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Thread: Difference between quilting fabric store material and hancocks

  1. #1
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    Difference between quilting fabric store material and hancocks

    Can you quilt store owners tell me the difference between the fabric in quilt stores
    and the fabric in other stores like Hancocks or Joanns? Have seen some of the same fabric
    in both stores and was wondering if there is a difference. Thank you for taking the time to answer my question.

  2. #2
    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    lol, they could tell you, but then they may have to kill you ;-)
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

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    I am not a quilt store owner but I will pass along what I have been told. The difference is if you buy fabric from a quilt store, they receive the first run of the fabric. As fabric is woven the weave becomes looser at the ends. So, when a quilt shop orders their fabric, generally they receive their portion from the best part of the run; that being the best and tightest weave. When they get to the portion where the weave is not as tight (good) then those portions are bought by Joann's, etc. I can only tell you that you have to feel the fabric and see it to know if it is first quality. I buy from all over- quilt shops, Joann's, and even on line. If I am doing something special, I head to my quilt shops. If I am doing a charity quilt, I buy the best for the money I have available. Hope some of this helps.

  4. #4
    QM
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    I'm not a quilt store owner. Sometimes the "same" fabric isn't. I bought an all over dog print for a friend who raised and showed dogs. $10 a yd. The next year I bought the same print at Walmart. $5 a yard. The print was the same, the underlying fabric was much cheaper. My friend had a business making dog products. for her, the cheaper one was more appropriate. At your LQS, you are also paying for a much greater level of expertise and service. Also, IMHO, the JoAnn's calicos are generally much flimsier than similar looking LQS products. Of course, JoAnn's is a store that buys much more than your LQS, therefore buys and can sell more cheaply. They also have a wider selection. Unfortunately, from my perspective, they also have a large quantity of petroleum based, artificially scented products which trigger my asthma. For me, it's generally LQS or on-line shopping.

  5. #5
    Senior Member Kwiltr's Avatar
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    I believe the thread counts are higher in the fabric purchased through quilt shops and therefore higher quality. They certainly feel and look different.

  6. #6
    Super Member Buckeye Rose's Avatar
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    The salespeople at LQS will give you one version of the differences, fabric reps will give different facts, and JoAnn's/WalMart will give a third version.....LQS wants you to believe that their fabric is the best and the only place you can get good fabric.....I know from shopping at all of them, that you can get good and bad fabric everywhere....you have to feel/look the fabrics to know....I cannot afford the pricing at LQS, so only shop there if I can't find what I need at a cheaper price somewhere else.....I am very satisfied with the fabrics/pricing from Connecting Threads....I get free shipping on $50 orders and who can't spend $50 when making a quilt?

  7. #7
    Super Member MartiMorga's Avatar
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    Great Information. It is difficult to put so much money into a quilt, but I do try to support my local LQS. I agree that you have to really examine the fabric and determine for yourself if it is good quality or not. I do know that as a retailer the more you buy the better the discount - a volume discount. JoAnns can afford to do that, your local LQS can't. But JoAnns can't offer you the quilting expertise.

  8. #8
    Super Member Emma S's Avatar
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    Really interesting info but for me its all in the feel. The softness, the thickness. My stash has been accumulated over many years, some good feeling, some not so much. I make a lot of scrap quilts and when I pick-up a fabric that isn't good quality its a real clunker. Don't care where I get the fabric but it has to pass the touch test.

  9. #9
    cjr
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    I buy fabric i like/need from all of the above sources. I also prewash everything, except batting.Ihave many times had more string tangleing from LQS fabrics then J or H. Almost all fade to some degree or other. Some need more pressing then others. I also use fabric softner in my dryer. Conclusion ?????? Personal choice at the time. I do buy the better grade at J & H. J cheapest grade is way to thin for me
    www.etsy.com/shop/quiltinglycaroline

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    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Sometimes if the weave is looser it will tighten up after washing it. I've had some cheaper fabric turn into a nice feeling fabric after I have laundered it. And some have remained thin enough to read a newspaper thru.
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
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    Quote Originally Posted by MartiMorga View Post
    Great Information. It is difficult to put so much money into a quilt, but I do try to support my local LQS. I agree that you have to really examine the fabric and determine for yourself if it is good quality or not. I do know that as a retailer the more you buy the better the discount - a volume discount. JoAnns can afford to do that, your local LQS can't. But JoAnns can't offer you the quilting expertise.
    ********************
    ....but, I have run into a few salesclerks at LQS that really push their fabric on you.....like your wrong if you don't buy from us!!!! That attitude usually sends me right out the door to shop elsewhere! I buy what I can afford and if I find a fabric with a good feel, I will buy it but please, don't push your $12.50 - 13.00 a yard fabric on me!! I've never had a clerk at the big box stores, try to push only their fabrics....they are just there to measure and cut and occasionally, help me find a color or two to match a fabric that I have bought at a different store.

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    Ladies,
    I so appreciate all your answers. Thank you for taking the time to respond.
    I usually buy almost all of my quilting material at a friendly local quilt store.
    I try to buy on sale. Love quilting. Wish it were a little cheaper hobby. My husband
    loves that I had quilting for a hobby. He has received 4 nice queen quilts from me in the process.
    Have made a lot more than that, but those were the ones we have used on our bed. Love this website!!!
    You ladies are a wealth of information. I spend way too much time reading posts, because I so enjoy
    quilting and love hearing other people's experiences in their quilt journey. Keep up the good work in your quilts, and your advice. Wishing all of you a beautiful day today!!!!

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    DebraK,
    Funny that you said that expression---they could tell you, but they would have to kill you.
    My husband loves to cook, and he does a wonderful steak. He has jokingly used that same expression about his cooking. But he actually glads shares his recipes.

  14. #14
    Senior Member jeank's Avatar
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    i have been purchasing a lot of the premium fabrics at Joann. It is nice and yes, the priced marked is about the same as LQS, but then you always have a 40 or 50% off coupon.
    Jean in MI

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    Super Member DebraK's Avatar
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    thank you for enjoying my humor ;-) I enjoyed your previous post. life is good.
    I have chosen to be happy because it is good for my health - Voltaire

  16. #16
    Super Member Quilty-Louise's Avatar
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    I seldom buy fabric from any of my LQS because I can't afford their prices.

    The only except to this is we have a LQS who buys fabric by the pound from
    their customers. If it is LQS quality they sell for $5 yard, the fabric will be in
    very limited quantities (FQ, 1/2 yd, 1 yd maybe more), also most of the time
    it may be an out of print fabric that is several years old.

    They also have Chain Store fabrics that they sell for 1.99 per yd. But again
    quantities are always limited.


    Hancocks is to far away so I seldom go there, the only WalMart that sells fabric
    is also to far away so again seldom go there. This leaves me with either Joann's
    or Hobby Lobby for fabric. Although there is 2 HL stores fairly close to me I don't
    go there unless I am in dire need of something that I need from there (person
    reasons why I don't shop there much anymore).


    Personally I buy what I can afford and turn my nose up to those who look
    down on me for not buying LQS. This IS however only my personal thoughts and
    feelings. It is by no means to imply that it is the "right or wrong" way to think.
    Louise - Ya-ya to Zachary April 13 2015. I collect mugs from the U.S. and around the world. Also collect handmade pincushions, sewing/quilting themed fabrics, and fabric in general.

  17. #17
    Super Member LynnVT's Avatar
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    There are always differences in opinions, and very great differences from one store to another. Big boxes differ greatly in their merchandise, from one to another, and all retailers vary in the individuals who wait on you. All the local shops in my area are owned and run by folks who are passionate about quilting and about giving good service. They hire knowledgeable people who are there to help the customers. But maybe other shops are different. Everybody has a bad day now and then, and if the last customer was nasty to a sales person, she might respond inappropriately to you. I feel so lucky to have good shops and nice people, for the most part, in my rural area. So if you are nearby, come to Vermont and join our shop hop next week - March 15-24. Some of them have good sales going, too. Right now I'm trying to figure out how to afford the backing for a quilt I just finished, and may have to resort to whoever has the best price.

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    I agree with quilt Louise, I buy what I can afford and for me that means buying on line from USA. I have a friend who says we must support our LQS but with their price of $28 per metre it is way beyond my means. I make quilts because I love to, I love to give them away to charity, and let's face it the person or persons who receive my quilts are not going to turn a offer of a quilt away, just because I didn't spend BIG
    Dollars at my local quilt shop

  19. #19
    Super Member Emma S's Avatar
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    Just a reminder there are sources on line that sell LQS quality at resonable prices. There have been many threads listing these outlets. I look at the manufacturers and trust that the quality is there. Recently two had premium fabric for less than $5 per yard. As others have stated its nice if you can afford LQS but if you can't bargains are great.

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    I agree with many of the comments here. Each fabric, no matter what the source, should be judged on its' quality by the feel, weight, thread count and design. With the differences in prices, it is economical for me to buy from a variety of sources and online seems to be my current 'go to'. I try to find out about the quality of a particular fabric that I want and then order online if I can. Even when shipping is taken into account the cost is usually better than buying local. I would like to support our local businesses and do when I can but every dollar saved allows me to buy more.

    There is a fabric chain here that used to be almost an equivalent to JA that has recently increased their prices to $18 - $24 a meter, which is way too costly for my budget. The LQSs are selling fabric from $12 - $18. Unless there are good sales, buying supplies are expensive - it is not a cheap hobby.

    Really, when you think about all the different fabric companies and fabric lines that are continuously being released and all the thousands of quilting/sewing products, from pins to machines that are available for sale, overall, it is a multi billion dollar business.

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    Quote Originally Posted by jodimarie View Post
    ********************
    ....but, I have run into a few salesclerks at LQS that really push their fabric on you.....like your wrong if you don't buy from us!!!! That attitude usually sends me right out the door to shop elsewhere! I buy what I can afford and if I find a fabric with a good feel, I will buy it but please, don't push your $12.50 - 13.00 a yard fabric on me!! I've never had a clerk at the big box stores, try to push only their fabrics....they are just there to measure and cut and occasionally, help me find a color or two to match a fabric that I have bought at a different store.
    Glad someone else has run in to that also! There is a LQS I only buy FQ's at now because I always feel "pushed" when I'm there.

  22. #22
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    So I'm not the only one who notices a 'scent' on fabric - my nose clogs up.

    However, I'm starting to notice it on everything that has any fabric in it, no matter where I buy it, has the same scent and causes the same reaction for my nose and eyes. My thought is that the stores are infusing scent into the air to make shopping more pleasant - not for me though. Actually went into a store where the smell was so overpowering I complained and then left the store. The clerk told me that they were "adjusting" the venting.

    All my fabrics are washed before use, or I can't use them!

  23. #23
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    do a search on "grey goods" not sure the spelling is correct - it's all about the foundation weave. And a simple answer NO it's not the same.

  24. #24
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    The best way is to buy 1 yd from each place, place it in washer together, then dryer. Afterwards see the difference.

  25. #25
    Junior Member yorkie luv's Avatar
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    I used to buy most of my fabric at Hancock, then they cut their quilting section way down to just 3 short rows, so I started going to Hobby Lobby. I think they have better fabric.

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