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How DO you pull a thread?
Al Johnson
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Al Johnson
Beginner
Minnesota USA
Member since 2/17/07
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Date: 1/10/11 9:44 AM

I've seen reference many times to "pulling a thread" to get a straight line reference in your fabric. Sounds good in theory, but most fabrics are woven "way" too tightly to just pull out a thread by the end. What technique is used to get a thread to pull all the way out of the woven fabric?

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A sewing machine is just a welder for textiles.

tourist
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tourist  Friend of PR
Intermediate
British Columbia CANADA
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Date: 1/10/11 10:19 AM

Al - one way I do it is to pull a little, usually until the thread breaks, then cut along that line. Then I start to pull again from a thread in the cut line. If I can just tear the fabric instead, without making a bigger mess, I do that instead. If it is really impossible to work with, I use a square and draw a line perpendicular to the selvedge.

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kkkkaty
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kkkkaty  Friend of PR
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In reply to Al Johnson


Date: 1/10/11 10:19 AM

Ha, no insights here, I always thought that was close to impossible on most fabrics

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Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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Ontario Canada
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In reply to Al Johnson


Date: 1/10/11 10:23 AM

You can't straighten by pulling a thread on absolutely all fabrics, but I usually try it on anything I can't just tear, and it tends to work on most things.

I make a little horizontal cut in the selvage (maybe 1/2 inch max), grab a thread in the middle of the snipped bit, and begin pulling gently. Usually this immediately makes a visible horizontal run that you can cut along, and as you cut along it you just pull a bit more and cut some more. This is the ideal scenario -- some fabrics will also get vertical runs as you pull, so you have to proceed with caution.


-- Edited on 1/10/11 10:26 AM --

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my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

mozeyrn
mozeyrn
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New Jersey USA
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Date: 1/10/11 10:30 AM

I do pretty much the same as Joan1954 when able. Cut the selvage about 1/2 of an inch & rip down. I then iron that edge and line up my fabric to place/cut pattern.

For knits, it's a whole different story.

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- Maureen.

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andye
andye  Friend of PR
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Virginia USA
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Date: 1/10/11 1:53 PM

Question-- is it better to start pulling threads and finding the grain before or after prewashing?

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Nancy K
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Nancy K
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In reply to tourist


Date: 1/10/11 3:56 PM

Ditto to the above.

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rmusic1
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rmusic1
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Date: 1/10/11 5:14 PM

I had exactly the same problem when making a Vogue dress fitting pattern. My tutor showed me how you (very gently) pull a thread from the edge of the fabric (from one corner) and follow it all the way along to the other end (other corner). This will (with patience) give you an exact straight line, and not waste any fabric.

Does being able to answer this question mean I have graduated from complete beginner? Wow, I can't believe it!

Rosie

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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In reply to andye


Date: 1/10/11 5:39 PM

Quote:
Question-- is it better to start pulling threads and finding the grain before or after prewashing?

If the fabric tends to fray (or if you're not sure if it will fray) I'd do it after prewashing, but otherwise I don't think it matters.

-- Edited on 1/10/11 5:39 PM --

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my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

Vintage Joan
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Vintage Joan
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In reply to rmusic1


Date: 1/10/11 5:43 PM

Quote:
Does being able to answer this question mean I have graduated from complete beginner? Wow, I can't believe it!

Yes, I think a true complete beginner would say "what's a selvage?" or "what on earth do you mean, 'pull a thread and follow it along'?"* So I agree -- you're definitely no longer a complete beginner!

*(My daughter is a complete beginner, and I can totally picture her saying these things, except perhaps with a few expletives, since she still finds all this stuff annoyingly mystifying... sort of as though I had invented it to frustrate her, lol.)


-- Edited on 1/10/11 5:46 PM --

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my shield and my very great reward ~ Gen. 15:1

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