How to Cut Any Material in One Long Strip

bolts of fabric image by Scott Williams from

Cutting fabric is a basic skill that every sewer must master. Quilters especially cut a lot of fabric, and often prefer to cut more than one piece of fabric at a time. Folding fabric makes it easier to cut pieces into one long strip, with less actual cutting involved. Before cutting the fabric, iron and starch it to remove wrinkles and creases. Adding starch ensures that the fabric is crisp and does not snag or wrinkle up while you cut it, ensuring straighter pieces.

Cut fabric into long strips by folding it before cutting.
bolts of fabric image by Scott Williams from

Things You'll Need

  • Self-Healing Mat
  • Fabric
  • Acrylic Ruler
  • Rotary Cutter

Lay the fabric on a large flat surface, and fold it in half lengthwise, so that you have one large rectangle of fabric. Fold it one more time, lengthwise, to create a narrower rectangle.

Place the fabric on the self-healing mat, so that the long side is facing toward your body, horizontally. Self-healing mats allow you to work on the kitchen table without damaging the surface of the table.

Line up the left side of the fabric with the measuring lines on the self-healing mat.

Place the acrylic ruler at the desired width of your fabric strips, and firmly press the rotary cutter along the straight edge, away from your body. This should cut through all the layers of folded fabric, resulting in one long strip when unfolded.

Make your next cut by moving the ruler and running the rotary cutter over the fabric again. Repeat until you have cut all the fabric strips you need.


  • If you prefer scissors — instead of a rotary cutter — use scissors dedicated to only cutting fabrics. Scissors that are used to cut other things, such as paper, may have slight knicks in them and may catch on the fabric while you cut.

    You may be able to fold thinner fabrics more than twice and thicker fabrics less frequently, depending upon the thickness of the fabric and the sharpness of your cutting tool.