Because of the lightweight and slippery touch that this fabric has to offer, chiffon can be difficult to deal with. Stylists and designers have been using this fabric for creating delicate and dreamy designs; however, cutting chiffon fabric can turn out to be a nightmare. Therefore, this article has covered some essential tips to let you know how to cut chiffon fabric straight.
What is chiffon fabric?
Before moving to the tips for cutting this fabric straight, let's first know what chiffon fabric actually is. It is basically light in weight, a plain-woven material having a slight shine on the surface. The weave with which this fabric is made leaves puckers on the surface, making it a little rough to touch.
However, due to the sheer and shimmery look chiffon has to offer, it is often associated with luxury and elegance and is used in designer dresses, maxis, ball gowns, etc. Some of the most prominent characteristics of chiffon fabric are:
- Due to alternating s-twist and z-twist yarns, the chiffon fabric has slight puckers on the surface and, therefore, a rough touch and feel to it.
- The chiffon fabric is extremely strong because of the tight weave and twists of the yarns.
- This fabric has a sheer and transparent kind of appearance, and when you look at it using a magnifying glass, it looks like fine mesh or net.
- Chiffon has some shimmery kind of finish to it. The silk chiffon has more shimmer, while the cotton chiffon has more of a matte appearance.
- Chiffon has a slight stretch due to being woven in different directions.
How to cut chiffon straight?
Now that you know that this fabric is super delicate and light in weight, you can imagine how difficult it must be to cut it straight without any problems. Here are some easiest tips that you can follow to get the perfect chiffon cutting outputs to get this done.
Before you cut down the fabric, make sure the scissors you have got hold of for cutting chiffon fabric are super sharp. This is because cutting this fabric using dull scissors can snag it. The second thing to do is to have a clean surface to place the cloth on. Make sure the surface should be big enough to put one pattern piece on it without any of the corners hanging over the edges.
- Use selvage and masking tape:
Now that you have placed the fabric straight on any surface feasible, put the selvage parallel to the edge of the surface. Additionally, to keep the material in its place, use masking tape. This is because placing fabric using pins can cause holes in it. The masking tape will not leave any marks on the material, and it will not shift while you mark the pattern edges.
- Wet the fabric:
Similar to weighting the fabric to keep it in its place, you can also wet chiffon for the same purpose. However, make sure the cutting surface that you are looking at doesn't get damaged with water. You can fill a spray bottle with tap water and spray it over the fabric until it is thoroughly wet. This method can also add weight to the material, and when you start cutting, it won't move or slide as quickly as the dry chiffon would.
- Mark the fabric:
Once you have successfully weighed down the fabric and are sure that it won’t move from its place, now is the time to mark it using a pattern. You can either use a disappearing ink that vanishes after some time or soap or chalk, depending on the color of the chiffon you are working on. Once you are done with marking down the pattern, start cutting it using sharp scissors that are comfortable to be held in your hand.
Different ways to cut chiffon straight:
Now that you have known the tips that you can follow for cutting chiffon straight, here are some most straightforward ways that you can use for cutting the fabric:
Weight down the chiffon fabric:
As previously mentioned, you can weigh down the fabric using selvages or other heavy stuff by putting them on each corner of the material. Once the fabric is weighed down, you can easily cut it using the pattern.
Stick the fabric to paper:
You can also stick the fabric to paper and cut them both together. Remember that you will have to use sharp paper scissors in this method and not the scissors that you use for cutting the fabric alone. You can use any kind of water-soluble glue to stick paper and fabric together to get this job done. After you are done cutting the fabric, wash it with water to remove the glue residue, if any.
Rip down the fabric:
Ripping is another method you can work with if you want to cut the chiffon fabric straight. This is because the chiffon is such a wonderfully tough fabric that you can just easily rip it for getting a straight cut. However, please remember that this ripping method only works on perpendicular threads, and it can only work if the pattern pieces are in square or rectangle shapes. All you have to do is make a 1cm or 2cm snip at the edge of the fabric where you want to cut it from using scissors, hold both the sides firmly using your fingers and just rip it down to get a perfectly straight cut.
Use a sharp rotary cutter:
You can use a sharp rotary blade to cut chiffon fabric instead of using scissors. Just make sure you have placed the material on a straight surface, put some weight on it, and use this magical blade to cut it down. This method helps prevent the chiffon fabric from shifting here and there. You have to lay up your fabric on the surface, place the patterns you want to cut accordingly above the material using weights, and run around the edges of the design using this rotary cutter.