draping Woven cloth does not stretch on the lengthwise (parallel to the selvage) or the cross weave (from selvage to selvage at right angles). It does, however, stretch on the diagonal, or bias. Many of the silky, clingy clothes of the 30's - a la Jean Harlow - were cut on the bias because it clung to the figure. Years ago when I was doing costumes for a ballet for our community playhouse and needed calf-length full skirts - the difference became very clear. If the skirts were simply gathered along or a right angles to the selvage, the skirts were rigid and looked as though the dancers were trapped in them. But when we made full skirts from gores cut on the bias the skirts moved and flowed with the dancers. Do an experiment. Cut a 6 or 7 inch square from woven light or medium weight cotton or silk. Hold it against the doll with a corner at each shoulder and the head at the middle of the side so that the threads go straight up and down. Pull on the bottom of the square. Nothing. Then put a corner of the square on the face of the doll so it hangs on the diagonal. Pull the lower corner. See how it stretches and curves around the body. Lightweight weaves hang in bias folds much easier than heavier stiffer fabrics, although any woven fabric has a bias and will also have some stretch. I make even my small doll bodies for my original dolls from medium weight canvas and rely on the bias to help shape them. Hope this helps, Jane Covington On woven fabric the straight of grain is parallel to the selvage. Cross grain is at right angles to the selvage. Cross grain traditionally has slightly more stretch than straight of grain. Judi Ward recommends that if you are making cloth dolls you place the length of the doll on the cross grain, which will slightly elongate the doll. If you want a fatter doll place on the straight of grain. Bottom line rule - Cut out all pieces in the same direction. For example, if you cut one leg on the straight and one leg on the cross grain one leg will be fatter and one leg longer than the other. The most stretch is on the bias, and if you place a face on the bias it is easier to sculpt or mold. Hope this helps.