844-BIG-Z-FAB (244-9322)

In this tutorial, we’ll explain how to measure fabric when you’re purchasing it by the yard, using a process demonstrated by Jessica, the crafty gal and admin of fabrics. This guide will help clear up any confusion you may have about fabric measurements.

Materials Needed


  1. Understanding Fabric Anatomy: Fabric has several parts you need to know about. The ‘selvage edge’ is the manufactured edge of the fabric. When the fabric is open, you’ll have two selvage edges. However, the white part is extra, and it’s not included in the measurements.
  2. Measure the Length: The length of the fabric we provide is measured from one printed edge to the other printed edge. When we cut your fabric, we cut from one end to the other end. If you have one yard of fabric, it will measure 36 inches in length.
  3. Measure the Width (Selvage Edge): To measure the width or the selvage edge, line up your yardstick on one edge of the fabric and measure to the other edge. For example, the width might be between 33 and 34 inches. Adding up both sides gives us a total width of 66-67 inches.
  4. Understanding the Fabric Cut Size: Therefore, the fabric cut size for one yard of fabric is 36 inches (length) by 67 inches (width).
  5. Cutting the Fabric: If you want to cut the fabric to resell as a ‘fat quarter’, you would cut it as it is folded, along the length. For a half yard, you would cut down the center of the fabric, providing a strip of fabric with the same width but half the length. If you are selling a ‘phat flutter’ of fabric, it’s essentially a quarter of the yard in a fatter form versus a skinny form.
  6. Fat Quarter vs. Regular Quarter: If you were to cut a regular quarter of fabric, it would be about 9 inches (a quarter of the yard). A ‘fat quarter’ would be one layer of the fabric, but at a half-yard height (18 inches) and whatever the width the fabric is.
  7. Quilting Cottons vs. Knits: One thing to note is that fabric measurements can vary based on the type of fabric. For example, a fat quarter in quilting cottons is half a yard high but only half the width. So if the original width of your fabric was 44 inches, you’d end up with a 22-inch wide strip.
  8. Listing Your Fabric: When listing fabric for sale, most people list the height followed by the width. So if you’re selling a piece of fabric that is 36 inches long (one yard) but only 40 inches wide, you would list it as 36 inches by 40 inches.
  9. Washing and Shrinkage: Remember that when you wash fabric, it can shrink and lose some of its measurements. Always inform potential buyers whether the fabric is pre-washed or not to avoid any confusion or disappointment.

That’s it! You’re now familiar with how to measure fabric when buying by the yard, and you know the difference between various cuts of fabric such as fat quarters, regular quarters, and half yards. Happy crafting!

How do we measure fabric when you order?

We sell fabric by the yard and send you your order in continuous yards, of course. We’ve gotten pretty good at measuring and cutting over the years. In fact, check this out!

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3400 Slauson Ave Unit A,
Maywood CA 90270

213-745-BIGZ (2449)

844-BIG-Z-FAB (244-9322)

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