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Thread: when you buy fabric, do you expect any extra length?

  1. #26
    RST
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    I agree that online shops seem to be better about straight cuts and they tend to be a bit more generous on the measures too. I have a friend who had an online shop and her comment was that it was in her best interests to have the customer happy the first time -- it cost her time and money to deal with returns and re-cutting and reshipping. It's too bad that more brick and mortar stores aren't more aware of how their stingy or poor cutting affects their bottom line -- it's short sighted, and bad business to be so penny pinching over an inch or two of fabric that they lose sales entirely.

  2. #27
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    If I had a fabric shop, I would make sure that the first cut of the fabric is on grain by tearing the first edge. Then I would measure whatever the customer wanted and just make it a little bit more--in case. When I buy my fabric, I always add 1/4 inch and sometimes 1/2 inch if I'm not going to make the quilt right away. I don't want to take a chance and not be able to get what I need if I make a wrong cut or if by chance the pattern in wrong.

  3. #28
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    I shop at Keepsake and their cuts are always a bit extra. I thought it maybe was so that you'd have the requested amount after washing. I've always found their customer service to be excellent, though.

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  4. #29
    Power Poster joyce888's Avatar
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    Some companies state on their websites that they cut with an extra inch or two. Personally when a store is cutting with scissors I will sometimes insist on extra because the cuts are not straight.
    Joyce

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  5. #30
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    I do not expect to receive more than I paid for BUT----I do expect to get what I paid for down to the inch. I hate it when they do not cut evenly, angling off to one end or another----Then you do not get what you paid for

  6. #31
    Super Member moonrise's Avatar
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    Like someone else said, I don't expect extra, but I do want what I paid for. If it's crooked, please either straighten it or allow enough extra where I can straighten it.

    That said, I do tend to favor stores that give a smidge extra. Fabric.com gives an extra inch per yard, which is nice.

    I have to roll my eyes just a little bit when I happen to be buying all but the last few inches of a bolt, and the fabric-cutter-person either discards it or sits it aside to put in the remnant bin. I usually offer to buy it if I happen to notice before they start cutting it, but if it was me, I'd just give it to the customer as a freebie, especially if they were making a large purchase. One time I went back to the store the next day and bought the remnant ... at a marked down price.
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  7. #32
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    I just checked the latest 0.5 metre cuts I bought. They range from 52 to 55 centimeters. So on just over 18 inches I was getting an extra 1-3 inches.

    These were all cut at once by one person at my fav LQS.
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  8. #33
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    This is one thing that really burns me up, especially if every inch of what I purchased is necessary. I think if the store is going to cut it exactly on the dot, then they should allow for prior miscuts and bolt winding problems. I strongly think the customer should get every inch of what they paid for.
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  9. #34
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    Maybe it's because I don't measure/plan to the inch, but I've honestly never had a shortage problem. The two places I frequent, (not lqs) always seem to cut long. They are always generous when it comes to end of bolt also. It seems I always find the bolt that has just a little left...then you get a markdown price. Only once, in a lqs, was I told she couldn't cut me just a yard, because that would leave less than that on the bolt...that I needed to buy it all...I passed...seemed ridiculous that they wouldn't take a sure sale...they still would have had a remnant left!! Like everyone else said...just want what I pay for, no more, certainly no less!!

  10. #35
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    I always buy extra. It is not often that I cut a piece the wrong size, but it does happen. So I just buy extra, just in case.

    Dina

  11. #36
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    If the end is not straight, I expect them to measure from the short side not the long side, but other than that I don't expect extra.

  12. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by feline fanatic View Post
    When I first started sewing (in the 70's) it was common practice of any establishment that sold fabric to cut a bit extra to make up for the fabric being on the bolt crooked. I can't remember what the common amount was. Maybe an inch to three inches per cut?? As the years went by the fudge factor that fabric stores gave went by the wayside. I remember not sewing for a good 10 to 15 years and was surprised the next time I went to a fabric store and they cut exactly what I asked for with no extra at all. After I got home and washed and refolded I found I would lose up to an inch of fabric when I squared it up. On average it was usually less, but sometimes much more .

    I rarely buy fabric from a pattern, so I am usually getting a couple yards of this or that. But if I do buy from a pattern I always get more than I need. Most of the time I am only cutting off a few threads to a fraction of an inch when I square up but I have had a few purchases that were so cattywhompas I lost a couple of inches on a one yard cut.

    I don't sweat it. To me it isn't worth the effort or frustration to try and argue with the LQS over a few fractions of an inch of fabric, especially when most of my fabric purchases are done on line. More often than not it is only a few threads. I am now pleasantly surprised if I get extra. I expect to get at least what I want cut but if I lose some in the squaring up I don't get upset (any more)
    These are my thoughts exactly!

  13. #38
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    I normally buy extra, but I do like to get the measurement I pay for. We have one LQS around here that regularly shaves its fat quarters -- 17" wide and sometimes only 18" instead of 1/2 WOF. They do a lot of scrap sample quilts and I suspect they take the extra from the 18" dimension for their scraps. I don't buy fat quarters there unless I measure them first -- and no the owner does not like her fancy folds undone.
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  14. #39
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    Funny you asked this, because I'm still irked at the way my LQS cuts their very expensive fabrics ($10/yd and up). They use a formica topped counter and a yardstick to measure, then cut with no guideline whatsoever.

    JoAnn and Ben Franklin stores -- both of which I think of for finding less expensive fabrics -- have the formica tops with a steel ditch to guide their scissors while cutting.

    Needless to say, I won't be buying from that LQS unless I absolutely have to. I think part of my irritation is that they think they're doing you a great big favor with a very rare 10% discount.

  15. #40
    Super Member Nanny's dollface's Avatar
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    Years ago, when I went fabric shopping with my Nanny, she would receive extra fabric maybe an inch or two with each yard as the sales lady unfolded the fabric from the bolt. ..I remember the thump thump the fabric board made on the cutting table as the cutter quickly measured the fabric against a yard stick and moving extra fabric after each yard.

    Today, I now observe the meticulous movements of the cutter, as she ( I have only seen women cutters) unwrap the fabric ( no more thump thump) and positions the uneven edge against the metal yard stick ......going through multiple giyrations to get the precise yardage requested.

    Because of this I usually ask for a 1/8 yard more just to square up.

  16. #41
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    I always ask for more at JoAnn's to make up for bad cuts, the clerks can't cut a straight line. Our LQS uses a mat and ruler with a rotary cutter, so I know I'll always get a good cut there.

  17. #42
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    I certainly do not expect extra. Since I buy for projects only and I prewash, I always overbuy so I have enough to cover my own 'bad cuts' as AliKat and for shrinkage. Frankly, I don't watch cutters (JoAnn's; LQS; etc.). Maybe my bad but I trust that they are cutting what I asked for. I will say, that when I've shopped at just about any of the shops in Lancaster, I have noticed that they measure then add a bit. And that's just a casual observation. But it seems to be the norm there. Something to be said for the 'old ways'.

  18. #43
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    I don't expect extra, but I do want straight and without flaws. I don't really care how it is on the bolt. If I have to buy extra because the fabric is wonky, then I either need to shop different fabric or a different store.

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    I prefer to have my fabric purchases torn. It is true that you lose just a tiny amount when you make your first cut in constructing your project-but you certainly know where the true CWG is. If the fabric was not on the bolt correctly you can lose quite a bit on either end of your purchase. That being said, if a shop cuts their fabric they will not tear yours if you ask them because it will throw off their next cut.

  20. #45
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    I expect to get what I paid for and if that means giving some fudge room because of an uneven cut etc then that's what I expect. Most quilt shops I've shopped at tend to be on the generous side when it comes to cutting. JoAnn's I have to watch like a hawk because they cut short or skewed. When I brought it to the attention of the person cutting that she was starting to measure from the short end and the fabric was crooked before I knew what she was doing she cut off the crooked end and tossed it aside and then proceeded to cut my fabric. I still lost out because when I went to straighten the fabric at home I lost that amount again. Just recently I was in JoAnn's and there was about 2 inches left on the end and she went to cut it off and I asked if she could just give that little amount and she said no that they have to account for every inch on the bolt and I could buy it if I wanted it. I had her cut it off. I am much more likely to buy more in a shop that I don't have to worry I'm being shorted on or they are making sure I don't get one more thread width than what I am paying for.

  21. #46
    Power Poster sewbizgirl's Avatar
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    I don't expect a lot of extra, but an inch or two is a nice courtesy... especially when they cut crooked!
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  22. #47
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    Quote Originally Posted by Onebyone View Post
    The quilt shop owners know exactly how much that extra inch cost them and insist on no extra when cutting. The bigger fabric store employees aren't as particular about cutting to the exact inch. I had one quilt shop owner do the math and made me wait to charge me for 1/2" extra when I wanted a full repeat at the end. I didn't go back to that shop.
    Why would you not go back because they charged you for the extra (even though it was just a 1/2 inch). What if the repeat ended a 1/2 inch before what you asked for, would you have liked it if they cut it there. 1/2 inch or 1 inch it all adds up and costs the shop owner.

  23. #48
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    Quote Originally Posted by PaperPrincess View Post
    I watch how they lay it out on the table and if the leading edge is not cut straight I bring that to their attention. As other posters have said, I don't expect extra, but I want to be able to use what I've paid for.
    I agree with PaperPrincess. I use to cut fabric at House of Fabric (part time did it for the fat employee discount) and I always gave a thumb width extra to make sure that the customer got what they bought. I watch very careful at the chain store that is own by a hedge fund group. I have been shorted there too many times !!
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  24. #49
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    Quote Originally Posted by bearisgray View Post
    I know I am upset if I am shorted an 1/8 inch on a cut, and pleased to get extra.

    When a piece is rotary cut, do ou expect to get the piece " cut to the neaarest thread" - or do you want/ expect " a litle extra"?

    I am not aware of any other commodiity - such as meat , gold, gasoline - where we think we are entitled to " exrea"
    I certainly don't "expect" extra..but if I purchase 2 yards...then I want 2 yard...recently purchased quilt backing..bought an extra 1/4 yard..once it was squared up...and usable..it was 1 3/4 yards...and short of what I needed...it wasn't inexpensive....but at this point totally unusable...I did call the shop...and was told to bring it and the pieces I cut to even it up...and they would replace...

  25. #50
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    Quote Originally Posted by amandasgramma View Post
    I don't expect it...I just want what I pay for

    I agree with Dee, but it is nice to get just a little extra just in case of miscuts. I have been to all kinds of shops, those that give just the "right" amount, those that give less and those that give extra.
    Have a blessed day.

    Linda

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