A while back on Instagram, I saw someone post a picture of several different types of rulers/measuring tapes lined up to see if they were all the same. And I remember that, quite shockingly, there were some pretty big differences in some of them. I've been meaning to do the same thing and finally tried it this weekend. Here's a sampling:
Note: The wooden one is a yardstick that is a three-dimensional cube, so this pictures makes it look like the rulers/measuring tapes are not lined up at the beginning (and also makes the overall alignment look worse than it actually is). They really are lined up at the beginning.
They are all pretty close, but as the numbers get bigger, the tiny differences start to add up. In this closeup on the 12-inch mark, you can see where the alignment shift really starts to get noticeable. (I triple checked that they were aligned at the beginning.)
When making a project where gauge matters a great deal, if you have a measuring tape that isn't accurate, your gauge is not going to be accurate. In a larger project, such as a garment, those small inaccuracies can add up to a fit issue.
I know most of us use those plastic measuring tapes--they are inexpensive, easy to throw into a bag, and easy to use--but those eventually stretch out over time and seem to be some of the worst offenders for accuracy (though in my case, that wooden yardstick is not looking so great). So I recommend finding a ruler that is very accurate and won't stretch out or otherwise become warped, and every so often checking your crafting measuring tapes for accuracy. If any have become stretched out and inaccurate, do yourself a favor and throw them away. Don't risk making a gorgeous sweater that doesn't fit because your measuring tape didn't give you the right measurements.
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