top of page

Mastering Fabric Identification: Differentiating Between the Right and Wrong Side

Updated: Dec 7, 2023

Clarification on How to Tell the Difference Between the Right Side and the Wrong Side of Fabric:

1. Visual Inspection: When visually analysing a cloth, check for slight changes between the two sides in terms of colour, sheen, or texture. The wrong side may look slightly faded or less defined, in contrast to the right side, which typically has a more colourful appearance. Certain fabrics exhibit a more pronounced visual distinction between their wrong and right sides, making it simpler to determine which is which.

2. The Fabric's Texture and Feel: Running your fingertips across the fabric might offer you with useful indications about its texture and feel. Because it is intended to be the side that is exposed to the world, the right side of the cloth is typically more refined and pleasant to the touch than the wrong side. Because of the manner in which the threads interlock with one another during the weaving process, the reverse side of the fabric may have a more granular texture.

3. Pay Attention to the Selvage Edge: The selvage edge is the edge of the fabric that runs parallel to the length of the cloth along both sides of the fabric. The selvage is densely woven to keep the fabric from fraying, and it frequently contains information about the fabric, such as the name of the company, the type of cloth, or washing instructions. In most cases, the correct side of the fabric should be facing away from the selvage, whereas the wrong side should be facing towards it.

4. Printed Design or Pattern: If the fabric has a printed design or pattern on it, the right side of the cloth will display the design in a more distinct and vibrant manner. The design will be easier to distinguish, and the colours will have a more brilliant appearance. On the reverse side of the paper, the print may be slightly faded or even backwards.

5. Surface Treatment of the Fabric: Some types of fabrics have been given specialised treatments or coatings, such as a water-repellent or glossy finish. Because these finishes are meant to be seen and utilised when the fabric is in use, the side of the cloth that has been coated is probably the correct side to use.

6. Perform a test stitch on an offcut of fabric. If you are still unsure, performing a test stitch on an offcut of fabric can assist. Perform a few stitches on each side, then examine the differences that emerge. The stitches on the right side of an item will normally be more neat and polished, whereas the stitches on the wrong side may have loose threads and be less organised.

7. Directionality: Some fabrics, such as velvet, corduroy, or brushed materials, have a directional nap or pile. This indicates that the fibres in the fabric lie in a particular direction. The wrong side of the fabric may have an uneven or brushed appearance, whereas the right side will have a nap that is more equal and smoother.

Before beginning a project that requires sewing or crafting, it is essential to identify the "right" and "wrong" sides of the cloth, as this impacts both the appearance and the texture of the completed item. Accidentally using the incorrect side can lead to a result that is either less professional or less aesthetically beautiful. Both of these outcomes are undesirable.

If you are unsure how to identify the sides of the fabric, you should reference the information provided by the fabric manufacturer or seek the help of experienced sewers or fabric specialists. You will become more skilled at recognizing the distinctions between the right and wrong sides of various fabrics with practice. This will allow you to complete your projects successfully and ensure that they turn out nicely every time.

Know more about Fashion Designing and Starting Your Boutique with Zero Investment in my 90 minute webinar. Click on the button below to register:

439 views2 comments


Dec 07, 2023

Wow that's awesome..I was searching this information for long time.


Dec 07, 2023

Thank you for this informative article Sujata maam. Surely it will be helpful for all designers.

bottom of page