Why is quilting so expensive?

Have you ever walked up to a fabric store to get some materials for your next sewing project only to see some beautiful quilt designs you thought would look good on your wall or make a perfect match for your bed cover, only for you to be discouraged because of the price? Well, you are not alone! One of my close friends has found himself in such a situation in the past that he could not help but keep asking himself this question over and over again: “why is quilting so expensive?” 

He told me about his experience, did some research, and made some wonderful discoveries about the whole quilting process as a sewing technique with the aim of finding an answer. I will be sharing the outcome of the research in this article. Keep reading! 

Why do quilts cost so much? 

1. It is time-consuming 

Quilting involves joining several pieces of materials together to form one or more layers of bigger material which will then be sewn together with the backing, batting, and binding to create a finished product.

Sometimes, you may use several days or weeks to complete a quilting project, especially when it is done by hand. Although people now use machines for quilting, compared to the time that will be required for completing a comforter, quilting still takes more time. This is why they are usually priced high on the market. 

2. Cost of material 

You will agree with me that one of the costs that constitute the major cost buildup of a product is the cost of raw materials. Quilting is no different, and that is so evident in the price at which they are sold at the market.

The cost of the materials is just so expensive. For instance, if you are working on a queen-size quilting project, for the top, you will need about 15 yards of fabrics which will cost up to $194. And for the back, you will need nothing less than 8½ yards of fabrics which will also cost you up to $110.

To summarize the whole thing, you may end up spending $400 or more on acquiring materials alone, not to talk of extra expenses you may spend if the quilting requires some complicated designs. 

3. Scarcity 

In terms of price, handmade quilts are costlier than their machine-made counterparts. You may want to know why this is so. This is because handmade quilts take time and require great skill to complete. Unfortunately, most people nowadays rely on machines which has led to the scarcity of real quilts in the market. Hence the reason why they usually have a high price tag in both offline and online fabric stores. 

Why is quilting fabric so expensive? 

Sadly enough, the cost of fabrics, in general, is high, and it doesn’t matter which you are talking about. Whether it be quilting or regular fabric, they are both expensive. Furthermore, the prices of these materials are affected by the same factors. You will find details below.  

1. Cost of production 

In the process of manufacturing fabrics, a lot of expenses are usually incurred. Some of which include labor, utilities, transport, and material. When these expenses are summed together, they usually form a high-cost buildup which will be spread across the prices of each fabric. 

2. Source of raw material 

It is hard to believe this, but some raw materials used for making these fabrics are very hard to come by. This is so true of natural fiber, which is the best material for quilting. I know you may want to ask, “what about synthetic materials?”

Yes, synthetic materials are cheap, but when you need a good quality material for your quilting project, it has to be that scarce natural fiber. This is why quilting fabrics with natural fibers are usually very expensive. 

3. Retailers’ markup 

As these fabrics pass through the chain of distribution, each player, i.e., the manufacturer, wholesale, and retailer, all impose certain markup prices on them apart from the original cost. It is the addition of this markup cost and the original cost that results in what you, as the final consumer, pay for at a high cost. 

Is quilting expensive? 

Yes, quilting is expensive. For you to complete a quilting project, you need to invest your money, time, and craftmanship hence the reason why they are considered one of the most expensive hobbies. As a beginner, apart from raising money to acquire the basic equipment, when you finally settle down, and you want to embark on your first project, you will have to raise another money for fabrics which sometimes may double the amount you might have spent on acquiring your quilting equipment. 

Why is quilting so popular? 

Quilting is popular today and yesteryear because of the numerous benefits offered by the skill. Apart from fulfilling domestic needs by providing warmth, many quilters say they are addicted to the skill because of the following. 

  1. It helps to relieve stress 
  2. It leads to creativity. 
  3. It helps calm and relax their mind. 
  4. It can be used as a gift. Hence, it leads to the building of stronger bonds between family and friends. 

Most expensive quilt 

The most expensive quilt ever sold was the reconciliation quilt made by Lucinda ward Honstain in 1867. 

How much should a good quilt cost? 

If you are looking for a good quality queen-size quilt, you should be expecting to pay the price between $350 to $1500. And for a baby-size quilt, you should be looking within the range of $150 to $400. 

How many hours does it take to make a quilt? 

If you are working with a machine, a baby-size quilt will take you nothing less than 3 to 9 hours to finish. At the same time, a queen-size quilt will take you about 10 to 20 hours from start to completion. 

If you are hand quilting, it will take you about 12 hours to finish a baby-size quilt, while a queen-size quilt can take you 8 weeks or more. 

However, you should know that these time frames may also vary depending on some factors like how much time you’re willing to dedicate to the project and your experience. 

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