The Difference of Cut Size vs. Finish Size for Tarps
What a frustrating feeling when you go to use your recently ordered tarp to cover your equipment, gym floor, or use for a tent…whatever the use, the tarp is just a few inches too short! But you measured, right? Of course you did. You are sure of it. So unless some mythical creature lurking inside the box trimmed that heavy duty tarp exactly even while in transit, re-hemmed the tarp and carefully refolded the tarp as a practical joke, something went awry. Well, what likely happened is you ordered a cut size tarp. What does that mean? Let us break it down for you.
When ordering a tarp, it is important to note if the dimensions specified are cut size or finish size. Not accounting for the variance in these can leave you with a tarp that is smaller than anticipated. So what exactly is the difference between cut size and finish size? This is a question that is often asked and definitely needs to be understood prior to ordering.
Cut Size refers to the size of a tarp before sewing of seams and hems. As an example, for a 6’ x 8’ Cut Size tarp, the material will start at 6’ x 8’. After sewing, it will finish approximately 5’6” x 7’6”. Generally, you will lose 6-9” per dimension depending on the size of the piece and the number of seams needed to fabricate the piece. 3” of fabric is needed to make a hem, plus additional material is needed to sew the panels together.
Conversely, Finish Size refers to the size of a tarpaulin after sewing (hem) has been completed. This means that if the Finish Size is specified when ordering, the extra fabric that is necessary to create hems and seams has already been accounted for and the actual end product will be 6’ x 8’. As such, a 6’ x 8’ Finish Size tarp will finish at 6’ x 8’ after sewing is completed. In other words, the material will start larger, approximately 6’6” x 8’8” and then after the hems and seams are made, the piece will be 6’ x 8’ when completed.
Tip: Tarps are typically listed as Cut Size,
so keep this in mind when ordering your tarps or covers.
While we can’t do anything about that mythical creature with a vendetta, we can rest assured that when you are ready to purchase your heavy duty tarps, you will know the exact dimensions you should be considering when ordering either a cut size or finish size tarp. Remember, if you need a tarp to finish at a specific size it is important to take into account what size the tarp will be when completed. When ordering a tarp, it is best to either order a Finish Size tarp, which will take longer to fabricate because it is a custom size, or add 6-9” for Cut Size which will likely mean ordering the next larger size to accommodate the loss of material in the sewing process.