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  • Writer's pictureKaren

How Much are You Really Paying for Your Fabric?

Updated: Jul 25, 2020

I started a journey back in February about precuts. I was curious about precut sizes quilters often bought and why they would pick a certain precut over another. I was hoping to design new stashbuster patterns based on whichever precuts were popular.

But I quickly realized that not all precuts are alike. If a pattern worked with a layer cake, that didn’t mean it would work with fat quarters and vice versa. Even a layout that worked for a charm pack didn’t necessarily work with a layer cake of the same fabric line.

More shocking was when I compared the costs of each precut. I had no idea that I was paying such a premium for all my lovely fabric!

I made a video this week about all the tips and tricks. And I know many people will be interested in the math I used so I’m breaking it down in this blog.

In Table 1, you'll see that I've calculated the length, width, and total square inches in each cut of fabric.

In Table 2, we can see what the overall retail cost and cost per square inch would be for each cut of fabric based on the quantity of pieces and the total square inch for each bundle.

The formulae for calculating the premium is as follows:

By using this formula for Table 3, we can see the differences between the premium over yardage and the price per yard:

The manufacturers set the price. They have an MSRP (Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price) that helps retailers have consistent prices across the country. And they have additional costs with precuts: cutting, folding, packaging, and wastage. With layer cakes, charm, and mini charm packs, the selvages are also removed plus a strip on one side. I’m not in the industry so I’m not sure if the premium represents all the costs, or a fraction for a nicely padded profit.

But when we look at the premium of SOLID precuts in Table 4, there is no explanation for the even higher premium for the precut bundles.

I realized while editing this video we all might need a tool/app that would help us purchase the fabric we need in the cut that’s best for us.

If you could take a moment to fill in a brief survey by clicking the button below, I would really appreciate it.

Now back to quilting. LengthWidthTota

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