Added May 1, 2010
Starting at the selvedges, take a very steamy iron to your fabric and work your way down. The steam will loosen & relax the threads, making them more likely to go where you need them to go.
Work the fabric with your iron until it lies flat. This may be a battle, but you will WIN!
*If working with a patterned fabric, keep in mind that perfectly aligning your fabric doesn't necessarily mean a perfectly aligned print. (See photo.) People make mistakes, and fabric can be printed not exactly in alignment with the fabric's grain. I have thrown away what I thought was good quality fabric because this drove me batty.
* *For fabrics that don't appreciate an aggressive, steamy iron (wool, silk), use the bias-stretching method.
This method is faster for me and appropriate for the fabrics I usually work with.
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