Sucker for punishment that I am, here’s another quiz you can argue with me about. I’m doing this one a little different. For advanced visitors, you can read the question, pick your answer and boom, you’re done. For those new to the topic, immediately following the poll, I’ll do a little background so you can understand the question and hopefully go back to answer the question. I hope it meets with your approval.
Of the two layouts below, which pattern is lying on true bias? The left or the right? Assume both the pattern and the fabric are lying face up.
Vizu polls have closed down. Below is a screen capture of the poll results.
- Crossgrain. Fabric is woven to specific widths. The side to side width is called “weft”. I remember weft by saying “weft to wight” which is how the shuttle runs. The side to side or weft is most often called the cross grain. When someone says “cutting on the cross grain” they mean that the lengthwise portion of the garment is aligned to the fabric threads running weft to wight.
- Straight of grain. The threads running in the opposite direction (vertically) are called the lengthwise grain or straight of grain. It is traditional to lay garment pieces so that the vertical length of garments is aligned with the vertical running of the threads. A garment laid on the lengthwise grain is shown below.
- True Bias. Sometimes, garments are laid across the cross and lengthwise grains at a 45 degree angle. This is called bias. Bias can run on a 45 degree angle two ways. The optimal direction is called true bias because it gives more than the other direction. True bias (and the other grains are) is shown below:
To answer the poll question, all you need to determine is which top is laying on the true bias. One is lying on the bias, the other on true bias. You don’t need to understand sewing or marker making to answer it. The poll only requires spatial ability.
Immaterial to this poll question is that lengthwise threads are under greater pressure, the lengths will shrink after cutting and washing. All enterprises are set up to manage this, sometimes it’s the bane of our existence but it’s one of the constraints of our work.
Contrary to popular belief, the cross grain is more stable than the lengthwise grain, the side to side threads aren’t stretched like the straight of grain. However, it is more economical to cut on the lengthwise grain, also you have infinite length at your disposal.
Premium, designer and bridge apparel is often cut on the bias. Bias is the most difficult grain to manage but the drape this cut permits is incomparable. Fabric flows smoothly and dramatically around the figure. Because it uses the most fabric (and requires more advanced pattern making and sewing skills) it is the most expensive to make.