ELAINE QUEHL, Quilt Artist, Teacher, Dyer, Designer

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Last Chance at These Prices

Increasing prices are all around us, so you probably won't be surprised by the news you are about to read. The price of my hand-dyed fabrics has remained the same for quite some time now. Because of increased demand for both my fabric and my workshops, and because cotton, and the water, electricity and gas used to produce hand-dyed fabrics have all increased in price, I am at a point where I have no choice but to increase my prices. This weekend at the Ottawa Valley Quilters' Guild's Festival of Quilts will be the last opportunity to purchase my hand-dyes before my prices increase. After the show, there will be a price increase of 11.5% on the items I currently produce. Some items (such as single coloured hand-dyed fabrics) will likely be discontinued, as these can be produced by anyone. I expect I will produce fewer pieces, carry a smaller inventory and focus on more exclusive items.

In the United States where commercial fabrics run about $8 - $10 a yard, a nice hand-dyed fabric costs between $24.00 and $26.00 a yard. In Canada where a commercial fabric runs about $18.00 a meter, I definitely need to increase my prices from the $26.00 a meter I have been charging. After filing my taxes this past weekend I was forced to face the fact that there was little profit margin on my hand-dyes after utilities and labour were taken into account. Every piece of hand-dyed fabric is handled through at least six highly laborious processes: 1) measuring and ripping/cutting the fabric to size and pre-wetting it; 2) dyeing the fabric, 3) rinsing and washing; 4) hanging on the line to dry; 5) ironing, and 6) cutting, bundleing and labelling.

I would like to thank the many customers who have supported my business over the past 8 years and hope I can count on many more years of support. I would like to also remind you that I have numerous dyeing classes scheduled this year (visit the Teaching Schedule of my website) at very reasonable rates so there is every opportunity to learn how to dye your own fabric should you wish to keep costs down.

Finally, I would also like to mention that, even though my prices remain the same this coming weekend, I am now forced to charge HST on all sales.

Hope to see you at the show!

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