A Manifesto on Fabric Cutting
There are few things that tick me off in a fabric store more than poorly cut fabric. Ok, the customer that snags that clearance bolt that I wanted kills me. But after that…it’s the mis-cut fabric that I seem to often get from both brick and mortar and online stores.
Every store seems to do it differently. Scissors, rotary cutters, snip and tear…I’ve seen ’em all…and I’ve been hosed by them all. I just finished folding fabrics from 3 different shopping trips and was amused and bemused by the inconsistency in the cuts of fabric I had. To that end, here’s my little manifesto about fabric cuts.
- Whatever cutting method you use…use it consistently. Store owners…pick your method, train your employees.
- Recognize that you are likely not cutting in a straight line. Look at the piece you just cut from the bolt. If you just take a step back, you can usually see if the cut is really wonky or not.
- Grant your consumer a 37″ yard. Sure, they’re only paying for 36″…but that extra inch goes a long way to covering up miscut issues, length lost in pre-washing tangle, and cultivating customer goodwill.
- The shortest length of the fabric should be the length requested by the customer. Most stores only look at the side (fold or selvedge) closest to them when cutting. But often, cuts veer inward as you extend your arm which means you may have 36″ near you but only 34″ away from you. I don’t call that a yard.
- Slow down. I know it’s tough when the store is packed and you’ve got a bajillion fabrics to slice. But take an extra nano-second to make your cuts in an effort to make them straight and even.
- Offer bolt ends at a discount as a continuous cut. A bolt end would be anything shorter than 18″ left on the bolt if you made that final cut. This is easy to eyeball before you cut and it leaves the customer with nice long length and it clears you out of the bolt if they take you up on it.
- Keep your cutting area clean. Fabric loves picking up on random gunky bits on tables and it’s terrible to get home only to realize you have an errant ink, ice tea, or envelope glue stain on your beautiful fabric.
- Not necessarily related directly to the cut…but please don’t roll your eyes when I bring up a large stack of bolts. You sell fabric. I’m buying fabric. Sure, it may not be fun to cut 14 individual yards, but that’s what you signed up to do. (In return, I promise to try and pace myself and hold back if you’re really busy. Unless it’s a sale. Then all bets are off.)
Of course…the counterpoint to this is probably a code of conduct for us customers. I’ve seen some pretty horrific behavior from customers in stores before that I wouldn’t want to put up with.
So fellow fabric lovers…what say you? Am I being too strident? Did I miss any big things? These are my thoughts on getting yardage cut but there are other peeves I have when I shop for fabric. But that can be for another grumpus day.