Can This Fabric be Saved?

Can This Fabric be Saved?


I recently bought about eight different fabrics at one time and one piece is cut incorrectly, plus, the fabric is horribly off-grain.  As you can see, the horizontal design is curved when it should be straight.

The edge closest to my blue toes (should I have cropped them out?  Nah!), is from the previous cut.  The edge at the top of the photo is how this piece was cut from the bolt.  Am guessing (since I wasn’t watching), it was cut from the ‘other’ side as the cut doesn’t follow the fabric design–it should.

off-grain fabric

One-half yard of a Nicole Miller fabric, acrylic, poly, ???

Fabric Grain refers to the direction of the threads/yarn that make up the fabric.  Woven fabric has two distinct grains–lengthwise and crosswise and they must be perpendicular to each other before cutting the garment pieces.

Knits also have a lengthwise and crosswise grain based on the ribs of the knit.

In any case, the design of the fabric should be straight, if that was the original intent.

Not measured at all evenly.

Not measured at all evenly.


This is a reversible, lace-type knit fabric and the ‘other’ side is the same as the white borders.  Can’t begin to tug the two layers apart so am surmising they are bonded together.  However, the fabric is quite soft and supple.

Because this is a Lace Knit, there is no ribbing to follow for grain, but can use the grey design.

Part of the distortion may be attributed to how it is wound on the bolt.                              This is a mechanical process and the fabric grain is often distorted due to the stretching.

You didn’t think there were Elves magically winding the fabric on the bolt, did you?

off-grain fabric

White Lace ‘Other’ Side



Straightening Off-Grain Fabric

This design fits in with the project I have in mind but it needs to be STRAIGHT.                    I tried various methods to straighten this off-grain fabric.

Here is what I did.

  1. Pulled the fabric on the diagonal and then the cross-grain/knit from both sides.

    off-grain fabric

    The ripples are from the cross-grain stretching.
    Lookin Good.

  2. Soaked fabric in warm water, spun out in the washer, arranged on floor to dry.  Aligned fabric edge with floor plank.

    off-grain fabric

    Fabric is drying.  Looks Good…

  3. Pressed with an Elna Press, a large shoe/plate and a lift-up lid.  The lid applies pressure when locked in place.  I smoothed the fabric in the shape I wanted, covered with a press cloth, spritzed with water and locked and loaded the lid.
    off-grain fabric

    Elna Press with pressed portion hanging down. Lookin’ even better!


There are many brands of presses. Elna was the first to come out with one and mine is an original.  Click on the link to see just one of the current Elna versions then scroll down the page to see other brands.

FYI: terrific for fusing interfacing.  Does several small pieces at once and large areas of body shapes.  The pressure is the key.



In the end, nothing worked.

Fabric still is distorted.  My plan is/was to cut along each horizontal stripe of the design and sew it to another piece of fabric to make a collage of wide stripes–4″ or more wide.

Can you image how that would hang on the vertical?  It would pull the other fabrics off kilter.


Other project fabrics

off-grain faabric

Final Result


off-grain fabric

A Return



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