The cost of fabric completely depends on what you’re using it for. If your daughter wants to sew her first pillowcase, then by golly, Walmart fabric will do. But if you’re embarking on a home project like decorative throw pillows or cushions, then you’ll need some durable, high-quality fabric. But only after I kindly ask you, “Are you really ready for this kind of grown-up craft?” I’m all for DIYers—heck, I am the biggest sewing nerd you’ll ever find—but I also have years of experience under my belt and know the frustration that can come when beginning.
So here’s your chance to holler at me for help.
If you still want to DIY it up, I have you covered for fabric prices. Trust me; I’ve bought more fabric than toilet paper in my lifetime. Let’s break it down, shall we?
First, Know Your Fabric Material
Keep in mind the difference between quilting fabric, apparel fabrics, and decorative fabrics, which are made to withstand more wear and tear. Quilting fabrics are generally the cheapest fabrics you can find. 100% quilting cotton airs on the more expensive side than cheaper cotton fabrics.
Apparel fabrics have a very wide price range, and it all depends on the fibers of fabric you are in search of. Mixed fabrics are sometimes cheaper depending on their content and what they are mixed with (see chart of fibers below). Natural fibers such as linen and wool are super pricey, depending on weight and quality.
When it comes to home decorative fabric, prepare to spend $65 or above per yard. “Insideout” or Crypton fabrics which are man-made are expensive because they are made to withstand heavy use and even exposure to the elements. You can use lighter cotton fabrics for home projects, but keep in mind that although they are cheaper, they are certainly not as durable.
So do your research and know your fibers! If you are making anything that needs to last, like clothing, pillows, furniture, upholstery, etc., then I would recommend shying away from your well-known craft stores and investing in high-quality apparel and/or decorative fabrics.
- Polyester – Synthetic fiber created from coal and petroleum.
- Rayon – Semi-synthetic fiber made from reconstituted wood pulp.
- Spandex – Also known as Lycra or elastane, Spandex is a synthetic fiber characterized by elasticity.
- Acrylic fibers – Synthetic fiber made from a polymer.
- Microfibers – Synthetic fiber thinner than thread.
- Linen – the oldest fabric known derived from a flax-based textile.
- Cotton – the most versatile fabric derived from cotton fiber.
- Hemp – derives from the cannabis plant.
- Silk – a protein-based fiber spun by the silkworm.
- Cashmere – a fiber obtained from cashmere goats and other types of goats.
- Wool – a protein-based fiber from animals….sheep or goats, etc.
- Jute – a bast fiber used for making twine, rope, and other rough materials.
Fabric Stores Price Comparison
Keep in mind that any fabric you buy at Walmart, Joann’s, or any other chain craft store is not what you would use to make Kate Middleton’s Coronation Outfit or throw pillows for my couch (keep in mind, I’m a fabric snob). But these fabrics are easily accessible and do the job for a lot of projects!
Cost of Fabric at Walmart
The average cost of fabric at Walmart is anywhere between $3.50-$18.00 per yard—depending on the type—with most of the fabrics airing on the cheaper side of that range. Keep in mind your pattern options are limited. At Walmart, you find a couple of outdated chevrons and too many yards of SpongeBob; probably not what you had in mind for your living room, but I don’t judge.
Cost of Fabric at Joann’s
The average cost of fabric at Joann’s is between $5-$12 per yard for quilting fabric, and $20-$60 for home decor fabric. Of course, If you’re lucky you will stumble across a clearance rack and these prices are lower!
The fun thing about Joann’s is that you’ll always make a friend. Probably some cute lady that still crochets her own doilies.
Cost of Fabric at Hobby Lobby or Michaels
The average cost of a yard of fabric at Hobby Lobby or Michaels is very similar to what you will find at Joann’s. Quilting fabric is cheaper, at an average of $7 per yard. Any heavier-weighted and higher-quality home decor fabrics are between $20-$60.
Cost of Fabric Online
Many fabric stores, including Mood Designer Fabrics, based out of New York City, offer higher quality fabrics for your projects. From Corduroy to Muslin, you can find it all. Prepare to spend up to $70 per yard!
Cost of “To The Trade” Fabrics
You’ll quickly notice that shopping at the same two fabric stores will greatly limit your creativity, which is where To the Trade fabrics come in (they’re friggin’ expensive!) Unfortunately, unless you have an official design business with a tax ID number and accounts with fabric manufacturers, it will be difficult to get your hands on To The Trade fabrics. But good news, I do! I do all the sourcing for you, so there is no need to worry about the hassle and the expensive mistakes you make.
My custom sewing projects for amazing people like you are done with high-performance and high-quality fabrics (like Crypton) and stuffing. These things are hard to find, so I’ll save ya the stress, momma!
Cost of Fabric: Is it worth it?
This is the question we’ve all probably asked ourselves after embarking on a big sewing project. Fabric scraps and thread are everywhere; the sewing machine needle breaks for the third time, and your husband steps on a pin and is pissed—wait, is this worth all the hassle?
If you’re ready to drop some cash on quality pillows, cushions, slipcovers, or whatever you’re trying to sew, consider letting me make it for you. And if you want to be a part of the creation process, this is perfect because you can come to my workshop in–person or virtually. You create your dream pillows with me; without the mess or the stress.
I know, it’s a great deal.