Price matters. As the years go by, the price of everything keeps rising. That trend is due to the ever-rising cost of production. It is not easy to stay within our budget when the price of fabric keeps going up especially on your favorite materials.
How much does fabric cost? Whether you are buying at a big box store or wholesale you can still get fabric for under $5.00 a yard. In today’s world that is still a bargain. This will depend more on the store selling different fabrics than the rising cost of production.
To learn all about fabric prices and who sells them just continue to read our article, it has the information so you can find new places to shop at even lower prices. It just takes a few minutes of your time to learn new sources of fabric.
The overall retail and wholesale cost of fabric will depend on the generic category of the material as well as the quality of that material. One term used in the industry is the word ‘count’ and this refers to the thickness of the fabric or how fine it is.
The finer the yard, the more expensive it will be. The same holds true for the weight of the fabric. The more weight the fabric has the higher the price. Then you need to add in shipping and handling charges by both the wholesaler and the retailer and depending on how much the latter buys, the end price can be very costly.
This depends on the cost of the raw materials used to create the fabric as well as the factors already mentioned in the previous section. Shipping plays a large role in how high the material will cost once it gets to your retail outlet.
Some retailers have large warehouses and can drive the price down by buying huge amounts of each fabric they want to sell. They have an advantage over local fabric outlets who cannot afford nor have the space to buy such large quantities.
Then the old business adage supply & demand come into play as harder to get fabrics will raise the price a lot higher than easy to get materials.
This is not always an easy question to answer as so many factors come into play especially in the retail end of things. But for upholstery fabric, the average cost is between $30 and $60 per yard with cheaper quality ranging between $10 and $20 per yard. The real designer upholstery fabrics are as high as $100 to $200 per yard.
Retail is a lot harder to give an average. So many stores try to undercut the competition and the prices of fabrics change frequently. But for common fabrics like cotton, etc., and at a good quality level, you can expect to pay between $7 and $20 per yard.
If you want independent price lists for different outlets, you would have to contact the company directly. They do not all advertise their price on the internet or other public places. But you can get an idea of what some companies are offering by clicking on their web pages.
The Fabric Mart internet store has their fabrics for as low as $1.99 and click here to see their price list. You can see some of Amazon’s prices on this web page. Keep in mind that prices change on a moment’s notice even after price lists have been published.
Depending on the quality of the silk, you can find this fabric ranging in price from $5 to $65 a yard. But that latter price is going to bring you some great silk material to wear after you have finished your sewing project.
Usually, the prices you will see at most outlets will be the lower end of the scale, somewhere between $5 and 15 per yard. The price depends on where you are shopping at and if that fabric outlet has a sale going on or not.
Also, the type of silk will change the price as Charmeuse ranges between $7 to $22 per yard. Chiffon is between $5 and 410 a yard, while Dupioni will be higher at $13 to $21 per yard. Raw silk is down to $4 to $8 a yard.
Some outlets have priced this fabric at around $25 per yard. Which is a pretty good price as an online store has discounted its online price to $30 per yard. Other online outlets have priced this fabric to almost $40 per yard and a lot will depend on the width of the material.
The prices we gave you were for 46, 46, and 54-inch widths respectively. You may get a deal from Amazon as that marketplace is selling a yard, with a 3-yard minimum, for around $23. The final price you pay will depend on how good your price comparison shopping is.
If you thought that the previous fabric was expensive, wait till you see what this material is selling for. Even Amazon cannot keep the prices down. Depending on the style and quality, Wal Mart has satin fabrics on sale for $3 to $40 per yard.
Mood Fabrics has it selling for about $22 per yard and you can see their selection at this link. Amazon also ranges from $25 to $40 per yard depending on which quality and style you want.
It is possible to get this material for as low as $1.99 from an online discount fabric retailer but the quality may not be as good as the other selections from other outlets, both online and traditional outlets.
We saw a range of fleece prices going between just over $3 per yard to around $10 and you may see similar prices at Joann’s. Do a little price comparison shopping to make sure you get good quality fleece at the price you want to pay. There are a thousand places at least that sell this material at good prices.
If you are lucky, you might hit a blow out sale and get cotton fabric for as low as $1 per yard. But sales like that are few and far between. Generally, cotton prices will range between $3 and $12 depending on the usual factors.
There is a lot of demand for this material so do not expect to get it at a low price. Even if you do find it at a low price there may be some restrictions on how much you buy, which colors and designs you can buy, and so on. Do your comparison shopping on the internet then go to the best store with the lowest prices.
All the factors that determine the wholesale and retail costs of fabric apply to this category as well. Except that upholstery fabric is thicker, more durable than regular materials so expect to pay a lot more per yard.
One outlet sells its upholstery fabric for roughly $30 to $60 a yard. Their high-end designer fabrics go for triple that price. If you want to upgrade your home be prepared to spend a lot of money if you need more than 5 yards.
If you do not care which material is gracing your indoor or outdoor furniture, then you can get cheaper material for around $10 to $20 per yard. What you pay is all up to you.
Like getting price lists, comparing different fabric stores and their prices is equally difficult as their prices change a lot. What you pay will depend on the store name, if it is national or not, how much they buy, and if they are having a sale or two or not.
Here is a link to a top 10 list of fabric stores and as you can see, their prices range from $7 to $100 a yard. Your cost and where you shop will depend on how much you want to pay and if the store actually has the fabric you want.
Walmart will strive to be cheaper, as will Target and similar stores, while those fashion houses with an attitude will be far more expensive for the same material.
The benefit of shopping at Joann’s is that they send out coupons or have regular sales. That means you can buy some fabrics for a lot less here than you can at other outlets. They also have a large selection of different fabric categories so you should be able to find the material you want.
Their website is very organized and if not on sale, and depending on the material, you can buy fabric between $5 and $12 and up. Some sales knock off more than $3.00 a yard on their flannel selection. It will take a little time to peruse their website as the company has different web pages for different kinds of fabrics.
Walmart advertises that it has the lowest prices of all. It is possible that they do but other stores are close on their heels and what you lose in cost, you make up in better customer service at those more expensive outlets.
On one of their fabric pages, click here, you will find that this store sells some fabric varieties for as low as $3 but you need to order $35 worth of material to get that price. Other fabric options can be purchased at around $8-9 up to $15 a yard.
There are over 1000 items listed on that website so you do get some choice when you shop at this big box store.
This company is very explicit when it describes what it means by terms like one item. There is no confusion as to how their prices apply and they too have sales so you can save some money shopping at their outlet.
The cost of fabric at their outlets depends on the type of material you want to buy but on average you are looking at around spending $7 a yard. Some material can be as high as $19.99 per yard.
Check out their prices at this link and see if you can beat those prices when their sales arrive.
If you are looking to buy 44-inch wide fabric, a bolt at one store is 15 yards long and costs $82+ approx. Some wholesalers may only charge about $5 per yard approx., for a bolt of 15 yards of material, others may be a little bit more.
The problem with buying wholesale is that you can’t be a regular consumer in most cases. One company closed over 300 accounts because they were not resalers. Also, wholesalers make their money by selling in bulk and have minimum sales orders at around $200 to $300 or more.
In other words, you will have to buy 3 to 4 bolts of fabric to meet their minimum requirement. To contrast that pricing, Walmart has bolts for as low as $21 and can go all the way up to over $100. Some of their bolts are priced by the yard so expect to pay $4 x 15 yards as an example.
The price of these materials is dependent on several factors not considered by the average consumer. There is rent, cost of equipment, repair costs of that equipment, and other expenses that decide the ultimate price of the fabric used by these companies.
The region of the country where the clothing manufacturer is located will also influence the price. Here is a link to one web site that gives a detailed explanation of the cost of raw materials. Unfortunately, the prices are all listed in Indian Rupees so some currency exchange calculation is needed.
Suffice it to say that clothing manufacturers pay pennies on the yard mostly because they buy in huge lots that the regular consumer will never see in a lifetime.
It is said that man-made fabrics are less expensive to manufacture than natural ones. Since there are only 3 categories of fabric that is not saying much. The categories are natural fibers, man-made fibers, and a combination of both.
It is hard to calculate which is the cheapest fabric because so many different retail outlets sell the same materials at the same low cost, especially if they have an online presence.
To find the cheapest for your project, you would have to do some comparison shopping and see what the different retailers are offering you.
This is actually far easier to find than the cheapest fabric as every category of fabric has different qualities that lower the price significantly. In this category, there are actually around 5 very expensive fabrics.
Number one is vicuna wool which can cost upwards of $3000 a yard and a jacket made from this wool can cost $30,000. Number two is Guanaco which is slightly less expensive as a jacket made from this runs between $25,000 to $30,000. It is a rare fabric.
Number three is mulberry silk and its price is calculated by the fact that it only comes from one animal that feeds on one plant only- the mulberry plant. Its final price is $100 a yard approx.
Next is leopard fur which has a price tag of $8,000 per meter and finally there is Koigu Kersti Cashmere which costs $6 to 8 per 50 grams.
The cost of fabric depends on which part of the chain you are in. If you are the end consumer then your costs will be a lot higher than the person at the beginning of the chain.
For your personal use, this link will bring you to a fabric calculator that will help you determine how much your sewing project will cost you in the material. For other parts of the chain, this link may help you figure out the cost of fabric.
As you can see, fabrics come in all price ranges. Your final cost will depend on which material you want to use and where you buy it. Remember cheap doe snot always mean inferior quality fabrics. You just have to do a little work and see which price and outlet is best for you and your budget.