How long is a yard of fabric and what can you do with it?

When working with textile projects, the first thing we need is the design. After we have an idea of what we want to make, we need to buy the materials: the threads, the needles, the scissors, and most importantly, the fabric.

However, sometimes the process is reversed. We might have some leftover fabrics from previous projects and we don’t know what to do it.

Let’s measure the piece and start thinking. But for that, first, you need to know how long is a yard of fabric. Let’s go!

How long is a yard of fabric

How are fabrics sold?

When going to a textile shop, you’ll find out that there are several different ways to buy fabrics.

You can buy leftover straps, which can come in many different sizes, by fat quarters, which are proportionate squared pieces (you can look for our article about What the fat quarter size is in textiles’), or you can buy them by the yard, the most common option.

How long is a yard?

When we first don’t know exactly how much is a yard, it’s easier to try and compare with other units of measurement that are more familiar to use.

For example:

  • how many feet in a yard? There are 3 feet in a yard
  • how many inches in a yard? There are 36 inches in a yard.

Besides, in the whole world, US is the only country using yards, feet and inches for measurement, so if you are outside this country, you may want to know that 1 yard is equivalent to almost 1 meter. That is, 0,9144 centimeters. A very precise unit!

How long is a yard

How big is a yard of fabric?

There’s an important thing that you need to keep in mind, and it’s the fact that, depending on the fabrics you want, the total amount of material may vary.

This happens because fabrics come in bolts that can be longer or shorter. When you ask for a yard, you are only measuring the length, not the width.

That’s why, depending on each bolt’s length, you might get a total surface of 2 yd2, or you might as well get 1.5 yd2.

If you already have a design for your project, calculate exactly how much fabric you need and, when buying the material, ask the shop attendant to tell you how long the bolt is.

Keeping all these in mind, let’s have a look at some of the projects you can create with just 1 yard of fabric.

What can you make with 1 yard of fabric?

  • Make your own underwear

    One of the first options you can work on is underwear. It requires a little amount of fabric, and in one yard you can fit several pieces, not only one.

    Besides, as the pieces are small, you can make cardboard molds and arrange them all over the surface to try and make the most pieces out of that strip.

    Of course, this also applies to swimwear and bikinis, although they may be a little more difficult to make.

    For this purpose, you can use cotton fabric, or if you are feeling sassy, you can try lace.

  • Kids’ clothes

    Moving on with small things, you can work on children’s clothes! In one yard, you can fit the front and the back of a small t-shirt.

    If they are small enough, you could even fit not only one but two shirts, or a pair of shorts.

    Again, the best option is 100% cotton. This type of fabric is perfect for kids as it’s unlikely to produce allergies or any kind of skin reaction.

  • Home décor: cushions

    In case you are not looking for clothing items, you can also work on some home décor. Fold the fabric in half to make a double square and sew the borders together to make a nice cushion or pillow for your sofa.

    Besides, you can add some other fabric strips or work on some embroidery to give it your own touch. For this project, you can try and use fabrics with a high percentage of polyester in their composition.

    This makes them resistant and easy to clean, in case you have kids who like eating on the sofa or playing pillow fights!

  • Pot holders

    Cut the fabric into several small squares and make pot holders! These are really easy to make.

    Just keep in mind that you’ll need some fluffy filling in between the two layers of fabric in order to make them heat-proof and avoid burning your hands when grabbing a hot pot or a pan straight out of the oven.

    The perfect fabric for this project is denim! It’s tough and very resistant. It won’t get burnt and will prevent the heat from passing through.

  • Party decorations

    With just 1 yard of fabric, you can make pennant banners and other figurines to hang around your house for a special event.

    Depending on the design, you can use them for baby showers, birthdays or Halloween parties.

    The best part is that you can reuse them, give them away or even sell them after using them!

    If you make these decorations with paper, they probably won’t last more than one use, but the fabric makes them perfect to keep as a souvenir.

    If you want to make decorations that contain several colors and not just one, instead of getting 1 yard of fabric, you can buy scraps.

    This way you can acquire a wider variety of designs and shades, and usually for a lower price!

We hope this short guide has given you a clear answer to “how long is a yard of fabric?” and that you can use some of the ideas listed above.