Justifying Fabric Prices – Just Why Are Some Worth More Than Others?

Written By Coby Bull


Justifying Fabric Prices – Just Why Are Some Worth More Than Others?

Whether you are a crafter, a dress maker, looking for a unique fabric to take to a tailor or have some other reason to purchase fabric, you’ll understand that in most cases, you get what you pay for. Fabric prices have increased exponentially in the last two decades and many find it hard to justify spending a lot of money on quality fabric, but there are a number of reasons why premium fabric comes with a premium price. Below are just a few.


As with any product, if you want quality, you have to pay a little more. The same goes for fabric. Paying more means you get a better product. This is particularly true for fabrics that are a little more complex, such as lace, faux fur, microfibre, velvet and silk. Opting for cheaper options could land you with a piece that is not as durable, is more difficult to work with and in some cases the fabric will be much thinner. Always use a reputable supplier if quality is important to you.


Gorgeous dark turquoise silk satin, sourced from Italy


Where the fabric is sourced from can also make a huge difference. Not only will it affect the quality but it also determines the ethical side of how the fabric was produced. Cheaper fabrics are less expensive as they are typically sourced from countries and companies who may not pay or treat their workers in an ethical way. Likewise, prices can be affected by the changing economic climates and availability of local resources. For instance did you know a spike in oil prices can affect some specialty/synthetic fabrics? Here at Joel & Son our fabrics are sourced from the finest mills across Europe, including Italy, France & Spain.

Brand or Designer

Just like clothes, brand name fabrics or those by well-known designers are usually more expensive – not just for the name but for the guaranteed quality and credibility that comes with it. In addition you can assume that some of the additional cost goes towards enhanced quality control and work going into coming up with cutting edge designs and instantly recognisable print patterns. At Joel & Son Fabrics we stock fabrics from some of the most well known brands, including Valentino, Holland & Sherry and Jakob Schlaepfer.


Floral printed silk taffeta, by Valentino. Available online.

Patterns and Material

Of course the aesthetics can affect pricing as well. We mentioned above how instantly recognisable (and often copywrited) print patterns have high demand and therefore manufacturers and designers can command premium prices. Likewise, the base material prices will be affected by supply and demand, as well as the amount of work needed to create the saleable fabric. For example, real fur commands top prices because of the level of availability associated with it rather than wool derived from sheep that is easier to come by.

Additionally, intricate design that incorporates beads sewn into the fabric for example, can inflate the price or those materials that require a higher level of production such as lace and tulle. Here at Joel & Son we regularly purchase fabrics and then have them sent on to be hand beaded before they make it onto our shelves, making them unique and exclusive to us.


How you use the fabric should influence how much you are willing to spend. Quality fabric suppliers will have fabrics ideal for certain applications, such as bridal outfits, special occasions and designer pieces. If you are creating such a piece, it is important to choose the right fabric for the situation and setting. At Joel & Son Fabrics we are known for our speciality and expertise in sourcing the finest fabrics, including bridal, suiting and couture fabrics.

Here at Joel & Son Fabrics based in London we only stock the highest quality wares from trusted suppliers and designers in Europe and around the world. Our stock can now be purchased online and shipped to your door with free delivery available on purchases over £200 (normally £6.95).