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Thread: No brand vs brand name fabric

  1. #1
    Senior Member liont's Avatar
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    No brand vs brand name fabric

    Design aside, what are the differences (if any) between no-brand vs brand name quitting cottons?
    By "no-brand", I mean those lower priced quitting cottons, eg found at the calicoes section of Joanns. Brand name ones are eg those from Free Spirit, Hoffmans, Westminsters, etc.

    I have a quilt which I hung near a window for 1 year. I realised that the "no brand" ones has faded a tad, but the brand name ones have held up rather well.

    Also, not all quiting cottons have the same weight. Some have a lighter-hand. I guess there are advantages and disadvantages to both thinner and thicker quiting fabric.

    I don't mean to be a snob by saying no-brand vs brand name, I just want to hear your "fabric" experiences, since we spend so much effort on them

  2. #2
    Super Member Deborahlees's Avatar
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    I judge a fabric by how it 'feels' to me....rarely do I look at the name on the bolt. Thin coarse fabric is just that, no matter what name it sports. The only only time I would/buy or use it would be as an accent somewhere, where I had no choise. If I had looked and looked and looked and this was the best I could do....then ok. A childs quilt will be loved to death and fall apart, no matter what the fabric. A Quilt of Valor will last a life time and then some, no matter the fabric.....I buy and use the best I can afford at the time and I do first try to use my stash at all cost and it is currently bigger than I am.....

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    The main thing I notice is thread count. Some of those Joann's calicoes are so thinly threaded, they're almost like a screen! But not all Joann's calicoes are made equally, I've found nice heavy thick fabric with the "made for Joann's" label too.

    I haven't noticed a difference in fading, but I am really careful to keep things out of the sun so I haven't had much fading of anything at all.

  4. #4
    Senior Member liont's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sewnoma View Post
    The main thing I notice is thread count. Some of those Joann's calicoes are so thinly threaded, they're almost like a screen! But not all Joann's calicoes are made equally, I've found nice heavy thick fabric with the "made for Joann's" label too.

    I haven't noticed a difference in fading, but I am really careful to keep things out of the sun so I haven't had much fading of anything at all.

    Yes, agree, there is a lot of variance in Joann's Keepsake calicoes.

    I live in the tropics!
    Last edited by liont; 07-26-2012 at 08:14 AM.

  5. #5
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Like most choices in life, this one is entirely up to the individual doing the choosing. There are good and not-so-good fabrics of all types and it's best to make your own decisions.

    There are famous maker fabrics that fade, bleed, are loosely woven, have a coarse hand, shrink horribly and even some that smell awful. On the other hand, there are nameless fabrics that don't have any of those faults, are a pleasure to work with and make marvelous quilts that last forever.

    Choose your fabrics as you choose your produce. Is it fresh, healthy looking, the perfect color, look beautiful, feel good in your hands, blend well with others, a reasonable price, does it suit your taste, and can you use it to make something that you and others will remember for a very long time? If so, grab it up before someone else beats you to it.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  6. #6
    Senior Member liont's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    Choose your fabrics as you choose your produce. Is it fresh, healthy looking, the perfect color, look beautiful, feel good in your hands, blend well with others, a reasonable price, does it suit your taste, and can you use it to make something that you and others will remember for a very long time? If so, grab it up before someone else beats you to it.
    I like the way you put it!

  7. #7
    Super Member nygal's Avatar
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    I tell by the "feel" if its a good quality fabric. The thinner the cheaper it is. Those I leave at the store.
    When it seems like the world is falling to pieces remember that the pieces are falling into place. We are nearing closer to the End Times.

  8. #8
    Senior Member liont's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by nygal View Post
    I tell by the "feel" if its a good quality fabric. The thinner the cheaper it is. Those I leave at the store.
    Yes. However, "feeling" can't be done when buying online. Sometimes, even brand name ones are so thin! I have to starch heavily to work with them.

  9. #9
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    What I often notice is the quality of the design. Lower-priced cottons often have a "muddier" appearance with the design not being as sharply defined. Colors and designs are often much better in the name-brand cottons.

  10. #10
    Power Poster Jingle's Avatar
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    I buy what I can afford and what I like. Some come from several sourses. The cheaper fabrics are plenty good for me, as I have given away many quilts. I go by feel, the thicker the the better and I don't make heirloom quilts. My enjoyment comes from making quilts and that is what I go for.
    Another Phyllis
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  11. #11
    Senior Member DawnFurlong's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by ghostrider View Post
    Like most choices in life, this one is entirely up to the individual doing the choosing. There are good and not-so-good fabrics of all types and it's best to make your own decisions.

    There are famous maker fabrics that fade, bleed, are loosely woven, have a coarse hand, shrink horribly and even some that smell awful. On the other hand, there are nameless fabrics that don't have any of those faults, are a pleasure to work with and make marvelous quilts that last forever.

    Choose your fabrics as you choose your produce. Is it fresh, healthy looking, the perfect color, look beautiful, feel good in your hands, blend well with others, a reasonable price, does it suit your taste, and can you use it to make something that you and others will remember for a very long time? If so, grab it up before someone else beats you to it.
    Totally agree!

    And Prism99 - sometimes that is what stands out to me the most. "Lower-priced cottons often have a "muddier" appearance with the design not being as sharply defined. Colors and designs are often much better in the name-brand cottons." While I can find fabrics to my liking (liking being defined by feel of the fabric and design) - I have to look longer at Wal-Mart, Joann's, etc. Walking into the closest LQS to me (about 10 minutes away - fairly new shop, they keep adding more fabric!!!) - I am instantly in LOVE with about every fabric I see!!! If I could afford it, I'd always go there first. This because of the designs.

    That said, while I usually have to look a bit more at the other locations - I am usually able to find something that I like - and at a cost I can afford (since that does have to be a consideration).
    Dawn

  12. #12
    Super Member TacoMama's Avatar
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    I tell by the look and feel of it. Some "no brand" is just as nice as the big name fabrics. We can't always buy brand name fabric. In my case, I buy what feels the best and looks good as I can't buy brand names often at all.

  13. #13
    Super Member sewbeadit's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Prism99 View Post
    What I often notice is the quality of the design. Lower-priced cottons often have a "muddier" appearance with the design not being as sharply defined. Colors and designs are often much better in the name-brand cottons.
    I agree with this, better quality usually has a much better defined design than cheap stuff, I don't go by the price either, anything is cheap stuff if it is yucky made.
    Sewbeadit
    W. Washington

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