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Thread: Discouraged Over High Fabric Prices?

  1. #1
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    I went to a quilt show today. The brochure had some interesting facts about Civil War quilts. One thing I read was that because so much fabric was used up making quilts for the soldiers to keep warm, the cloth became scarce and the price for just one YARD was as much as $25.00.

    The most I have ever paid was about $9.00 a yard.

    Feel better? :-)

  2. #2
    Super Member LivelyLady's Avatar
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    I like the fabric and prices of Connecting Threads and try to find good sales. $25 a yard is too rich for my blood.

  3. #3
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    And the relative value of $25 in 1865 is $345 in 2010. We've got it pretty good I'd say! :D

  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider
    And the relative value of $25 in 1865 is $345 in 2010. We've got it pretty good I'd say! :D
    Gosh I had not even thought of that! It's usually the first thing in my head when I am watching an old movie and someone mentions a certain amount of money.

  5. #5
    Super Member thepolyparrot's Avatar
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    That's pretty interesting! $345 a yard - whew! Having quilting as a hobby would become quite a status symbol wouldn't it?

    I'm not worried about higher prices, though - "shopping" in my stash is free. (that's quilter's logic ;) )

  6. #6
    Super Member pab58's Avatar
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    Another reason why the fabric was scarce and was selling for up to $25 per yard is due to the fact that there was a blockade on southern ports so no cotton could go out, and, therefore, no fabric could come in. ;)

  7. #7
    Super Member TonnieLoree's Avatar
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    I hemmed 2 pair of pants for my mother today the the package price on the seam binding said 15 cents.

  8. #8
    Super Member JenniePenny's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pab58
    Another reason why the fabric was scarce and was selling for up to $25 per yard is due to the fact that there was a blockade on southern ports so no cotton could go out, and, therefore, no fabric could come in. ;)
    Yes indeeed. Plus the Union troops were known to destroy the southern cotton plantations by fire when marching through.

  9. #9
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    Yep!

  10. #10
    Super Member jillnjo's Avatar
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    I like to use my stash,too,but then I think-what if I use it all up and have to start buying at even higher prices? I want to purchase at LQshops,but can't stand some of the prices.In my area,I am really lucky to have cheaper prices on great quality fabrics.Not all shops are cheap,though.It's hard to run a business these days competing with the big stores,I guess.

  11. #11
    Google Goddess craftybear's Avatar
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    that sure is expensive fabrics,

  12. #12
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    I was at a LQS in NH today and found several bolts that were marked down! From 8.95 to 5.95 and 6.95. I loved two blue prints so got those. I also was at Keepsake a few days ago and found a pretty batik for 4.99. Bargains can still be found in some places.

  13. #13
    Super Member pab58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by JenniePenny
    Quote Originally Posted by pab58
    Another reason why the fabric was scarce and was selling for up to $25 per yard is due to the fact that there was a blockade on southern ports so no cotton could go out, and, therefore, no fabric could come in. ;)
    Yes indeeed. Plus the Union troops were known to destroy the southern cotton plantations by fire when marching through.
    And when Sherman was marching and burning his way across the South, cotton warehouses were often burned by southerners just so the Yankees couldn't get it. :|

    :lol: :lol: Sorry! It's just that studying about the CW is a passion of mine!! :lol: :lol: :lol:

  14. #14
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pab58
    Another reason why the fabric was scarce and was selling for up to $25 per yard is due to the fact that there was a blockade on southern ports so no cotton could go out, and, therefore, no fabric could come in. ;)
    And wasn't rail traffic also disrupted? (The other way that cotton could be transported out of the south.)

  15. #15
    Super Member pab58's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Favorite Fabrics
    Quote Originally Posted by pab58
    Another reason why the fabric was scarce and was selling for up to $25 per yard is due to the fact that there was a blockade on southern ports so no cotton could go out, and, therefore, no fabric could come in. ;)
    And wasn't rail traffic also disrupted? (The other way that cotton could be transported out of the south.)
    Yes. The South didn't have textile mills so the cotton had to be shipped either North or to England to be manufactured into cloth. With the blockades shipping the cotton to England was next to impossible, and to ship it North was out of the question.

    Sometimes the rails were destroyed so the enemy couldn't use the tracks. This was done not just by the Northern army. Sometimes when they felt it was absolutely necessary, the Southern army would destroy its own rail lines to keep the Yankees from using them to ship supplies, etc. to its army. Sherman's army would sometimes heat up the rails until they were red hot and then take them to a big tree stump where they would wrap the rails around it to bend it back onto itself. They nicknamed them "Sherman's Neckties." Doing that would make any repairs of the rails absolutely impossible.

  16. #16
    Super Member Favorite Fabrics's Avatar
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    How did they heat up the rails, Patty? Could a wood fire be capable of raising the temperature high enough to soften the metal?

  17. #17
    Super Member pab58's Avatar
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    I found this picture at the Library of Congress. The rails in this particular picture are not bent quite as much as Sherman wanted them, but you can get some idea of what the damage might be. The railroad ties would be piled up and lit, and then the rails put on top of the fire. It's much the same way a blacksmith would heat up iron except on a larger scale.

    I wish I could have located a better picture of rails that had an extreme bend in them. It's amazing! The only thing I managed to locate was a drawing, and that isn't what I wanted. I'll keep looking, and if/when I find one I like, I will post.

    These particular rails are only bent at about a 45 degree angle -- not exactly what Sherman ordered.
    Name:  Attachment-197075.jpe
Views: 36
Size:  56.8 KB

  18. #18
    Super Member pab58's Avatar
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    Okay, Nan. I was able to locate another picture for you.

    After the rails were red hot they were bent into a 45 degree angle or into a "U" shape, but the best way was to bend them until the ends crossed over one another.

    Rails ready to be heated so they can be bent.
    Name:  Attachment-197078.jpe
Views: 80
Size:  53.9 KB

  19. #19
    Super Member carolaug's Avatar
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    I have not seen any price diffence yet,

  20. #20
    Super Member JUNEC's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by LivelyLady
    I like the fabric and prices of Connecting Threads and try to find good sales. $25 a yard is too rich for my blood.
    Connevtion Thread has some fabulous prices - fabric is great quality

  21. #21
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider
    And the relative value of $25 in 1865 is $345 in 2010. We've got it pretty good I'd say! :D
    Ghostrider,
    is there a site where one can find these conversions?

    Jan in VA

  22. #22
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    It isn't going to get any better now with all the flooding of the cotton fields along the Mississippi. My heart goes out to those farmers losing their crops.

  23. #23
    Senior Member clynns's Avatar
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    Stick around, there are some online store already charging $14.00 a yard (not meter). I won't bad mouth them, but at the rate of the increase of cotton, I'm buying from the place where I can get the best bang for my buck. Don't insult my intelligence when I see someone sell Moda single fat quarters for $2.25 (which is still high) and other quilt stores who sell Moda for $3.50 a fat quarter. If your reading this, you know who you are. Your going to run your cusotmer's right back out the door.

  24. #24
    Senior Member clynns's Avatar
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  25. #25
    Super Member karenpatrick's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TonnieLoree
    I hemmed 2 pair of pants for my mother today the the package price on the seam binding said 15 cents.
    Those have been in someone's stash for a while. Been a very long time since you could buy that for 15 cents.

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