Ripping fabric is fun! It is a technique that is easy to learn and hard to mess up, perfect for the beginner.
I want to answer a couple questions before I get to the nitty gritty,
What kind of fabric can be ripped?
- I like to say any fabric with a visible grain or threads. Now I’m no expert and I know there are probably exceptions to this but I stay safe and use cotton fabrics or a flannel when ripping fabric.
Why rip instead of cut?
- Ripping is a desirable choice when accuracy and frayed edges are not a concern. For example on a rag quilt, ripping the fabric adds texture and character. Also when making fabric yarn, which is what I chose to do for this project!
Another plus to ripping your fabric, is knowing you will be getting a straight line/edge with every rip. You get a straight line because the tear follows the grain of the fabric, which is already straight.
I like doing projects like these when I feel I need to let go of my need for perfection. It forces me to not be super accurate and to teaches me to be ok with imperfections. There will always be beauty in imperfections and this project was the perfect exercise to remember that!
Alright let’s get started,
Step 1: You’ll need to start with a straight edge. To do this just cut a start with your scissors and then rip the fabric apart.
I like to rip two sides of my fabric to test which will give me a better edge. To choose which side to tear from I just listen to the rip. Whichever one has a cleaner sounding rip, I’ll go with that one.
Step 2: Choose the size of your pieces. Cut and rip your pieces.
Since I am making fabric yarn, I needed a long and narrow piece to work with.
TIP: Be sure to cut and rip one piece at a time, this will keep each piece at the correct size. Use a previously ripped piece as a template for making others.
Pretty easy right?
You can make pieces any size you want to fit whatever pattern you want. It’s all up to you!
Next post I’ll be talking about how to create your own fabric yarn from these pieces.
What do you plan to make using this rip/tear technique?