I recently had a customer bring me some fabric for some flannel blankets. She mentioned off hand that some of the fabric had not been cut very straight by the fabric store sales clerk. This is not terribly unusual - I see it all the time with my custom hemstitching customers. I've seen it with fabric that I have purchased. I don't blame the sales clerks entirely. The sales clerks have to handle (wrestle) the fabric on the bolts, try to straighten it out, and then use dull scissors to cut it. The entire set-up wastes time and gives a poor outcome nearly every time. Is it any wonder that the industry prefers fabric on rolls? This is one reason I always buy a bit more yardage.
This particular case was fairly egregious. My customer wanted to have 3 flannel blankets that measured about 36" x 45", so she bought 6 pieces of flannel in one yard lengths. Every piece was cut like the picture below, some were cut as much as 4 inches off.
Perhaps its not a huge loss. But it's still money in the trash.
I'm not sure if there is a way to avoid this problem. Just buy extra if you need to be sure and have a certain length. Do you have any similar examples?