Thursday, June 18, 2009

To rip or not to rip.....

TO RIP OR NOT TO RIP, that is the question....

In my recent travels, I have visited some quilt shops that are off my normal beaten path.  I was surprised that at more than a few of these stores the fabric I chose to buy was ripped from the bolt, rather than cut with a rotary cutter or scissors.  Now I know that many years ago, ripping was de rigueur but I haven't seen it done for many years.  And I'm wondering why.  Why rip?  Why not rip?  Is it good to rip?  Is it bad to rip?  So I'm asking any of you (all 2, and that includes my mom!) to give me your feedback on this pressing, er, cutting/ripping issue.  Let me know if you think ripping is ok to do, or if it is definitely not ok to do.  I'm just curious about public opinion here.

I believe I remember hearing that ripping fabric will stretch out the edges.  How big of a deal is that, really?

One difference that I did notice was in washing the fabric.  Now, I admit to belonging to the Alex Anderson school of washing and ironing all new fabric.  The fabric that was torn hardly frayed at all in the washer and dryer.  And that was really nice--no long threads wrapping around a whole length of fabric, no little thread bits getting stuck onto other items in the same load.  There's one good thing about it.  

So let me know your opinion.  


  1. You can count me in the not ripped camp. I don't like the edges stretched out of shape, you end up cutting that off and wasting it to make the first rotary cut. We do, however, rip from the wool bolts at the store, I think that's because the rug hookers prefer their wool on-grain for their little strips. But I'm not sure that's the real reason, because the rug hookers also cut their strips and then it wouldn't still be purely on-grain. Now I'm really confused!

  2. Ripping is quick and easy and you know it will be straight with the grain of the weave which should be (but is not always) straight. It does stretch the fabric on the edge and can leave you with some unusable section. I use to rip but now I cut 99% of the time.