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Andrea Funk

By: Andrea Funk on February 3rd, 2020

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How to Save Money on a T-shirt Quilt – Material Quality Choices

Finding a T-shirt Quilt Maker

If you are looking to save money on a T-shirt quilt, choose a T-shirt quilt company or maker who chooses the cheapest materials and does not handle them correctly. Below is explanation of how the quality and type of materials used and how they are used can cut the cost of a T-shirt quilt.

To help you understand the trade-offs between these cost saving measures and how a quilt looks, feels and wears, there is also an explanation of how these cost savings will effect your quilt.

Choose a T-shirt quilt company that uses cheap materials.

Typically the less a T-shirt quilt cost, the cheaper the fabric being used.

How does this save money?

  • Fabric batting and thread choices for a T-shirt quiltThe less money a quilt company or quilter has to spend on fabric, thread and batting, they can either charge less for the quilt or earn more profit.

How does this effect your quilt?

  • Inexpensive materials are less durable and as a result, your quilt will not last as long.
  • Your quilt will feel bad to the touch because cheap backing fabric feels rough and scratchy.
  • Cheap batting will bunch and wad up after just a wash or two. Read more about batting here. 
  • No one will fight over your quilt when you die.

Find a T-shirt quilt company that doesn’t pre-wash the backing material.

washing backing material

All backing materials should be washed before they are used. This insures that the fabric won’t shrink or bleed after it has be made into a quilt. To find a company that does not prewash their fabric, look for companies that tell you to dry-clean a T-shirt quilt. Because unless there is a dry-clean only item in a T-shirt quilt, any T-shirt quilt should be machine washable.

How does this save money? 

  • If backing fabric is not washed before they are used, laundry facilities are unneeded. This saves the cost of the machines and the cost to run them.
  • No laundry detergent will need to be purchased.
  • Labor is saved because no one spending time doing laundry.
  • There is not a lag time between cutting the fabric and using it.

How does this effect your quilt?

  • You will need to dry clean your quilt.
  • If you don’t dry clean, the backing material will shrink, which will cause the batting to bunch up.
  • The backing material’s color could bleed and ruin your T-shirts.
  • You will be less likely to use your quilt because of the fear of getting it dirty and having to take it to the dry cleaners.

Choose a T-shirt quilt company that offers a limited numbers of backing color choices.

Fabric room 2019

To save money on your T-shirt quilt, choose a company that has a limited number of backing material color choices on their order form to choose from.

How does this save money?

  • There is no need to inventory, purchased, stored and maintained multiple color fabrics. 
  • Since only a few colors are needed, a company can purchase fabric in huge quantities. This lowers the cost per yard of fabric.
  • A company does not have to find a matching color to customer’s color sample or request thus saving time or the need to order fabric in a unique color.

How does this effect your quilt?  

  • You will have a limited choice of backing color to choose from.
  • The backing color you chose might not be the color you think it was. For instance, one company calls a color crimson (a dark red) and in reality the color is fuchsia (a dark pink). If you purchased a quilt for your son from this company and had requested crimson for the back of his quilt, there would have been disappointment. He probably would never use his quilt with the fuchsia pink fabric.
  • Your quilt will look like every other quilt the company makes.

Conclusion

Make sure that the money you save is worth the tradeoffs in quality, longevity and integrity of your quilt. If your quilt is ruined after a wash or two, the savings were for naught.

Here are other ways you can save money on a T-shirt quilt. 


To learn more about having a quilt made from your T-shirts, consider downloading our T-shirt Quilt Buyer Guide. It's a great place to start your research on T-shirt quilts. 
T-shirt Quilt Buying Guide


Dec 19 9

 

About Andrea Funk

Andrea Funk is the inventor of T-shirt quilts made with multiple blocks sizes. The modern method of making T-shirt quilts. In 1992 she founded Too Cool T-shirt Quilts. Her life has been immersed in T-shirt quilts ever since.