Sunday, November 2, 2008

First Towels

One of the advantages of weaving the fabric up side down is that when it rolls onto the cloth storage roller, the right side is up.

Once in a while a warp will turn out just as nicely as one hopes it will. I am very pleased with this warp and these towels. I hope the shawls will turn out as well. :}

The good news is that we have tweaked my medications and I am now able to weave for about 45 minutes at a time (with minor rest breaks) so I am able to weave one whole towel at a sitting. While my diastolic blood pressure remains too high we changed meds a few days ago, and I'm hoping that it will soon kick in and bring things under control. The paperwork says it may take up to two weeks to become effective, so I'm not fussing too much about the high number - yet...

People often ask about pricing. I don't use a pricing formula such as 3 times the material costs. As mentioned in my previous post, the largest expenditure in the creation of textiles by hand is the labour. Very early on, I realized that if I used the "times the materials" formula, I'd soon starve.

Pricing is a complex process, like weaving itself. If one is to truly earn their income by weaving, over head costs cannot be ignored. Nor can the cost of marketing. If you don't double the cost of producing a piece, you are effectively retailing at your wholesale price.

If you rent a booth at a craft fair, or sell on consignment, those expenses come out of the retail price.

My towels are on the large side. This particular towel is about 22" in the reed, and being woven about 34" long including hems. The retail price for these towels will be $36.00. Towels with less linen content of about the same size (i.e. cottolin weft) are priced at $32.00. Towels made from 100% cotton are priced at $28.00.

How did I arrive at those numbers? Partly by looking at the prices of smaller towels, partly by pricing expensive towels of similar quality, partly by deciding that I wanted that much for them to reflect the size and quality. My towels are hand hemmed, not because I object to machine sewing per se, but because I'd rather sit and hem as a tv watching job than drag out my sewing machine.

A friend described such handwork as "creative fidgeting". I can't just sit and watch tv. I like to have such creative fidgeting jobs to hand - hemming, knitting, bobbin lace, fringe twisting. If I really don't feel like "working", I enjoy jigsaw puzzles. :)

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