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

  1. #51
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by pmonaghen View Post
    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...
    holy cow! I have never seen anything that out of square, even on 108" wide back fabric. A few inches yes but never ever have I lost anything close to 18" in the squaring up process, especially on a cut as small as 2 1/4 yards. Something that crooked should have been visibly obvious right off the bolt. I would definitely be going back to the source of purchase on that one. I am actually quite shocked the person cutting didn't notice, unless it was a big box store. IMHO most of the cutters I have encountered there aren't sewers and don't understand what they are doing beyond cutting a hunk of fabric off the bolt.

  2. #52
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    It really seems to vary...there are 2 Beverly's near me and one store cuts right on the mark and the other adds an extra thumb width to the cut. I don't "expect" it but I do like it when I get that little extra margin.

  3. #53
    Super Member marymm's Avatar
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    When I worked for a local quilt shop owner, we always cut an inch or so extra. I believe the idea was to give the buyer a bit for squaring up the fabric, and besides, the owner--who actually believed in ripping the fabric to get it better squared-- considered it a good will measure. I've had fabric from JoAnn's shrink- two inches or more a yard--when washed! (Once I paid for the extra-wide backing for a quilt and the piece--a bit over two yards--shrunk seven inches!)
    I guess I really agree with what seems to be a majority decision: I don't expect more, but I appreciate it!

  4. #54
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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 whole heartedly!!!!! If you need a full yard you can afford to lose 2" after you straighten it. As far as shrinkage goes,you have to expect that especially with flannel and I do take that into consideration when buying that.

  5. #55
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    Quote Originally Posted by KnitnutBZ View Post
    I agree whole heartedly!!!!! If you need a full yard you can afford to lose 2" after you straighten it. As far as shrinkage goes,you have to expect that especially with flannel and I do take that into consideration when buying that.
    I mean you can't afford to lose the inch or two. sorry

  6. #56
    Super Member Tink's Mom's Avatar
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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.
    Same here...just want what I paid for to all be useable.
    Tink's Mom (My name is really Susie)

  7. #57
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    Quote Originally Posted by scrapinmema View Post
    I don't expect extra fabric but the other day when I purchased 1/2 yard of fabric when I squared it up with the selvage sides one side was 6" short. Will need to go back into town and purchase more fabric. That is not the shops fault it is on the manufacture.

    I would still say something to the shop owner so she can maybe say something to the manufacturer.

  8. #58
    Super Member paulswalia's Avatar
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    so, if 1/8 of an inch short is noticeable, is 1/8 of an inch extra a plus for you? I don't think I would even notice an 1/8th of an inch unless I was buying just exactly what I needed - which I just about never do. I work in a quilt shop and we routinely cut about a quarter inch extra just to avoid a spot that has worn on our cutting mat. But remember - it's not just you that wants the extra. If 12 customers want an extra inch then a third of a yard was "given away" to customers. The shop owner had to pay for that yardage and is either going to have to build it into her pricing or cut into her own profit.
    We are here to learn how to live in heaven - I'm still learning.

  9. #59
    Member iluvquiltin's Avatar
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    I used to work at a quilt shop and we always gave a thumb's width extra when we rotary cut it.

  10. #60
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    I buy a little bit extra to allow for squaring up.

    However, if it is really crooked, I ask them to straighten it and then cut it even. I don't want to cheat them but I don't want to be cheated either.

  11. #61
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    I agree with Paper Princess and watch how they are cutting the fabric. I've noticed that a quilter cutting the fabric is more likely to be sure you get the proper cut. I know an inch here or there doesn't sound like much, but it makes a difference to me, and also if the shop is willing to give an inch, I'm more likely to go back- I feel it's just good customer service.

  12. #62
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulswalia View Post
    so, if 1/8 of an inch short is noticeable, is 1/8 of an inch extra a plus for you? I don't think I would even notice an 1/8th of an inch unless I was buying just exactly what I needed - which I just about never do. I work in a quilt shop and we routinely cut about a quarter inch extra just to avoid a spot that has worn on our cutting mat. But remember - it's not just you that wants the extra. If 12 customers want an extra inch then a third of a yard was "given away" to customers. The shop owner had to pay for that yardage and is either going to have to build it into her pricing or cut into her own profit.
    If it is one piece out of 20 that is a tiny bit short - oh, welll. If it is 8 of 10 that are, I do mind. Which has happened. At a LQS. And jo- anns

    If the fabric is cut straight and to the thread,I won' t complain. ( but other things being equal, I will go to the store that cuts a bit long)

    As far as crooked fabric goes, if I am buying it in person, I feel it is my responsibility to check to see if it is printed on- grain and if it has gotten pulled way crooked. I doubt that many stockers or managers are going to carefully chech each and every bolt of fabric to see if it is perfect.

    That should have happened before it left the manufacturer, but sometimes things get missed

  13. #63
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    Quote Originally Posted by paulswalia View Post
    so, if 1/8 of an inch short is noticeable, is 1/8 of an inch extra a plus for you? I don't think I would even notice an 1/8th of an inch unless I was buying just exactly what I needed - which I just about never do. I work in a quilt shop and we routinely cut about a quarter inch extra just to avoid a spot that has worn on our cutting mat. But remember - it's not just you that wants the extra. If 12 customers want an extra inch then a third of a yard was "given away" to customers. The shop owner had to pay for that yardage and is either going to have to build it into her pricing or cut into her own profit.
    If it is one piece out of 20 that is a tiny bit short - oh, welll. If it is 8 of 10 that are, I do mind. Which has happened. At a LQS. And jo- anns

    If the fabric is cut straight and to the thread,I won' t complain. ( but other things being equal, I will go to the store that cuts a bit long)

    As far as crooked fabric goes, if I am buying it in person, I feel it is my responsibility to check to see if it is printed on- grain and if it has gotten pulled way crooked. I doubt that many stockers or managers are going to carefully chech each and every bolt of fabric to see if it is perfect.

    That should have happened before it left the manufacturer, but sometimes things get missed

    By the way, if I know I am going to need a full 18 inchees of something, I buy 19 or 20 inches just allow for wonkiness and shrinkage.

  14. #64
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    Quote Originally Posted by iluvquiltin View Post
    I used to work at a quilt shop and we always gave a thumb's width extra when we rotary cut it.
    Which could really add up if someone is buying only 1/ 8 yard cuts.

  15. #65
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    As a brick and mortar shop for another "hobby" I knew going in that customer care was going to be critical to success. And so I planned a business model to accommodate internet pricing, local demand, and building customer loyalty. If you have any common sense when running a business you know goodwill costs need to be factored in.

    Freebies were part and parcel for loyal customers, regulars, and big ticket buyers. And that kept a dive shop open and profitable through the recession, in a time when discretionary money wasn't being freely distributed to hobbies.

    A good owner will monitor their supply chain, maintain good relationships with reps if there is a QC problem so they can get discounts, replacements etc. A good owner will keep staff aware as they are cutting if there are problems with straight grains, misprints, and other issues and empower them with a set of guidelines to follow to proactively fix a potential issue with a customer. Make sure they get what they ask for in useable goods, our LQS tells the staff, a "thumb width of grace". Telling a customer they "must" buy the remnant is not good policy. Offer at a discount (which you establish when bolt comes in and unit vs. retail cost margins are defined) on the spot or sell at same discount as a remnant. Less than 3-4" on a bolt is to just be included in the sale.

    Take care of customers and they take care of you.

  16. #66
    Super Member mike'sgirl's Avatar
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    I was intrigued by this conversation, so I went to measure some fabric that I just got in the mail today. I ordered 3 yards to put borders on a quilt and still have extra. I was shorted an inch. I wanted to be sure so I measured it 3 times. I probably will not order from them again. Like all of you have said, I don't expect extra, just what I paid for.
    Gina

  17. #67
    Super Member 0tis's Avatar
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    My LQS (which just closed by the way - boo hoo) would always give me a little extra and after they got to know me well - sometimes she would throw in a half yard or more - I really loved that shop but the owners wanted to retire (this is the second time they retired) so I understand their position. I went in for the last time last week and she did that for me again. All the fabric was on sale - so she would cut the fabric and give me the end of the bolt for nothing. That doesn't happen much anymore. Sometimes they would give me notions to try out and give my opinion on them - I am really going to miss them.

  18. #68
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    Good will is soooo easy to lose - and so hard to recover!

  19. #69
    Super Member ube quilting's Avatar
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    There is a place near me that has a wall of cotton which I think is bought as a "lot" so what ever is on the shelves is what you get to choose from. He is very generous with measuring and if you want 3 yards and there is another yard left on the bolt, it's yours. This is just a small shop that doesn't sell quilting fabric as its' main income, but knows there are a lot of quilters in the area and makes a few bucks supplying them.

    I just want what I pay for and expect no more.
    peace
    no act of kindness, no matter how small, is ever wasted. Aesop

  20. #70
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    Quote Originally Posted by janRN View Post
    I make mostly scrappy quilts so I buy a lot of FQs. Some of them look like a first grader cut them. The LQS all have them neatly folded for display. I've gotten into the habit of unfolding the ones I want and checking them. I get frowns from some shop owners but I always neatly refold them. I do want what I pay for and don't expect extra whether yardage or pre-cuts.
    You are so right, you wonder how they get cut so badly? Don't blame you for checking. I don't mind buying my fabric, but hate it when I'm short changed.

  21. #71
    Super Member Boston1954's Avatar
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    I do not expect it, but there is a shop nearby that gives me an inch over just about every time. I think they are just making sure.
    Life is not a movie. No one is going to yell "CUT" when you make a mistake. - Anne L. Fulton

    I am from the South....39 miles south of Boston.

  22. #72
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    I expect to get what I pay for and have it all be usable. When the cut is not square it really is a problemon't order extra yardage to account for some one not cutting properly.
    Cindy

  23. #73
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    I doubt I'd worry over 1/8 ' but if it was more than 2" I wouldn't be a happy camper. I've very seldom be shorted but have received extras quite often. Reckon I'm probably ahead but it's not something I'd stress about. As the saying goes,"don't sweat the small stuff and it's all small stuff".

  24. #74
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    I don't expect extra. If I get it, that's nice. If I get less, that's a problem. Try to watch carefully and not get too chatty.

  25. #75
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    << But remember - it's not just you that wants the extra. If 12 customers want an extra inch then a third of a yard was "given away" to customers. The shop owner had to pay for that yardage and is either going to have to build it into her pricing or cut into her own profit.>>

    So let's assume that the fabric in question costs $10 / yard, and over the course of 12 customers purchasing yardage, the store essentially gives away 12 inches of fabric. That's about $3.30. That $3.30 spread between 12 satisfied customers is just about the cheapest publicity/advertizing a store could ever hope for. Actually, the cost to the store would be well under $3, since the store is paying wholesale, but anyhow, let's leave it at $3. So for 40 cents per person (cheaper than mailing out postcards once you figure printing costs and postage) the store generates good will and repeat customers. I think they should go for it. Can't get a more effective or lower cost way to build a loyal customer base.

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