Even though you may not be a weaver by profession at some point someone will ask if you are willing to sell your work. How much do you charge? How do you determine a reasonable price that will cover your costs and hopefully give you a bit of profit for your effort as well?
There are a number of points to consider:
supplies – the cost of your materials,
your time – both warping, weaving and finishing,
and the market price – what the customer is willing to pay.
There are a number of weave drafting software programs that will assist you in estimating your material costs. You enter the data: warp and weft cost per lb., sett, length and width of project, number of items, etc. and the total project cost is calculated for you.
Because so much of your time is spent warping the loom and materials lost to loom waste, it is more economical to make more than one item at a time. For this example, I will do the calculations for 3 mohair blanket throws.
- Mohair cost per lb: $ 40.00
- Yards per lb: 2240 y.p.p.
- Sett: 6 e.p.i
- P.P.I: 6 p.p.i.
- Project width: 45 in.
- Total length including loom waste: 12 yd.
- Loom waste: 27 in.
- Number of finished items: 3
For pricing purposes, in the material cost per lb. I have used the average Retail cost of the yarn. Even though I may be fortunate and have found material on sale or am able to purchase a large quantity at wholesale prices, for pricing products, it is wise to use the highest price I might have to pay for materials. Why? If I get a repeat order and have run out of the material I got on sale, and have to reorder at a higher price, I may not be able to meet the order.
- Width x e.p.i. = 45 x 6 = 270 ends
- No ends x Total length = 270 x 12 yds = 3240 yd.
- Total yds/y.p.p. = 3240/2240 = 1.45 lb.
- Total lb. x Cost per lb. = 1.45 x $ 40 = $ 58.00
- Project width x p.p.i = 45 x 6 = 270 in.
- Total length x 36 = 12 x 36 = 432 in.
- Total length – loom waste = 432 – 27 = 405
- (270 x 405)/36 = 109350 in./36 = 3038 yds.
- Total yds/ ypp = 3038/2240 = 1.36 lb.
- Total lb. x Cost per lb. = 1.36 x $40 = $ 55.00
- Warp cost + Weft Cost = $ 58 + $ 55 = $ 113.00
- Material Cost per Item:
Total Cost/ No. of Items = $ 113/3 = $ 38.00
For your accounting records, you will have to recalculate this to obtain the actual cost of this project using the price you paid for your materials. The difference between the 2 “costs” is your profit on materials.
Now that you know your material cost, you have to determine what your labour is worth. Is weaving your passion and you would happily work for free? Or do you want to make an income? When you calculate this, please remember that there are weavers who do this for a living. If you are willing to work for free, then others have to compete with lower prices and you may be doing them a disservice. Also, if you are successful and have to hire others, what will you have to pay someone else to weave for you? For illustration purposes, I will use a labour cost of $ 10.00 per hour.
Estimate how long it takes you to warp a loom and add this to your calculation.
What is your average time to weave a certaing length of fabric? Time yourself over several projects. If you have put on a blanket warp as in this example, record your start and finish times as you are working on the project. Using these records will help you to determine what your average weaving speed is and also identify if your speed is improving. For this calculation, I will use an estimate of 1 ft. per hour.
It is important to not forget that it takes time to finish your projects. How long does it take to wash, full, brush and finish the ends of your blankets?
- Warp time: 5 hr. x $ 10 = $ 50.00
- Weave time: 10 yd = 30 ft.
- 30 hr. x $ 10 = $ 300.00
3 blankets x 2 hr./blanket = 6 hr.
6 hr. x $ 10 = $ 60.00
- Material: $ 115.00
- Warp time: $ 50.00
- Weaving time: $ 300.00
- Finishing: $ 60.00
- Total: $ 525.00
- Total Price per Blanket: $ 525/3 = $ 175.00
So now you have determined that you should charge at least $ 175.00 for your blankets. The other important factor to consider is what price your market will bear. Will your customers be willing to pay $ 175 for your blankets? Are you able to charge more because your blankets are of exceptional quality? Do you have a ready supply of materials that you can obtain at a very low cost and are able to drop your selling price?
If you sell wholesale to retail stores or on consignment, the stores will also mark-up your products, so the final selling price will almost double. If you are able to sell a larger quantity, will the increased sales make up your profit margin so that you are able to drop your wholesale prices?
There are a lot of factors to consider when pricing. If you have questions or comments, join us in the forum for an ongoing discussion on pricing and marketing of our products.
Craft Business Books
Craft, Inc.: Turn Your Creative Hobby into a Business
A step-by-step guide to everything from developing products and naming the company to writing a business plan, applying for licenses, and paying taxes. Chapters on sales, marketing, trade shows, and publicity round out the mix.
The Creative Professional’s Guide to Money: How to Think About It, How to Talk About it, How to Manage It
This book focuses on proven techniques and resources used by a wide range of successful creatives to manage their business finances.
Craft Artist’s Legal Guide, The: Protect Your Work, Save On Taxes, Maximize Profits
This guide explains how to:get a design patent or license a craft;price and sell material, online and off;select the right studio and deal with leases, noise restrictions and zoning laws; find and utilize free ways of promoting the business online;hire workers and sales reps;choose the right insurance;complete and file required business forms;protect copyright, patents and trade dress;save on taxes and preserve income.
The Handmade Marketplace: How to Sell Your Crafts Locally, Globally, and On-Line
For crafters who have more confidence running a sewing machine than setting up a Web site, The Handmade Marketplace breaks down and makes sense of the global possibilities for marketing and selling crafts.
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