Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Taming Your Selvages

I always pre-wash my fabrics before they enter The Stash, and sometimes I notice that the selvage will shrink more than the rest of the fabric. (This is one of the reasons to not use selvages in your patchwork!) Even after pressing, I end up with a gently curved edge along the selvage, which I don't want. I want a nice, straight edge to start with so all my long cuts parallel to the selvage are also nice and straight.

Now, if I just plunk my rotary ruler down and trim off that wonky curved edge as it is, I will end up with a cut edge that is curved in the opposite direction. Still not what I want.

To fix this problem, there is a simple solution. Snip into the selvage every few inches with scissors, for the whole length of the fabric edge. This will relax the shrunken edge and, after you re-press it, your selvage edge will lay straight.

Now you can trim off the selvage and be sure that your freshly cut edge is straight, too.


xraevision said...

How did this information slip by me?!! I am a truly reckless quiltmaker.

Love the photos!

Alessandra White said...

Thank you for saving us from selvage hell! This is one reason I often don't pre-wash my fabric, since my work will never be washed anyway.

The Cozy Quilter said...

I cut off my selvages after the fabric is washed and before I cut into the fabric for a project. I save them to make quilts! If you don't want your selvages, send them to me!