3 Costly Mistakes you can make when Choosing Fabric

by Precious Stevens on August 13, 2020
Hey guys, with the upward trend of event draping, many new or inexperienced event professionals are wasting lots of money buying the wrong fabric blends or simply not buying enough. Little mistakes can cost you big when choosing fabric because, no matter how much you put into it, bad investments show. There are many ways that draping can be executed, however, listening to bad advice will leave you feeling overwhelmed. Here are 3 mistakes that you can avoid the next time you make a fabric investment. You can have a great backdrop on a budget, by simply buying in bulk rather than individual panels. Head to your local fabric store and check out the clearance section. You will be amazed at the various blends and textures of fabric that you can find for as little as a dollar per yard. When it comes to choosing fabric for pipe and drape, always look for fabric that already comes double wide (118”). This will lessen the amount that you need. Two of my favorite double wide fabric blends are crushed taffeta and voile, which are textured and extra wide. Texture adds value to your backdrop and gives a premium look. Invest in fabric bolts that allow you to either sew your own seams or use heat-bond (such as Witchery’s stitchery) to create your own panels. This is guaranteed to save you hundreds, if not thousands, because you can avoid paying by the panel. Once I started sewing my own panels, it was a complete game changer for me. I was able to exponentially increase my inventory nearly overnight. One of my favorite companies to buy bulk fabric from is Fabric Wholesale Direct.
Pay close attention to the tone of the event when choosing your fabric.
Nothing is worse than wasting money on buying fabric that doesn’t match the tone of the event. For example, banjo fabric is commonly used in exhibit booths. This shiny, stiff fabric is perfect for catching the eye of patrons at an expo, but it has no place in an elegant bridal shower. Polyester fabric is normally seen in schools and churches. This thicker fabric is great for blocking out light. I’ve also used this fabric as a backdrop when filming my tutorials. It is great for these purposes, but I wouldn’t recommend using Polyester for soft, feminine or high class events such as bridal showers, sweet sixteens or a Quinceanera . For these, a soft voile is a great go to! When it comes to satin and sheer, these two fabrics can go right or very very wrong. When purchasing these two fabrics, it is best to keep in mind value and be sure to look over them with a close eye to make sure they aren’t stiff. Stiffness in these types of fabric can indicate low-quality. These types of fabrics are best for intimate celebrations such as weddings or bridal showers where the tone is fluid and romantic.

Not every deal is worth it; investments are necessary for a profitable business.

Even though many of my blogs feature frugal tips, the cheapest fabric on the shelf isn’t always your friend. Making some smart investments is always key to increasing your bottom line. Start by investing in a few premium fabrics such as crushed velvet blends. There are versatile and well-loved by the majority of clients. The rich texture and color of crushed velvet screams royalty, so expect to pay a royal price for it. The fact of the matter is that your clients want that wow factor and will pay for it, but you have to invest in your materials in order to deliver. If you don’t, they will find someone who will. By simply having some of these on hand, you can up your price point and increase profits. Another great investment is textured fabrics. These kinds of backdrops easily demand a higher price for your services. One of my favorites is the glitz sequin blend sold at CV Linens. It is a great eye-catcher for my clients who enjoy fancy decor. The last investment fabric that I want to mention is prints. Printed fabric is unique and will help to give personal flair to a backdrop. Just make sure you don’t overdo it. Use printed fabric as an accent piece and pair it with corresponding colors that will make it pop. This is one surefire way to stand out amongst the competition. Before you run off to the fabric store, check out my other article on Creating Color Palettes that will WOW you clients. If you found these tips helpful and would love more tips, tricks and resources, join my private Facebook Group over at The Posh & Drape Learning Community and log in every Wednesday for LIVE videos on my business strategies, Pipe & drape techniques and more.

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