The widths of lengths of fabric are determined by tradition and weave.

For our purposes the printed, machine-made fabric comes to the consumer at between 135 and 145 cm (c.a. 53-57”) wide. Weaves can come in any width, but usually around 110-280 cm (c.a. 43-110”).

* A ‘width’ is  the term to describe the space, the fabric, between selvedges. So if we say cut one width x so much… then it’s the whole width of the fabric that we’re referring to x the length . 

* To cut across with width means to  cut from one selvedge to the other.

* Cut x across the widths- really means within the width – i.e.  to fit in and cut x number of  these items between selvedges. So we can usually allow 2 chair seats across the width, or 2-3 cushion fronts, or backs

*  We talk about the number of widths per  project, to mean the number of widths we need to join in order to  get the amount of material we need. For example if a bedcover is 3 metres ( 120″ ) wide and the fabric is 1.35 metres ( 54″ ) wide then we need three whole widths of fabric to make this bedcover.   2 x 135 is 270  ( 2 x 54″= 108″ ) – not enough, so we need 3 x 135, which is 405 cms ( 162″ ). From this we also know here will be spare fabric  at the sides for other use.

The cut length for the bedcover is also 3 metres ( 120″ ) so we need 3 metres x 3 = 9 metres or  120″ x 3 = 360″, or  10 yards.

* A pair of curtains is  usually described as having a number of widths per curtain – one, one and a half, or two, for example, to describe how many widths of fabric need to be bought  cut and joined for each curtain. Whilst we work out the amount of fabric needed according to the window width and  the fullness we require  – so we work out that  a pole or track fitting  needs three widths for the fullness we need, this translates to ‘ a pair of curtains with  one a half widths in each curtain’, or  ‘a single curtain of three widths.’

* So the cut length size  x the number of widths required give us the fabric quantity need per project.


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