Monday, November 14, 2011

Price Comparison - Imperial vs Metric

We all do it. We judge a fabric by it's price at face value. Often, within a fraction of a second, we decide that it's too cheap, too expensive or just right. All the time we are evaluating. This is human nature and when we spend our hard earned dollars, we don't want to regret it later.

Here in Canada we are "metric" but many vendors still sell in yards and inches. Also people shop cross border all the time. In the U.S. all fabrics are measured in yards and inches. It's a worthwhile exercise to make proper comparisons to know what you are purchasing. In other words, it helps to "do the math".

Let's say we have exactly the same fabric, one is priced by the yard, the other by the metre. The price is $18 per yard from one vendor and $19.70 per metre from the other vendor. Which one is cheaper? A metre is exactly 1.09361 yards. Multiply $18 times 1.09361 and you have your answer. The impulse is to go with the lower stated price, but in fact the price is exactly the same.

Let's say we have exactly the same fabric, except one is 45" wide and the other is 60" wide. The price for the 45" wide fabric is $15 per yard and the 60" wide fabric is $19 per yard. Which one is cheaper? One yard of 60" fabric is equivalent to 1-3/8 yards of 45" fabric. Again, the impulse is to buy the $15 fabric but in this case the $19 fabric is the better value.

It gets more complicated when comparing different measures; e.g. 45" versus 154cm but the principles are the same. Convert to a common measure and compare. So, if at first blush, the price seams high to you, check the fabric width. You might be pleasantly surprised.

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