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Thread: 44/45" fabric is now 40/42"??? Ugh!!

  1. #1
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    44/45" fabric is now 40/42"??? Ugh!!

    Just a complaint from a grouchy, almost over the flu, soon to be 65 years old quilter. I planned my 10 kids' flannel donation quilts to be about 39" wide (washed fabric) to be frugal with the backings. Well, first I did the no no and bought some from JoAnns online (only one pilled-and only one was thin). Lucked out there, after all the hoopla about JoAnn's flannel, I bought the backings from Connecting threads and fabric.com. Before I washed the backings, I wanted to see how well they went with the tops. Well, 3 of them are 40/41" before washing!!!!, the widths are all different on the rest. What a rip off, is the new standard 41/42"? Or barely that width? I haven't been buying much new fabric, as I want to reduce my stash - is anyone else seeing the width reduction? Is it all new lines of fabric? And the better quality brands too?
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

  2. #2
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Seems to be with a lot of fabric. I measure it when I get it home and alot of it is!!

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    I have been seeing that written here on the QB lately. I think we will all have to bring a tape measure to our LQS when buying new lines and check the widths when buying on line. Another pet peeve of mine is...2 inch selvages! I searched for a certain fabric for a hamburger bun applique and when I found it, it had a 2 inch wide white strip along the selvage with the fabric line and maker's name on it. I still bought a quarter yard but I was peeved. I would have left it on the shelf but it was the perfect colour and I didn't want to go back to searching.

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    Super Member Sweeterthanwine's Avatar
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    I've noticed this to and I think it is a rip-off. The stores selling fabric, even the online stores, should bring this to our attention so we know exactly what we are getting instead of getting it home and then discover the difference. Notice they didn't lower their prices any!!

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    Power Poster dunster's Avatar
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    I generally expect to have 38-40" usable fabric after washing. I hope your new purchase doesn't shrink too much. If it does, perhaps you could just sew a narrow strip of a contrasting fabric, maybe something left over from the front, into the backing, making it that much bigger. I know it's a pain to have to piece your back when you had planned the quilt to avoid that. Gotta tell you, life's tough after 65! Have a happy birthday.

  6. #6
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    I never plan on more than 40" of useable fabric width...less for big shrinkers like flannel and muslin. Forty-five inch wide fabric went the way of the half gallon of ice cream quite some time ago.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

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    I guess it is like a lot of the things we buy....1 lb cans have slowely gone down to 14.5 ounces or even 12.0 ounces. Bacon is often regularly sold in 12 oz p, pasta's are being sold in smaller increments - for more money. Can't wait until some packaging genius tries to make the gallon of gas smaller than a gallon.................
    Of all the things I've lost I miss my mind the most!

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    Junior Member Liz92B's Avatar
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    it's called how to raise prices without anybody "noticing" ... make the product smaller, keep the price the same!
    I've been quilting for only two(?) years now, and I've never had fabric that was 44/45" wide...
    Liz / Calgary

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    Super Member babyboomerquilter's Avatar
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    I was used to getting 44 - 45 inch fabric. Nowadays, it is mostly all smaller, so I take my tape measure with me. Online, I will not buy it unless it states the size.
    Bonnie

  10. #10
    Senior Member ShabbyTabby's Avatar
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    The "downsizing" seems to affect everything these days. I bought 4 cans of tuna the other day and they are now 4 oz when they all used to be 6 oz and no price reduction either! No more coffee 1#'s either....just another way to fuel corporate greed.
    Families are like old quilts....although they tend to unravel at times...each can be stitched back together with love.

  11. #11
    Senior Member Marycumi's Avatar
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    My age is showing!! I remember when I started sewing as a young girl (9 or 10) the standard width of fabric was 36 inches not 44 or 45! So as cotton gets more expensive the less width will be there. So make sure you know the width you need before buying. But I also never expect to use more than 40 inch width, just to be safe.

  12. #12
    Junior Member Briarberry's Avatar
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    It's the same with construction paper that I use at school. I have been teaching forever and in the last few years, patterns I use suddenly didn't fit on the paper when I went to trace them. I have had to modify many patterns and it's a pain. It's the way of the world I guess.

  13. #13
    Power Poster MadQuilter's Avatar
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    It's the same concept in groceries. Did you notice that the jar of [fill in the blank] is smaller than it used to be but you pay the same price? So now the fabric gets woven to a narrower width but we still pay the same per yard price (if not more). I used to count on 42" usable fabric - suppose I have to cut that down and consider the wide ones a bonus.
    Martina
    Life, Liberty, and the Pursuit of Fabric!

  14. #14
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    come on now. I have never considered fabric to be 44-45' wide. I have had entire lines of fabric from a company and the widths differed It depends on where it is printed and the greig goods it was printed on. With the fluctuating state of cotton and fabic now being printed in several different couuntries there is going to be differenes. We just have to be dilligent in knowing what we are buying. It is my opinion that fabric manufacturers (I am talking about the Moda's, Benartex, etc etc) print on wherever they can get the fabric. I know people at these companies and I am sure they are not trying to cheat us quilters but to try and keep the supply going. Has anyone complained to the supermarkets and tuna packers about the reduction in ounces......lets be an equal opportunity society......

    Several years ago I complained to a rep from one of the fabric companies whom I knew and was told "we only guarantee it to be at least 40" wide).
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 03-25-2012 at 01:52 PM. Reason: removed political statement

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    My biggest peeve with the "new" size is trying to have enough fabric to make the patterns I already have that are based on 45" fabric--it just takes more! Now you have to figure out how much extra to buy.

  16. #16
    Power Poster ckcowl's Avatar
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    fabric widths vary from manufacturer to manufacturer===on fabric.com if you click on a fabric you are interested in the description tells you the width---i don't know if Connecting threads does the same-
    but you can find fabric in widths from 36" up to 54" and everything in between- if you are purchasing for a specific it is a good idea to check the width so you can adjust your purchase as needed-
    it has nothing to do with the supplier (fab.com/ connecting threads) they purchase it and try to give you accurate descriptions.
    fabrics have varied this much for many many years----and is most apparent (to quilters) when they shop at larger stores that carry fabrics for apparel and home decor along with quilting fabrics.
    the lqs' generally have fabrics considered specific for quilting and they (generallY) range 42"-44"
    but stores that carry fabrics for many uses-not specific - shop for the best deals to offer their customers- and purchase from more/different suppliers than the lqs may use.
    best to always check the end of the bolt- and the descriptions to see what you are getting.
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  17. #17
    Super Member nhweaver's Avatar
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    I am going to check the bolt ends, I wonder if they still say 44/45? I won't get to my lqs until early April, or to Joann's until then too. A friend of mine just complained that the toilet paper rolls are not as wide now!!! She is right, I just never noticed. The marketer's must think that the consumer isn't bright enough to know, or just figure that we have so much expendable income that we just don't care.
    Last edited by QuiltnNan; 03-25-2012 at 01:53 PM. Reason: remove political statement
    If life gives you lemons, make a margarita.

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