Before the Cutting Counter-Reading a Fabric Bolt

Reading a Fabric Bolt -Fabric Information

You’ve found a project you want to complete. You’ve found your way into the fabric store. Now what? Can you simply pick out a pattern you like? Here is the deal, it is essential to the success of your project that you choose the right fabric.

If you have found your project online check out the directions for yardage and fabric suggestions.

If you are using a purchased pattern you’ll find this information on the back of your pattern envelope. Most patterns will list suggested types of fabric. Because fabrics vary in weight, stretch, and other important details if you are just starting out stick with one of the recommended fabrics.

Where Do I Find the Fabric Information?

Here is the great thing about buying fabric, the bolt will tell you everything you need to know!  What is a bolt? It is that piece of cardboard your fabric is wrapped around. Fabric wrapped around a piece of cardboard is referred to as a bolt of fabric.

Let’s get started!

Pull the bolt toward you. If you can’t find the end you may have to flip fabric out of the way, you should see something that looks very similar to the picture below.

Reading a Fabric BoltWidth: Find the width of your fabric. Typically this will be 44/45 or 58/60. The fabric on the bolt is folded in half so what you see is actually half the actual width. This measurement is important because it will change the yardage you need for your project.

Content: This fabric is 100% cotton. Your pattern will give recommendations for fiber content. Some fabrics will not be suitable for your project.

Care: This is the same as a care tag inside of a garment. It will tell you how to wash and dry your fabric. This way you can avoid dry clean only fabrics for everyday kids wear.

Price:  This will give you the regular price per yard of the fabric.  Your retailer will run sales either advertised or with a coupon.  Be sure to keep your eyes open for these deals in order to make the most of your budgeted dollars.

It is most important for success in your project that you choose fabrics that are recommended on your pattern.  

{ 4 comments… add one }
  • Crystelle October 19, 2012, 10:24 pm

    great tips! I will take a better look next time I’m at the store..

    • onceuponasewingmachine October 21, 2012, 7:32 am

      Let us know if you have questions!

  • Online Fabric Store Coupon December 12, 2013, 7:21 pm

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  • Wolfie February 25, 2020, 2:51 pm

    How can ya tell what run the fabric is if not buying at a quilt shop?
    Thank you!

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