How Many Inches Are In 1 Yard – When starting a sewing project, the first question you need to answer is how much material you need. You need to match your project with the correct amount of fabric, which is measured in units called yards. So, how big is a yard of fabric?
When I first visited a fabric store in the United States from Canada, I was used to metric measurements and was really surprised to find that fabrics were sold by the meter and not by the meter. So I just looked at the fabric trying to figure out how big the fabric was.
How Many Inches Are In 1 Yard
I asked the seller who said it was 36 inches. But that didn’t help because I had no idea of inches! So I needed a convenient way to convert between units of measure that would allow me to quickly find an answer to my question (and many similar questions).
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A yard is a unit of measurement that is 36 inches or 3 feet. Therefore, a yard of fabric is measured at 3 feet (or 36 inches).
Fun Fact: I found some very interesting tidbits about the US Imperial System. For example, in England, cloth was measured in yards and inches already in the 15th century! Wikipedia says that “An Act of 1439 (18 Henry VI. Cap. 16) abolished the sale of cloth by the “yard and handful” and introduced the “yard and inch”.
Want to know how many inches are in a yard of fabric? How do you convert inches to yards of fabric? How many centimeters or yards or feet are in 83 inches? Use this fabric conversion calculator.
The calculator below is designed for FABRIC MEASUREMENTS ONLY and converts input into m/cm/in/ft/yd and regular subdivisions.
Customary Units Of Measure Worksheet
If the result exceeds certain tolerances, round the number up to the next subdivision. For example, 30.54 cm is converted to:
It is important to note that a yard is a unit of length only and does not apply to the width of the fabric. If you buy fabric by the yard, do not measure the width of the fabric. So you also need to consider the question: “How wide is the canvas yard?”
When you buy a yard of fabric, you have a piece with the dimensions: 1 yard x width of the fabric. While this is important for your sewing project, it doesn’t matter to the shop how wide the fabric is. They only count the length of the fabric in yards.
Because different types of fabric are sold in different widths, you may end up with a piece that is smaller or larger than 1 yard wide x 1 yard long. As a result, the exact amount you get per piece of fabric may vary depending on the type of fabric you buy (because the width of the pins vary).
Yards To Inches Conversion (yd To In)
Sometimes 1 yard of fabric is big enough for an entire project. For example, if your fabric is wide enough, you can sew things like a top, shorts, baby dress, pillowcase, etc. with only 1 yard of fabric. But, of course, there are projects where 1 yard of fabric isn’t big enough to do.
A friend of mine (who lives in Australia) sent me a letter prompting me to measure all my tapes against each other and against tapes made in the USA in the 1950s:
Back in the days when the world was still reasonably sane, my daughter sometimes bought fabric in China – sold by the yard – and always found it was only about 34 inches long. When we put the Chinese tape measures against our imperial tape measures, we found that the Chinese centimeters are actually slightly shorter, so the hem is shorter.
My ribbons were all fine, less than 1/4″ apart over the entire 60″ length. But the difference of 1/4 inch made me realize that even good tapes have to be changed from time to time because they can stretch.
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Fabric is often sold by the yard, but it’s also good to know that some stores will divide 1 yard of fabric into yards (ie two, four, eight, and sometimes sixteen). For example, you can find pre-cut fabric. pieces from the fabric store that are 2 ⅜ yards or similar fractions. So how much fabric is it exactly?
The yardage of the fabric is measured from the bolt along the edge of the hem, and the fabric in the bolt is usually folded in half lengthwise, with a knot on the side. However, not all fabrics are sold by the bolt, since many fabric stores carry fabric in rolls or unfolded fabrics.
A special piece is the fat quarter, which is used very often in quilting. A fat quarter is only a square if it is cut from 36″ wide fabric, otherwise its most common size is 18″ x 22″, which may be counterintuitive. This is nowhere near the ¼ yard measurement that it is 9″! How do we get it?
The quilting cotton is usually 44 inches wide, and the fat quarter is obtained as follows: Cut ½ yard from the fabric, measured along the wadding. You will have a piece that is 18 inches long (half a yard) and 44 inches wide (the width of the fabric). Then fold the piece in half and cut in half, getting two 18″ x 22″ pieces. Now you have half a yard of fabric divided into two large quarters.
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Oh the joy of sewing! There is a satisfaction in creating something beautiful with a sewing machine. But let’s be honest, sometimes sewing can be a bit of a pain. If you feel down, just check this funny quote: A fat quarter is not a part of the body. Now doesn’t that sound fun? You can get this fun printable quote from my resource library absolutely free. Just sign up for my newsletter below and you’ll have access to all kinds of sewing products, including this printable quote.
Since the fabrics are sold in different widths, it is very easy to buy a yard of two different materials and end up with very different fabrics for each material. Knowing your fabric measurements will help you determine how many yards of material you need to complete the project.
The width of the fabric is usually measured in inches (US). The most common widths are 44/45 inches and 60 inches, but the width varies depending on the type of fabric. The sample width includes:
You can find the width of the bolt (or roll) on the fabric label. NOTE: If your fabric is 44 inches wide, you will need more yards of fabric for the project than if it is 60 inches wide.
Converting Yards Into Inches (video)
Makes sense, right? It is much easier to organize the pattern on a wider canvas, and with a wider canvas, the scraps are even smaller because you have more opportunities to move the pieces.
But there are other fabric widths and it depends on the fabric technology that was used to make the fabric. You can find canvas widths of 12, 16, 24, 30, 36, 38, 42, 48, 54, 58, 59, 70, 72, 108 and 120 inches.
For example, the lace fabric or interface is usually tighter, while the bed linen cotton can be wide enough to cover a large bed without seams.
You also need to consider that not all widths of fabric can be used. For example, sometimes you can’t use 1-2 inches wide because you always have to cut the hems for the project and sometimes the fabric has some kind of hem.
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We often hear “single width” and “double width” when referring to fabric. Single gauge refers to the fabric that is kept unrolled on the roll so that the fabric unrolled from the roll can be measured immediately, between the knots.
The double width fabric is kept folded in half so that when it is stretched from the bolt, the fabric appears in two layers, with both edges on the same side. The actual width is of course twice the width of the folded fabric.
Let’s say you buy a yard of fabric at the store, and when you get home and measure closer, you realize you actually have less than a yard. Why so? Because whoever cuts the fabric in the shop can end up cutting it on an incline, which can create a bevel of a few centimeters. This is more likely with elastic fabric that easily stretches to the roll or bolt.
So it’s a good idea to buy a few extra inches for the project just in case they don’t cut straight.
Yards To Feet Conversion (yd To Ft)
If you want to read more about how to cut fabric straight, I wrote a full tutorial on it! For more information, see How to cut fabric perfectly straight.
Also, fabric stores know that they can make mistakes when cutting fabric, so sometimes they will give you 1-2 inches more than the actual yardage. This applies to smaller tissue stores rather than large chains.
The fabric is usual
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