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Can anyone give me a sure-fire way of knowing which is the right side on plain fabrics? I bought some offcuts of cotton and linen, but it’s very difficult to see which is the right side. I don’t want to spoil my garment by using the wrong side. Thanks.


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    Jun 28, 2010, 12.47 AMby mlssfshn

    If both sides look the same either side will work as the right side.

    1 Reply
    • 985f0154fdefdf284531d76b36fbffee7a42548e_large

      Jun 28, 2010, 06.14 AMby katexxxxxx

      Just make sure you mark the right and wrong sides when you cut the pieces so that all pieces end up the same way out: sometimes a slight weave or colour difference will only show up when you sew one section ‘right’ side out to a section ‘wrong’ side out! And you don’t want to end up with two left bodices or sleeves…

  • Missing

    Jun 28, 2010, 08.05 AMby mbrizz


  • Missing

    Jul 9, 2010, 02.22 AMby scandium

    Arbitrarily choose a right side and stick to it :)

  • Missing

    Jul 10, 2010, 10.10 PMby patsewing

    I mark my material pattern pieces with a short length of sellotape (the kind you can write on) and write an R or a tick – just something to easily identify it.

  • Missing

    Jul 10, 2010, 10.11 PMby patsewing

    Just make sure you remove the sellotape before you iron over it!

  • Purplefan_large

    Jul 10, 2010, 11.35 PMby purplefan

    Until you get good at seeing the difference between the face of a fabric and its reverse side, the trick is to look at the holes in the selvedge. Where the loom hooks were located, the holes’ fabric will be pushed through to one side. The side that the fabric is pushed out to is the wrong side. The other side of the holes will look pushed in, so that is the face of the fabric.

    2 Replies
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      Jul 12, 2010, 07.35 PMby magdamagda

      oh.. i thought what a cool trick but then looked at a few fabrics that i have where is clear which side is right… it was 3:1 that holes were pulled towards the right side.. i still wish it wasn’t so:(

    • Sewionista_logo_neu_large

      Jul 13, 2010, 05.55 PMby julietta

      It’s actually the other way around. The holes result from the frames where the fabric is being stretched on for the finishing processes. As the face side gets treated, it is on top and the side where the holes are pushed out.

      For twill fabrics the face side is usually the side where the diagnols form a Z. This is true for the majority of twill fabrics but not for all.

  • Purplefan_large

    Jul 13, 2010, 06.37 PMby purplefan

    Julietta’s right—found an explanation on ehow:

    Step 2 Inspect the selvage

    Fabric is rolled through various processes on rollers with pins which stick up to hold it in place. After the fabric is removed from the rollers holes are left in the selvage. When the fabric is placed on the rollers there are prongs which poke through. Because the right side up for printing and finishing applications, the prongs first go through the wrong side and come out through the right side. The prongs go in the wrong side smoothly and punch out the right side of the fabric, leaving a rough hole on the right side. So the right side is the side with the rough holes. However, if you wash the fabric this may no longer be visible. Generally the selvages appear less finished on the wrongs sides and are smoother on the right side. Inspect the selvages for nubs, slubs, or irregularities, and for smoothness.

    Read more: How to Identify the Right Side of Fabric | eHow.com http://www.ehow.com/how_4518664_identify-right-side-fabric.html#ixzz0taaGN7Vl

  • Missing

    Jul 18, 2010, 04.23 PMby mbrizz

    Wow! Thanks for all your help everyone.

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    Jul 20, 2010, 04.28 AMby thecuriouskiwi

    I heard the punched hole trick too and I was also told that if you gently pull along the selvage that the fabric will sometimes curl to the wrong side (I might have that the wrong way around.) Also, I was told by a fabric shop assistant that at good fabric shops (i.e. they know what they are doing) after cutting the assistant should fold your fabric right side in and they know which way because of how it comes off of the roll – the right side is always rolled to the inside. Anyone feel free to correct me but like everyone said above, if I am not sure I just pick a side, mark it, and keep it as my right side through out.

  • Purplefan_large

    Jul 20, 2010, 07.44 PMby purplefan

    I am not certain about the right side being rolled to the inside. For fashion fabrics folded onto bolts, yes the right side is inside the fold. I have rarely seen fashion fabric rolled face out unless is decorated or sequinned in some manner or it is on a roll. Where I shop, the fabric is on bolts for most fashion fabrics and some drapery/linens. I used to work in a fabric shop as a student and I don’t recall training extending much beyond how to run the cash, finding a pattern envelope, cutting fabric and how to sell the remainder if there was less than 1m left on bolt and how to fold the fabric onto bolts once it came off of a large roll but the shop was not high end (the dress fabric section was somewhat better quality than rest of merchandise). Most of my fabric knowledge came from reading sewing magazines and books!

    For drapery fabrics on rolls, the right side faces out to you so you can roll out fabric.

  • Sam_0020_large

    Dec 13, 2010, 01.03 PMby wardrobe-cat

    I mark mine with safety pins on the right side after removing the pattern, before it gets any further off the cutting table (or floor). It saves confusion, doesn’t come out or snag on anything.

  • Missing

    Dec 22, 2011, 01.11 PMby mickeygirl

    I tend to look at the selvage edge. The wrong and right side seem to be more apparent there.

    I have resorted to marking with chalk the wrong side of pieces when I cut them out. If you want a mistake then do not worry so much – if you can not tell the wrong from right side when you are sewing then probably no one else will notice when you are wearing the garment unless you have really bad eyesight. Usually this error indicates that I need new glasses.

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