By the Yard

Designers use math to make prototypes. The first thing they do is to determine how much fabric they'll need to buy. Fabric is often sold by the yard. This means that, often, you must buy a piece of fabric that is some whole number of yards long. If you buy 1 yard of fabric, for example, you are buying a piece that is 1 yard long. Since there are 3 feet in 1 yard, you can also say that 1 yard of fabric is 3 feet long.

Most pieces of fabric are 4 feet wide. So a piece of fabric 3 feet (1 yard) long has 12 square feet of fabric in it. You can figure this out by multiplying the length by the width, to find a square measurement, like this:

3 feet x 4 feet = 12 square feet

Suppose a designer is making a prototype of a coat. He estimates that he'll need about 30 square feet of fabric in order to make the prototype. How many yards of fabric should he buy?

The designer knows that 1 yard of fabric has 12 square feet. Two yards will have 24 square feet. That will not be enough. Three yards will have 36 square feet (12 + 12 + 12 = 36, or 12 x 3 = 36). So the designer buys 3 yards. He will have 6 square feet left over.

Dress Making

Dress Making

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