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Thread: truth or not?

  1. #1
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    I recently bought some fabric at a very nice quilting store, they cater nicely to everyone. This fabric was on clearance at $8.00 a yard. A week later I found the same fabric at a local store for $2.00. We are talking VIP material. They both have nice material I think. When I asked a well know quilter in our area, she said the quality of the fabric is better at the nice qstore, that even though they appear to be the same, they are diffrent quality of the fabric company, diffrent grades- now I am not sure I am buying this. Your thoughts?

  2. #2
    Super Member Shemjo's Avatar
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    I think I would want to actually do my own test and compare the two fabrics. They COULD be of really different quality, as there are companies who sell seconds of the quality fabrics. That is a real poser.

  3. #3
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    Put them side by side and compare. Is the pattern consistent in both, are the colors clear (allow for some very slight color variation between batches). Is the weave/thread count the same. Look at them from the wrong side to see if there is a difference in how the threads took the dye, as well as weave. If they are really close, then I would suspect that the mark up at the LQS is the normal high, and that the other store got a deal.

  4. #4
    Junior Member Pinkrose4664's Avatar
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    I too would test it myself, but we used to have a $2.00 fabric store (yep, that was the name) and it had irregulars of the good stuff meaning some of the print might be blurred or the print ran past the edge so the name would not show something like that. You have to check the fabric out and depending what you need it for, base you decision. I used to find wonderful deals! I miss that store :-(

  5. #5
    Super Member deedum's Avatar
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    Looks and feel exactly the same. Love the material. I use the material from the quilt shop for the back of a lapquilt. It is so comfy! I am thinkingthe lqs, which is a chain store, just got a better buy for their stores, but it did make me wonder if there is any truth to grades.

  6. #6
    Super Member Minda's Avatar
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    I once saw a line of fabric in WalMart that my local quilt shop sells. I asked her about it, and she told me that fabric manufacturers print different grades of the same fabric. That way they can sell quality fabric (more expensive) to quilt shops, but still be able to sell to discount stores who want lower priced fabric (it's also lower quality). I think the old adage holds true - you get what you pay for. :-)
    Check out these sites:

    http://patsloan.typepad.com/quiltershome/fabricq.html

    http://www.quiltropolis.net/articles/quality-fabric.asp

    http://www.camplebanon.org/uploads/f...tips%20pdf.pdf


  7. #7
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    there is truth to this and its a very common practice at walmart and joann's.

    why its discounted can be for various reasons - the quality of the cotton, the dye, the pattern, etc.

    also a number of online shops do this too - when they have new lines at deep discount prices its typically a quality discount that they have received. when its an old design its typically a sale from the manufacturer and they just want to get rid of the old stock.


  8. #8
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    I've learned - after many years - that price is NOT the only factor in determining if a fabric is "good" or not -

    Sometimes WalMart will get "older" fabrics that used to sell for a higher price at a different store.

    I've also learned to check the grain lines, etc. at the LQS too.

    If one wants the newest prints while they are still "hot," one will probably pay more for them.

    I've seen prints that look and feel identical - Springs Halloween prints, for example, that were selling for $2.00 at WalMart and $5.99 at Hancock's. I was not able to tell any difference between the two - except for the price.

  9. #9
    Power Poster Prism99's Avatar
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    I have heard that manufacturers use the same prints on different "greige", meaning different qualities of underlying fabric. They also will use a different series of finishes on fabric -- a more complex series of finishes on the higher priced fabric, and fewer finishes on the lower-priced fabric. This was the major reason why quilters were advised to buy from LQS instead of discount places.

    I have been able to notice differences when I have found the same fabric at two different places, such as LQS and Walmart. However, there are also times when I haven't been able to detect any difference between the two fabrics. That makes me think that sometimes the discount store has simply gotten a "deal" on a better fabric but that sometimes it really is a less desirable version of the fabric. I haven't noticed any problems with LQS fabrics, so assume they never buy the lower quality version of a print.

  10. #10
    Super Member Ducky's Avatar
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    I was told pretty much what Prism said. A fabric will be made of different qualities of fabric, namely thread count, and sold accordingly. You can buy the exact same looking fabric from a LQS and, say, Joann or Hobby Lobby, and the place that has it cheaper is lower thread count. I will use Joann or Hobby Lobby for smaller projects, like a wall hanging, because it isn't handled a lot.

  11. #11
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Most quilt shops have a fabric agent from the manufacturer they buy from so the fabric is the best quality. I have known of some quilt shop owners to buy the cheaper fabric from a distributor and mix it in with the quality fabric. You have to know what qualities to look for when buying fabric no matter where you buy it. Usually the non quilt shop fabric is called craft fabric like the $2 fabric Walmart use to sell. Once you have the feel of good fabric you'll know when it's a good buy.

  12. #12
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    I was told basicly the same as Prism. The quilt shops get the first run with the stronger color/dyes and it goes down from there. Also the higher price fabric has a better thread count. Just like sheets,you can get cheap ones or pay alittle more and get a good nights sleep.

  13. #13
    Super Member Iluv2quilt's Avatar
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    I've been told you can buy the same pattern at the lqs and Walmart, but the quality is not the same. The thread count is different and the dye lot is different. I get what I pay for, although Walmart is now selling $8/yard fabric with a pretty high thread count, not much of a selection tho.

  14. #14
    Super Member mamaw's Avatar
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    If the pattern on the fabric is crisp and the fabric has a nice feel to it, then I wouldn't hesitate to buy it. There are shops that get 2nds, but one can usually tell when looking closely. I have learned alot about it because of hunting for fabric bargains at the Surplus & Salvage store in our area.
    Try to stay away from fabrics that don't have a nice tight weave in them.
    We each have our own opinions; but hope I have been of some help to you.
    Nancy

  15. #15
    Senior Member QuiltMania's Avatar
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    I don't buy the statement that fabric bought at a quilt shop is better because it was more expensive or because it was bought at a quilt shop. I've bought from quilt shops and from Joann's and Walmart. I've had some great fabric from each place and some real junk from each place. You just have to take time to feel it, study it, etc. to get the best quality regardless of price.

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