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Thread: The recent topic of do you pay over x amount has gotten me to thinking.

  1. #1
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    Canada, Australian and British quilters do y'all need some teabags to toss in your local harbors?

    The prices you guys are quoting in that thread is mind boggling. Why on earth are you guys paying that much. I saw prices at 22-30 dollars a meter or something like that with the exchange rate. What are the prices for silk, or wool or linen(which are usually the higher priced fabrics). Australia should at least pay cheaper for Batiks as Bali is closer to y'all.

  2. #2
    tooMuchFabric's Avatar
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    I'll send teabags!!

  3. #3
    Super Member gale's Avatar
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    I don't know about Australia and UK but I know that just recently, the US dollar was right in line with the Canadian dollar. So other than the outrageous taxes they pay I can't imagine why it is SO much higher there. I'm a Stampin' Up demonstrator and the prices in the Canadian catalog are insane compared to the US prices.

    When we were in Canada we ate at a McDonalds and for the 5 of us, it was over $30. In the US it's usually around $15-$17.

  4. #4
    Power Poster earthwalker's Avatar
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    Australia produces very little cotton (too dry), we import a lot of fabric from Asia and America. We do have fabric produced here, but it is quite expensive...around $21 per metre would be the minimum. Most of the quilting fabric we have comes from America...I did score a bargain with some Norman Rockwell fabric - I found it at Textile Traders (where I met Litacats) that was on the $1 metre bargain table. Finding fabric that cheap is one of those once in a while serendipitous things...If we go to a smaller LQS, it gets pretty expensive. The cost of labour in Australia is huge...so most companies go offshore, which is a real shame, because the first thing to go when you do that is quality....and I won't bang on about ethics and buying local!

  5. #5
    Super Member deltadawn's Avatar
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    I have paid over 13-00 per metre which according to todays exchange rate equals about $20.00. So when I read of you picking up bargains at less than $5.00 - I'm a little green with envy.............can you forgive me?!!!

  6. #6
    Power Poster Lacelady's Avatar
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    We pay these high prices because we still want to quilt. I shop around a lot, get what I can online - I can import fabric from the US, and even with shipping it's cheaper than my LQS.

    I know that Ireland and the UK also apply customs charges on imported fabric. I don't get 'caught' all that often, but when I was in business in the UK and ordered some bolts from the US, the customs charges added another 1 per yard on to what I had already paid, and that was 15 years ago.

    Of course we envy you the bargains you all seem to get, we are only human.

  7. #7
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    We pay these prices because we don't have any choice, generally quilt shops and shows are the only places to buy our fabric and they are few and far between. I never buy even a metre of fabric, it is fq or long quarters and you learn to make it go a long way, wasting little. Backing is a problem and so far I have used calico, which I believe you call muslin, which is cheaper.
    I, like a lot of you have very little money to spare.
    I guess import tax and v.a.t is the reason it cost so much, they are both high over here.
    Never mind, I could not give up this hobby, just have to eat less.!!!! good way to slim.

  8. #8
    Super Member mirabelle's Avatar
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    Yes we pay far too much for fabric in Australia, yes we all understand about buying local and all that but I recently wanted to purchase some Robert Kaufmann Fusions from my local quilt shop and the price was $26 per metre
    (which is 39 inches). So home I come and get on the ole puter and ordered what I wanted over the internet. Landed in Australia only cost me $11 per yard...
    Most of us are on limited income or self funded retirees so we have to careful how much we spend on our addiction er sorry hobby :-)

  9. #9
    Senior Member quilter on the eastern edge's Avatar
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    Canada reporting in! I can go to my LQS and buy good quality quilting cotton for $12 - $16 a metre (batiks are more expensive). Or I can go to Wally World and buy crapola for $5.00 - $7.00 a metre, which is what they sell here. I feel that if I am going to make a quilt and spend all of that time and energy on it, I want the materials to be of high quality. So I use very good quality fabric, thread (Mettler's silk-finish 100% cotton), batting and backing. I don't mind paying the $$$$ for quality materials but, that being said, I don't make very many large quilts because it is cost-prohibitive.

    I also order online quite a bit because I can get good prices, a much wider selection of good quality, brand name fabrics, and I have access to full collections of co-ordinating fabrics (Hancock's of Paducah and Over the Rainbow are my favourites). So I have that option available to me if I choose to use it.

    I don't feel like I am being gouged or anything - that's just the way it is, with fabric as with anything else. Everything cost more here on the Eastern Edge than it does in the US (actually most things cost more here than in most other parts of Canada :cry: ).

    So, no, don't send tea bags. I can buy them here ( for about $4.00 for a box of 72!) ;-)

  10. #10
    Super Member Tussymussy's Avatar
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    I too am green with envy with the prices you pay for your fabric as well as the choice you have. My local shop charges $11 - 20 but it is for a metre - 39" approx.

    I have also bought from the states and most of the time am lucky that I am not charged import duties - it depends on chance.

    To increase my 'stash' (which is miniscule compared to some of the piccies I have seen on here) I haunt our local charity (thrift?) shop for cotton garments that are deemed not good enough for sale - their customers are very choosy.

    So I have spent the last few days, taking apart some lovely plain and not so plain men's shirts to re-use the fabric. 4 shirts cost $1.55 or 1. Washed, and lightly starched they are great in scrappy quilts.

    I also save up for the sales and then go on a shopping spree. The only problem is that the colour shown on my screen is not what arrives. Recently bought a lovely dark green floral and it was virtually black! This won't be used in my green quilt and will have to be left to another project.

    To let the green complexion subside, I am now going to my tiny stash and plan my next project!

  11. #11
    Super Member Tussymussy's Avatar
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    sorry, typing with a bit of a handicap at the moment, and my & $ got mixed up. The price is $11-$20.

  12. #12
    Junior Member LittleMo's Avatar
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    This could be an explanation of why the fabric is so expensive in all places other than the US. I hope it makes sense.

    I used to work for a company that exported drinking glasses to Europe and USA from Australia. They had to do huge manufacturing runs to fill the orders from around the world. The more glasses that were made, the less each glass cost, although we in Australia paid less per glass than the exported glasses. Now applying this to fabric, the bigger the yardage of fabric the manufacturer makes, the cheaper it is to make per yard, and the cheaper it is to buy. I would assume that the higher prices in the overseas market (the rest of the world) is subsidising the lower prices of the domestic market (USA), in the same way the glasses we exported did.

    Still with me? :D So when the fabric manufacturer makes x amount for the domestic market, and x amount for the overseas market, the overseas markets subsidise the domestic market. Even accounting for freight and import duty, a difference of $10.00+ per metre retail seems over the top.

    The import duty on fabric into Australia has dropped by 30% in the last 12 years, but we are not paying 30% less for our fabric.

    And while I am on a roll:

    My LQS owner was complaining to me that her purchase price on a particular line of fabric was more than what Spotlight was charging retail for the exactly the same line. She had to place her order over 12 months ago. What the importer had left over (orders not honoured?) was offered to Spotlight at a bargain basement price. Any why not, the importer had already made his money from all the LQS's. It sure made the LQS owner look greedy, but she could not match the Spotlight price without losing money.

    Someone is making alot of money, but it is not the LQS owners. By the time we buy fabric, it has been through alot of middle men each wanting to take their cut.

  13. #13
    Super Member raptureready's Avatar
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    One of the ladies on here from France said that their government charges a LUXURY tax on BOOKS!!!! Unbelievable! In my opinion having any kind of books in your home is a necessity not a luxury. If it's a luxury I live in one of the most luxurious homes in America because we have tons of books--art, craft, sewing, quilting, music, antique, novels, the entire collection of Boxcar Children books, Goosebumps, kids books, RC plane books, a huge if a little eclectic collection.

  14. #14
    Senior Member quilter on the eastern edge's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by raptureready
    One of the ladies on here from France said that their government charges a LUXURY tax on BOOKS!!!! Unbelievable! In my opinion having any kind of books in your home is a necessity not a luxury. If it's a luxury I live in one of the most luxurious homes in America because we have tons of books--art, craft, sewing, quilting, music, antique, novels, the entire collection of Boxcar Children books, Goosebumps, kids books, RC plane books, a huge if a little eclectic collection.
    Books are indeed a necessity of life, like food and water! Books feed your soul and mind. How can anyone possibly justify that they are a luxury?

  15. #15
    Super Member mimee4's Avatar
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    My stash closet seems to be full to the extreme when I consider what you pay for fabric. It's sad that there are so many middle-people who get their "cut" of your hobby needs. Fabric and books definitely are two of the necessities of life.

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    Quote Originally Posted by earthwalker
    Australia produces very little cotton (too dry), we import a lot of fabric from Asia and America. We do have fabric produced here, but it is quite expensive...around $21 per metre would be the minimum. Most of the quilting fabric we have comes from America...I did score a bargain with some Norman Rockwell fabric - I found it at Textile Traders (where I met Litacats) that was on the $1 metre bargain table. Finding fabric that cheap is one of those once in a while serendipitous things...If we go to a smaller LQS, it gets pretty expensive. The cost of labour in Australia is huge...so most companies go offshore, which is a real shame, because the first thing to go when you do that is quality....and I won't bang on about ethics and buying local!
    But America mostly imports it from China. Why not import it yourself from the mills in China? It's not like its that far for y'all.

  17. #17
    Super Member janedee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by deltadawn
    I have paid over 13-00 per metre which according to todays exchange rate equals about $20.00. So when I read of you picking up bargains at less than $5.00 - I'm a little green with envy.............can you forgive me?!!!
    tell me about it I'm almost emerald green ha ha!!!!!

  18. #18
    tooMuchFabric's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by quilter on the eastern edge
    How can anyone possibly justify that they are a luxury?
    It must be the same everywhere-
    someone(s) in a political group somewhere, or someone(s) in an answerable-to-no-one government bureau somewhere
    made the decision to raise taxes/duties or maintain taxes/duties on items that would bring in revenue in spite of costing too much.

    Of course books are not a luxury!

    But nevertheless someone somewhere placed the taxes/duties on them, and it's harder than pulling teeth to get a tax/duty removed once it's been instated.
    .

  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by LittleMo
    This could be an explanation of why the fabric is so expensive in all places other than the US. I hope it makes sense.

    I used to work for a company that exported drinking glasses to Europe and USA from Australia. They had to do huge manufacturing runs to fill the orders from around the world. The more glasses that were made, the less each glass cost, although we in Australia paid less per glass than the exported glasses. Now applying this to fabric, the bigger the yardage of fabric the manufacturer makes, the cheaper it is to make per yard, and the cheaper it is to buy. I would assume that the higher prices in the overseas market (the rest of the world) is subsidising the lower prices of the domestic market (USA), in the same way the glasses we exported did.

    Still with me? :D So when the fabric manufacturer makes x amount for the domestic market, and x amount for the overseas market, the overseas markets subsidise the domestic market. Even accounting for freight and import duty, a difference of $10.00+ per metre retail seems over the top.

    The import duty on fabric into Australia has dropped by 30% in the last 12 years, but we are not paying 30% less for our fabric.

    And while I am on a roll:

    My LQS owner was complaining to me that her purchase price on a particular line of fabric was more than what Spotlight was charging retail for the exactly the same line. She had to place her order over 12 months ago. What the importer had left over (orders not honoured?) was offered to Spotlight at a bargain basement price. Any why not, the importer had already made his money from all the LQS's. It sure made the LQS owner look greedy, but she could not match the Spotlight price without losing money.

    Someone is making alot of money, but it is not the LQS owners. By the time we buy fabric, it has been through alot of middle men each wanting to take their cut.
    I know Connecting threads is cheaper because they cut off the middle men. Why don't the LQS's you guys have get together and find out who they are and maybe do one big order, which they can do if they combine their orders?

    Or something along that lines. Not sure.

  20. #20
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    Printed books are zero-rated for VAT here, but the electronic equivalent (for a Kindle, Sony Reader, iPod/iPad) costs 21% more. It's one of my pet peeves as there's so little storage space in my shoebox/house.

    Tax is the biggest issue, along with a very high minimum wage and huge overheads for anyone setting up shop outside their home. I'm not sure the wholesale price is the worst part of what we have to pay in the end!

  21. #21
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    love your avatar tussymussy. Is it from somewhere near you? As you can see I come from England too. In my case Ramsgate.

  22. #22
    Super Member brenda21's Avatar
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    Is it cheaper for those of you outside the US to have someone here buy you fabric and mail it over?

  23. #23
    Senior Member Aully's Avatar
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    Hey all,
    What is a tea bag? Yes I find fabrics here in Canada are expensive at quilting stores usually allways over $20 a meter. Fabricland has a quilting cotton section and it is $20 or more a meter but with your membership card it is always 50% off but I notice it is not high quality cottons. Our thread here is expensive as well, I will one day order it from connecting threads as it is so cheap on there but I don't have a credit card, only Paypal which makes purchasing online dificult becasue not many places have paypal for payment.

  24. #24
    Super Member brenda21's Avatar
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    Aully,
    The Boston Tea Party was when the Americans had enough of Englands rule in the 1700's and they were tired of paying taxes for no reason (no taxation without representation) and they threw crates and crates of tea (bags) into the harbor to ruin it and prove a point....it was one of the events leading to our independence :)

  25. #25
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    Thank you Brenda, I had wondered too, though I realised about the Boston tea party I hadn't associated the two.

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