Evaluate fabric stretch

Evaluate fabric stretch

How do you know if your fabric is suitable for the pattern you want to sew? Well, first of all you need to read the pattern description to see what kind of fabrics it's intended for, for example woven fabrics (without stretch) or knit fabrics (with stretch). 

Many of the patterns in our collection are designed for knit fabrics, such as jersey (cotton/lycra) or college / french terry. They are comfortable to wear and easy to sew. 

Knit fabrics can have different amounts of stretch. Most of our patterns are designed for fabrics with 30-40% stretch, but some for less, and some for more. All our patterns include a stretch guide, to help you evaluate your fabric and see if it will be suitable for the pattern. 

Note that you can often use a more och less stretchy fabric than the pattern calls for, but it's good to be aware of the stretch percentage so that you know if you might need to size up or down for example.

Download the stretch guide here


How to use the stretch guide

Place a piece of your fabric against the grey background. Make sure that you get the grainline right (vertical). (Read about grainline here). 


Then stretch the fabric towards the right. Note how far the fabric stretches without resistance. If it goes to 40% then your fabric has 40% stretch. Don’t overstretch, find the natural stretch.



You can also measure the fabric’s recovery by releasing it: if the fabric goes back to its original length (the grey rectangle), then it has 100% recovery, which is very good. A fabric with good recovery is necessary when making fitted garments, such as leggings or a fitted top. If the fabric doesn't recover, the garment will loose its shape.