Basic Fabric Cuts

Posted by Mandy Pickle on 10th Mar 2015

Very often I am asked about the size of fabric cuts. For example, what size is a 1/4 yard? What’s the difference between a fat quarter and a regular quarter yard. Today I have taken the time to illustrate basic fabric cuts.  

There are a few things you will need to know.  The first is, one yard is equal to 36 inches.  WOF is an acronym that stands for Width Of Fabric.  Selvage is the unusable portion of fabric that runs along the uncut edges of the fabric.  Most of the time, this portion of fabric is branded by the manufacturer.  The WOF runs selvage to selvage.

A quarter yard of fabric is 9” x WOF

A half yard of fabric is 18" x WOF.

Three quarters of a yard of fabric is 27" x WOF.

One yard of fabric is 36" x WOF.

A fat quarter is 18" x 21".  It is equal to one quarter yard of fabric but is cut as a rectangle instead of a strip.  The cut is most commonly used by quilters.

A fat half is 36" by half of the WOF.  Sometimes this cut is offered on fabrics that are 59" wide or wider.  

Pre-cut fabric is usually purchased in packs.  For example a charm pack may contain a stack of 42 5" squares.  Quilters often use the pre-cut fabrics to create fabric blocks for quilts.