Things You'll Need
If you have ever gone to the fabric store with a measurement in mind for some fabric you need for a project, you know how confusing it can be if the fabric is sold in a different width than you expected. You are not sure if you should get more or less, or how it will affect the outcome of your project. If you had a little fabric conversion chart in your pocket, you could quickly look it up and know exactly how much to get.
Make a fabric conversion chart by forming a box with 8 columns in it. Each of these columns will have a possible fabric width measurement in its heading. Start by placing the smallest width in the second column, that of 36 inches. Keep the first column for row titles. Fill in the other columns with the numbers 40, 45, 50, 55, 60 and 65 in the top header.
Draw a line under the first row of number. Now in the second row, write the length of the fabric in inches, increasing by 9 inches or 1/4 yard on each row. This will give you a more accurate reading when you want to purchase an exact amount of fabric.
Plan on 60 inches being the normal width of fabric. To figure the square inches, just multiply the width times the length. In this case, the width is 60 inches and the length is 36 inches or 1 yard. The total square inches for this standard piece of cloth is 2,160 square inches. If the cloth is smaller than this, then subtract. If it is larger, then you need to add more fabric.
Use the equation, 2160 - (length x width) / width to get the amount more or less to fill in the columns. You can use a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet to fill in the whole chart. Or there is a copy of a chart that you can print, which is the image for this article. Print this chart or the one you have created for your preferences, and keep it handy.
Maryland resident Heide Braley is a professional writer who contributes to a variety of websites. She has focused more than 10 years of research on botanical and garden articles and was awarded a membership to the Society of Professional Journalists. Braley has studied at Pennsylvania State University and Villanova University.