What Is A Grainline In Sewing?

A grainline is the direction of the fabric’s grain. The grain runs parallel to the selvage and is perpendicular to the crosswise grain. When cutting out a pattern, you want to make sure that the grainline on the pattern piece is running in the same direction as the grainline of your fabric.

Otherwise, your garment may not hang correctly or lay flat.

What Is… The Grainline?

A grainline is the direction of the threads in a fabric. When you are cutting out a pattern, you need to make sure that the grainline is running parallel to the selvage (the finished edge of the fabric). If it’s not, your garment will end up being wonky and distorted.

How to Find Grainline on Fabric

In order to find the grainline on fabric, you will need to first identify the selvage. The selvage is the tightly woven edge on either side of a piece of fabric that keeps it from unraveling. Once you have found the selvage, you can then determine the grainline by running your fingers along the edge of the fabric until you find the long, straight threads that run parallel to the selvage.

These threads are known as the warp threads, and they indicate the grainline of the fabric.

What Is A Grainline In Sewing?

Credit: sewguide.com

How Do You Find the Grainline on Fabric?

When working with a fabric, it is important to know the grainline. The grainline is the direction of the threads in the fabric and can be determined by looking at the selvage (the finished edge of a fabric). To find the grainline, simply hold up your fabric so that the selvage is running horizontally.

The grainline will be perpendicular to the selvage and will run from top to bottom.

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What is the Grainline on a Sewing Pattern?

Most sewing patterns will have a section on the pattern envelope that indicates the “grainline.” The grainline is an arrow or line on the pattern that indicates the direction of the fabric’s grain. The grainline should be aligned with the selvage of the fabric (the finished edge).

The grainline can be important when cutting out a pattern, especially if the fabric has a nap (like velvet) or a print that needs to be matched (like plaid). If you cut out a pattern piece in the wrong direction, it can ruin the look of your garment. When you’re tracing a pattern onto tracing paper or interfacing, be sure to transfer the grainline onto your tracing.

That way, when you cut out your traced pattern pieces, you’ll know which way to orient them on your fabric.

Is Grainline the Same As Stretch?

No, grainline and stretch are not the same thing. Grainline is the direction of the fabric’s fibers, while stretch refers to the amount of give or elasticity in the fabric. Fabric with a lot of stretch will be more forgiving when it comes to fit, whereas fabric with little to no stretch will need to be cut more precisely.

Conclusion

A grainline is the line running along the length or width of a piece of fabric. The grainline should be perpendicular to the selvage (the finished edge of the fabric). When you cut out a pattern, you need to pay attention to the grainline so that your garment hangs correctly.

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Jane
Jane

Hi,
I’m Jane and I’m the editor of janesknittingkits.com! I am a long-time craft and clothing design fan who has been writing about these interests for years.

I have spent many hours studying knitting, weaving, sewing, embroidery, and quilting as well as learning about various brands and models of sewing gear and machines. In addition to this research, my work involves publishing information related to these topics in ways that will be informative for both amateur crafters like me and more experienced sewers!