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Thread: Kona Fabrics and Robert Kaufman Fabrics

  1. #1

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    Has anyone else noticed the poor quality of these two fabrics now that they're made in Thailand? I went to JoAnn's to buy some Kona solids and when I looked at the fabric it had the texture of some cheap WalMart sheets. It's the same at Hancock's. I didn't buy any. When I got home I looked at the labels on the bolts I have and the point of origin is Pakistan. The difference in the quality from the two countries is unbelievable. The next day I visited the LQS and looked at a bolt of Robert Kaufman and it is also now made in Thailand with the same diminished quality. When I asked the owner about it she just shrugged her shoulders and didn't answer. Am I just getting old and cantankarous about these things or has anyone else noticed. I e-mailed Kona, but never got an answer. I use the Kona on projects for the church so I don't want to use the poorer quality fabric. I guess I'll have to find a reasonably good substitute that has better quality. Since I'm footing the bill sure hope it's at JoAnn's or Hancock's because of the coupon savings.

  2. #2
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    See the Keepsake Quality fabric discussion. It's not about these brands, but you might find it interesting.
    Kona was always very soft and nice. I haven't shopped for these brands in a while, as I'm trying to use from my stash for as long as I can. However, I believe it and what bothers me is the shrug you got by your QS owner. The local one (only one) here doesn't seem care either.

  3. #3
    Senior Member krabadan's Avatar
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    I just finished a quilt using Robert Kaufman Fusions which I purchased online from Hancock of Paducah. It was the nicest fabrice I've ever used -- much nicer than Moda.

  4. #4
    Senior Member OdessaQuilts's Avatar
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    It wouldn't be so distressing if these lines weren't so gosh-darned expensive! Am I right? When I'm paying $12.00+ per yard for Kaufmann and the quality slips, but the price doesn't, then I just have to stop buying it. But I make sure that the shop owners know why I'm not spending my $$ with them for that reason.

    I also let my computer help me by sending letters and e-mails to the companies involved. I may only be one voice, but I feel I am representative of so many others who just don't take the time to express their opinions. I feel it is my responsibility to pass along why I am finding it more difficult to purchase something. And on the flip side, when I find something that I feel justifies spending my money on, I make sure to let that company/store/website know why I am buying from them, too.

    Businesses want repeat business. It keeps their doors open and the lights on. If Kaufmann suddenly realizes that cheaper quality is not going to translate into the profit margin they are accustomed to receiving, they may change back, but who knows?

    I say, get the best quality you can afford to buy and use it as much as possible. Keep the good suppliers in business for all of us. The chaff shall fall by the wayside eventually ( or so they say).

    JMHO

  5. #5
    Senior Member genghis khan's Avatar
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    Im so glad i came across this i too like kona but will stay away from it if this is going on. To jump off subject for a moment here ive been doing research into new sewing machines and thats not a good world right now either. Before i buy anything im gonna darn well make sure i can get proper service etc. for it other wise its no sale and ill be happy to stick with my old singer. Im glad we have these disscussions here and i feel weather its machines and or fabric you cant be too careful it seems these days, time to demand better of these people who via for our money in this.

  6. #6
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    The last Kona I bought was still just fine.

  7. #7
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    If you are getting your Kona solids from JoAnn's or Hancocks Fabrics, it is NOT the same as Kona solids from the better stores. It is a different base fabric to test out the dyes lots and sold in the chain stores. Search the other threads on the board that discuss this issue. And Kona solids, the top of the heap ones from the good stores, are 3.60 per yard in quantities of 1 yard or more at Hancocks of Paducah (not to be confused with Hancocks Fabrics), hardly what I would call expensive!! There is absolutely no change in the quality of Kaufman fabrics that I have noticed and I buy a lot of it...solids and batiks especially. Please don't start spreading fearful rumors about quality fabrics and their makers. It just plain isn't true.

  8. #8
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    I checked the bolts on my shelf and they are either marked Thailand or Indonesia. None say Pakistan.

    I may be wrong, but I think I heard, or read, that almost all of the greige goods - raw cotton fabric - is from Pakistan. Perhaps it is the dyeing and finishing portion of the job that has been moved to Thailand or Indonesia?

    As to quality solids, I rather like RJR's Cotton Supreme. To my hands, it feels softer than Kona Cotton (though it isn't as well known as a brand).

  9. #9
    Power Poster nativetexan's Avatar
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    I have noticed Kona not being good any longer. hanco ck fabrics too. shame.

  10. #10
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    [quote=OdessaQuilts]It wouldn't be so distressing if these lines weren't so gosh-darned expensive! Am I right? When I'm paying $12.00+ per yard for Kaufmann and the quality slips, but the price doesn't, then I just have to stop buying it. But I make sure that the shop owners know why I'm not spending my $$ with them for that reason.

    I also let my computer help me by sending letters and e-mails to the companies involved. I may only be one voice, but I feel I am representative of so many others who just don't take the time to express their opinions. I feel it is my responsibility to pass along why I am finding it more difficult to purchase something. And on the flip side, when I find something that I feel justifies spending my money on, I make sure to let that company/store/website know why I am buying from them, too.

    Businesses want repeat business. It keeps their doors open and the lights on. If Kaufmann suddenly realizes that cheaper quality is not going to translate into the profit margin they are accustomed to receiving, they may change back, but who knows?

    I say, get the best quality you can afford to buy and use it as much as possible. Keep the good suppliers in business for all of us. The chaff shall fall by the wayside eventually ( or so they say).

    Odessa Quilts,
    Well said!

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