Apparel Construction from A to Z: Bias

I am not referring to prejudice, favoritism, or predisposition. The bias I am talking about in this post is an orientation of fabric. You probably have had experience with fashion's use of bias. Although, you might not have noticed.

In fashion, bias is the diagonal of the fabric. If you have a square of fabric and turn it at a 45-degree angle, you will be looking at the bias direction or diagonal of the fabric.

Some garments are made from woven fabric that is cut along the bias. Why would someone cut a piece of fabric along its diagonal instead of the right angle? There are many reasons for this:
  • Fabric has more stretch, more give along the bias.
  • Fabric tends to be more pliable or moldable when it is cut along the bias.
  • Fabric has more drape, or fluidity, when cut along the bias.
  • Fabric cut along the bias often requires less added construction to fit the human form. This means you won't always need to add darts or yokes to make the garment more fitted.

One of the best attributes of bias cut fabric is the drape. I love seeing the fluid folds when a bias cut garment hangs. Those folds are so divine and beautiful to me.

While there are more details I can give you about bias, this post is just about giving you the basics. Hopefully, it will spark your interest to study fabric in greater detail.

Main Image Credit: By The original uploader was VAwebteam at English Wikipedia [GFDL ( or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons

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