the selvage, on a diagonal.

Now you know where the bias is and how to find it, but what can the bias do for you? It gives a beautiful drape to your project.  It also allows fabric to be shaped better such as with bias binding or casing for piping. A lesser-known fact about bias is that it doesn't fray. This makes it fun to work with for "raw" edge embellishments.

posted in: bias, bias cut, fabric grain, grainlines

Comments (6)

Shannon_Dennis writes: ChildfreeTrophyWife - You are totally right!! The description is correct...the selvage is on the wrong side of the image! Thanks for catching that!
Posted: 6:29 pm on September 4th
ChildfreeTrophyWife writes: The typed description is right but the illustration has the lengthwise and crosswise grain line arrows in the wrong spots (they need to be switched with each other).....unless I'm just totally looking at it cross eyed.
Posted: 10:20 pm on August 30th
Shannon_Dennis writes: londonsyl - I am so happy this was helpful to you! Never be afraid to give something a try. I love to experiment on muslin fabric. JoAnn's has it for $1 a yard every so often and it is great to explore with!
Posted: 2:10 pm on August 1st
londonsyl writes: Thanks so much for the simple explanation. I had an idea that was what it was but wouldn't have had the nerve to try it until I saw it in writing.
Posted: 9:19 pm on July 31st
Shannon_Dennis writes: Awesome! I am glad this was helpful to you. I think sometimes that we overcomplicate things!
Posted: 9:05 am on July 1st
StatGirl writes: I've never seen it so simply explained. Thanks.
Posted: 7:09 am on July 1st
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