Why Is Fabric So Expensive?

The first thing you need, whether you sew as a pleasure or as a vocation, is fabric. Even while a yard of fabric can still be purchased for just $1, ordinary quality textiles cost quite a bit more. This occasionally makes you wonder why acquiring fabric is so expensive today.

The cost of everything, including fabrics, is increasing over time. The rising cost of production is primarily to blame for this. The lengthy production process is primarily to blame for fabrics’ high market prices.

The total quality of fabric determines its sale price. Creating fabrics of higher quality costs more money. Additionally, the cost varies significantly depending on the cloth type.

Why Is Fabric So Expensive?

Fabric is the end product of a protracted and difficult manufacturing process. Whether it is created from natural fiber or a synthetic one, many steps and procedures are required. Therefore, various factors affect the cost per yard.

1. Raw Materials

Raw materials make up most of the cost of producing fabric, which is typically roughly two-thirds of the entire cost. The type of fiber and yarn count affect the cost of the raw materials.

2. Type Of Fiber

Cotton fiber is often less expensive, since it is readily available and has minimal production costs. On the other hand, luxury fibers like silk, wool, and leather are available.  Since silk worms’ cocoons are where the fibers are found, they are expensive.

The livestock costs are incurred when fiber like wool is taken from an animal’s fur. The cost of leather fabric is also inflated by the scarcity of raw materials.

3. Yarn Count

The quality of the fabric is influenced by the yarn count. The cloth becomes stronger with higher yarn counts. However, this adds to the weight and chemical expense. As a result, fabrics with higher yarn counts cost more.

4. Use Of Dye

The cost of producing fabrics increases when the dye is used. The weight, color, and size of the fabric all affect how much fabric will cost to dye. The weight of the fabric affects the capacity of a dyeing machine. The time and cost are therefore increased when the fabric is heavier, because less can fit in the machine at once.

Darker shades require additional color and processing time. In addition, some colors, like red and turquoise, cost more than others in the same dye class. The coloring chemicals also affect the cost. More money is needed to produce chemicals of higher grade, raising the cost of the finished good.

The length of the fabric affects how much the dying will cost. Therefore, the cost of dyeing the fabric grows as it gets longer. To save costs, the fabric’s breadth may occasionally be altered. To cover more fabric simultaneously, without increasing the expense, dye a wider fabric that is the same length.

5. Cost of Production

The cost of the equipment, the cost of running and maintaining the machinery, the cost of fuel, the cost of humidification, etc. are all included in the production cost. Fabrics can be created in two different ways, spinning and weaving.

The kind and quality of the cloth dictate the prices involved with these processes. Greater production costs for fabrics of higher quality translate into a higher final cost.

6. Personnel Cost

Numerous skilled workers are needed in the fabric-making industry. Typically, fabric companies train unskilled, jobless individuals in response to demand, which demands an abundance of resources.

Then they assign those trained individuals to various production stages. Training and employee salaries account for about 8% of the total cost.

7. Shipping

In the same way that you pay more for gas at the pump, fabric manufacturers also pay more to ship their goods. Take into account how much shipping actually happens with your fabrics.

Manufacturing facilities receive deliveries of raw materials. The same facilities receive the dyes used for such materials. Shipments are also made to certain facilities with machine parts for repairs. The expense of shipping ultimately drives up the price of producing fabric, and the consumer pays for those expenses.

8. Cost of Living

Production costs increase, along with living costs.  Salaries must be increased for workers to keep up with the rising cost of living.

All workers who contribute to the creation of fabrics, whether they work in the cotton field, gather wool, or make synthetic fabrics, must be paid, and their salaries are factored into the ultimate price of the fabric. 

How Can I Reduce Sewing Costs?

It is clear from the above reasons that customers have little control over the price of their fabrics. However, nothing is more crucial than making sure your company is profitable, and cutting costs wherever you can is one of the easiest ways to do this.

Here are some suggestions to help you reduce your sewing expenses.

Method 1: Choose Fabrics That Can Be Easily Acquired

Find out which fabric structures and qualities are regularly stocked by speaking with fabric suppliers.

Using these materials will spare you from spending money on further purchases for reorders, out of concern that they might not be available. You won’t have to wait a long time for refills or reorders, which is an extra bonus.

Method 2: Search For Free Patterns

When compared to paying money to purchase pricey designs, there are a ton of sewing patterns available as free resources that can save you money. You can find many websites that offer free patterns by searching Google for the name of the thing you want to sew and the words “free patterns.”

You might find the patterns or instructions in many sewing books interesting. Avoid buying these publications. Instead, check out the sewing books they have in stock at your local library. Most libraries also have a photocopier, so you can easily make copies of pattern printouts to take with you for a new project.

Examining your present stock to see if you can combine items to create a fresh, original look is another technique to get an unusual pattern for nothing. You’d be shocked at what you can create by cleverly fusing previous patterns.

Method 3: Shop For Fabric During Sales And End Of Season

Although it may seem obvious, purchasing fabric during sales can lead to significant financial savings, especially if you choose to purchase in bulk, which can further increase your savings.

You can join mailing and email lists at fabric retailers like Spotlight to receive notifications of sales events or exclusive discounts. By doing this, you may stay organized and be ready to buy fabric, and doing so will save you the most money.

Many fabric shops will hold end-of-season deals where clearance racks may be a veritable gold mine of affordable, high-quality fabric, just like any other business. Profit from these retailers’ seasonal fabric clearance sales, because the prices should be lowered to accommodate new inventory.


The cost of cloth might occasionally be excessive, leaving you wondering if it is worth the money. In this situation, you can recognize the difference by merely feeling the fabric and comparing it to others. If you keep an eye out, you can get lucky and discover fantastic offers both offline and online.