How To Cut Fabric For Samples

In this guide we will be showing you how to cut a length of fabric evenly and neatly to make it suitable for usage as samples.


For this guide you will need the following:

  • A fabric cutting machine
  • A length of fabric
  • A pair of scissors


Step 1

Lining up fabric on a cutting machine.

The first thing you need to do is to cut your fabric to a manageable length (using scissors), for this guide we’d recommend 20cm-40cm. This is short enough to fit on a cutting machine without going over the edges, making it easier for someone just starting out.

Step 2

You now need to lay your fabric on the cutting machine (with front-side up) and line it up with the guides on the machine so that you get straight lines.

Step 3

Operating the cutting machine.

You need to cut off the outer edge of the fabric (around 0.5cm, enough to ensure you get a straight cut). To do this, keep the fabric lined up on the cutting machine and push the fabric to the right until it’s at 0.5cm on the guide or until you’re confident you’ve got rid of all the rough edges.

Once the fabric is lined up to cut the outer edge off. pull the lever on the cutting machine in one motion, ensuring a consistent cut. Once the lever has reached the end, you may want to pull the lever back and forth lightly, to ensure the fabric is cut all the way through.

Step 4

Now you need to cut the left-hand side of the sample, to do this, simply move the fabric the desired distance to the right (we recommend 15cm) and perform another cut.

Step 5

Now that your fabric has been cut vertically, you need to cut it horizontally. To accomplish this you need to rotate the fabric, do this by rotating your cutting board 90 degrees. Once your board is rotated, follow steps 3 and 4 again, to get your cuts for this angle.

Step 6

An extra large fabric sample.

After completing all the previous steps you’ll have just one sample, to create more, just repeat steps 4 and 5 until you run out of fabric. Remember that you don’t need to cut the outer edge of a new sample as you’ll already have the clean cut left over.

Please follow and like us:


  1. Michele says:

    Maybe it’s just me, but I doubt most folks “just starting out” would have the guillotine style fabric cutter you use in this tutorial. I haven’t priced one but it does seem like something that would run at least several hundred dollars.

    Seems like a better solution for someone just starting their business would be to recommend a rotary cutter with a wavy blade and a cutting mat. Then explain as their business grows they might want to invest in the cutter you are showing.

  2. fabrics says:

    Nice guide, however, what if i wanted to cut many samples of the same fabric, this sounds a bit time consuming, having to cut each sample, is there a way round. Any idea where in the UK i can purchase one on these machines and what is the approx cost..? what is the proper trade name for this machine..?


    • This guide is intended for those getting started out. Once you’ve done this a few times and you’re feeling more confident, you can save time by folding the fabric and cutting several layers at once, this is slightly more difficult but gives much quicker results.

  3. Been looking for a decent guide and haven’t been able to find one. This detailed guide has helped me a lot – thanks!

  4. This guide is so useful for my fabric cutting!

  5. This is a very helpful guide i will be sure to use this when purchasing

Leave a Reply