On fabrics with a pile, like velvet, velour and corduroy, the hairs are not quite vertical but lie in a particular direction, known as “nap”. You can feel the nap when you lightly run your hand long-ways over the right side of the fabric. The hairs lie smooth and flat with the nap, and feel slightly rough against the nap. Other fabrics like fleece or velour can also have a nap. For cutting out, you must place all sewing pattern pieces for a garment in the same direction on a nap fabric, with the nap going downwards. The German word for nap is “Strichrichtung” and is printed on the pattern pieces.
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