Identifying the Right Side of Fabric

One of the biggest challenges for professionals in the fashion and clothing industry is knowing how to distinguish between the right side of the fabric and the wrong side. Anyone who works directly with the fabric, whether to bore it or cut it directly, must have the visual and tactile sensitivity to effectively recognise which is the correct side of the fabric. Well, for some types of fabrics, this differentiation is easy to perceive between one side and the other, but how to recognise the right side of the fabric depends on the type of fabric.

Meaning of Right Side of Fabric

Prior to cutting, the right side of the fabric, often referred to as the face, must be pointed out. In rare circumstances, the way a cloth was folded might be used to identify it; materials like linen and cotton, for instance, are folded facing outwards. Wool functions somewhat differently; the right side is located inside the fold. On the other hand, when the fabric is sent wrapped in a tube, it is a little easier to tell which side is correct or incorrect because the proper side is always towards the inside of the roll.

Sewing machines always create holes on the right side of the fabric in this manner. Simply pay attention to the holes—right, that’s the holes in the fabric—to determine which side is correct. Soft materials naturally have a face that is brighter or softer on one side than the other, making it simpler to identify the item through touch or visual inspection. Therefore, materials with a distinct texture tend to show the side of your face more prominently. These fibres also frequently include minute abnormalities, such as little balls that protrude on the incorrect side. However, materials with a “fancy” texture, like brocade, have a distinctive softness on the right side and a back with imperfections and loose threads.

Identifying the Fabric’s Right and Wrong Sides

The two sides of a lot of fabrics are similar. For a dressmaker, this causes perplexity. Occasionally, a few components may also be cut on the incorrect side and sewn onto the garment, such as the pocket, which is typically made of pieces that are lifted out after cutting the principal components of the garment. A skilled dress designer will quickly discover this, even if it goes unnoticed. Understanding the fabric’s right and wrong sides is therefore essential.

Regardless of fibre content, variation, or eventual purpose, labels are present on all fabrics. The right side of the cloth bears a print of the fabric label. This comprises details such as the kind of material, the price, the company’s name, the brand name, the symbol, the officially recognised mark (the Tex mark), and the amount of fibre. As a result, anyone can quickly tell which side is right by looking for this mark. Even on running materials, the price and the fabric’s brand or fibre content are printed after each metre. If the label information is missing, a careful review is required to make sure both the right and wrong sides are there. The weave, print, texture, and finish of the fabric can be used to distinguish between the correct and incorrect sides.

Tips for determining the right and wrong sides

These are

  • In general, all fabrics are smoother, with the right side having a less fuzzy surface.

  • Always fold rayon and wool materials with the wrong sides out.

  • Cotton materials should always be folded with the correct side out.

  • Every woven fabric has floats or threads on the back that aren’t interlaced with the design.

  • Since the printing paste is only applied to the right side of the fabric, the printed side will appear duller. On the incorrect side, prints are frequently hazy.

  • For the majority of printed fabrics, the selvage is duller on the incorrect side.


When you’re finished sewing, you should be able to see the right side of your fabric. When a fabric has a pattern, it might occasionally be easy to tell which side is right and which is wrong. Nevertheless, it isn’t always the case. Sewing would be exceedingly challenging if you didn’t understand the difference between the fabric’s right and wrong sides. Different coloured lines are woven into some fabrics, such as gingham and plaids. Directions frequently refer to the right side and wrong side of cloth when laying out pattern pieces, marking fabric, and even when sewing. There is no distinction between the right and wrong sides of fabric when it is woven in this manner. It’s the same on both sides.

Updated on: 08-Feb-2023

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