Hello everyone. We've created a new forum within General Weaving Discussion called Weave to Sell. We invite you to discuss pricing, advertising, designing, and other issues associated with selling your work.
I've just done some rug weaving with alpaca roving around a sisal core. I have about 3 rugs and I took one to the county fair for a little exposure. My warp is 1 inch apart and it makes the rug look like pebbles. I dyed some a turquoise and will be making as wall hanging out of that one, it is just perfect background for a sea picture. I did it on the rigid heddle and then fulled it in the bathtub, needle felted the ends in and needle felted the edges so that they are a little stronger. I am very pleased with the results. When I took it to the fair today, someone asked me for my telephone # so that they could contact me. Yeah!
Congratulations ! I was wondering if you could post it on the galleries' photo section. I would love to see it ! It sounds great !
The price you can charge for your work depends on many things - but primarily what the market will bear. Work sold at an exhibition will generally go for a higher price than on a stall at a craft fair or farmers market. Neither price will really reflect the amount of planning, preparation and work that has gone into your project, and often it will suffer from the "I could do that if I wanted to" syndrome, grrrrrr!
Pricing as high as the market will bear involves research, but its always easier to come down in price rather than go up. If you can make your rugs quickly and easily, enjoy doing them, and they are fast sellers, they can carry your more intricate and involved work, and subsidize your weaving. It still won't give you what its really worth, but it makes for a paying hobby and enables you to move on to the next project by funding materials, books, magazines and lessons. Thats often the best many of us can hope for.
I hope your rugs are a popular item!
Beth, Im going to start making rag rugs to sale. I have a large Swedish loom, perfect for rugs. Of all the web sites I've checked out, I have figured a price of $18.00 a sq.ft is good. Here are a couple of my rugs. I will also be making custom rugs to match the colors of someone's decor. These are made from new, 100% cotton quilt weight fabric.
Hi Beth on your alpaca rug w/ the core. I have some alpaca wrapped around a core also. How did you finish the rug? What would you suggest for cleaning. When you wove it at 1EPI did the alpaca stay in place? and was it difficult to turn on the selvege. I am wanting to start but am a newer weaver so I seek expertise. whatever help you can give would be appreciated. Thanks, jude in Blizzard heaven in Ma.
When I warped it 1 epi, I was looking at coming around with a completely different look. I didn't get the edges perfectly turnd, I just won't do it. after weaving it, I put it in the tub with hot water and soap and felted it by walking on it and pulling and distorting it. I was going for an uneven weft that would look a little more organic than regular weaving.
Thanks Beth, I will try my material and see what happens.....appreciate the response!! I like the finishing technique...did it dry out as hoped for?
Being over whelmed with the " I could do that " crowd I thought I'm not selling to them anyway so why not sell the directions. I for one will buy the directions faster than a finished product. I'm a do'er. So I did, everything for sale that was my own pattern I had the directions for sale as well, even my soap. It really worked. I sold patterns and the ones buying stopped and talked and I had new customers if only for the fact I would discuss what I did. I also put the time factor on all labels. It is amazing how many people stopped and had an ah hu moment at the time involved. I will admit I do work for min wage and I am working on that. But I have no overhead, rent, and such and no need to get out of my pj's if I don't want to. I do not put anything on sale and I never use the word crafter. I am an artist. If something does not move I move it to the gift pile and there is another C-season gift finished. I have increased sales greatly with this venture. If you don't believe in yourself no one else will either. To the point I have a stop watch going when I am working so I know what time there is in an article. When you do something you love time fly's by. I shocked myself more than once with how much time it takes to do something. Making sure your product is one of a kind and does not look like anything you could find in a store is where I find my sales come from. The new owner knows they will not see it anywhere it is theirs and theirs alone. One sock is "art" two of the same sock is Walm"art" in my world.
BethD I just had a customer bring in a horse blanket woven with roping some 70 years ago and wanted me to replicate it. Well the pattern and why it was done that way was amazing. It was 6ends 6 blanks done in tabby. The tabby held the 6 ends together and also kept the beated row in place each throw and the 6 ends then pushed down into the roping as the roping bubbled up in the spaces,leaving the warp untouched with wear. This was the most thought of everything pattern and so simple. I am sure the core spun would work well in the as well as your warp would show very little. I love the look of the core spun and it is getting so much more use out of the Alpaca fibers that had no home before. I love it.
I love how you said that you are an artist ! Yes, we all are, no matter where we are in the " weaving world of experience. " Thank you for your encouraging post !
It is important to bear in mind that there are many values we as humans see. There is a concept called "ostensible value" which is a value we as human place on everything we see. Frequently the value that someone else see in your items is not the same value you see. It is important to try different prices on similar items. I have been in the situation where an item did not sell and when I doubled the price it vaporized of the rack. We can build ostensible value by providing a story to the item. People love to be thought of as special and if you have an item that has a story people will buy it because it is special. Giving a time and the instruction s for an item creates a kind of a story that make the item more valuable because a lot of people don't know what goes into an item and the time and instructions gives these people a reality check. Marketing is a life-long study of people and how they perceive things: I find it fascinating and lucrative.
I think I found my place to sell my rag rugs( and take special orders). My aunt and a partner used to have an interior design shop in a very nice part of town. My aunt has since retired and sold her part of the business to the partner. The shop has moved several times since then. I contacted Sherly, the now sole owner. She has moved back to the old neighborhood. Just 3 doors down from the orginal location. We have an appointment this Wed. but she has already said yes, even without seeing my rugs. Before I joined the fire dept. 30+ years ago, I worked there for about five years and for several years after joining the fire dept., doing contract work. This is in a neighborhood of 2-4 million dollar houses. These people won't bat an eye at my prices..............Steve
I am a crafts instructor at a program for developmentally disabled adults. We have been weaving scarves on a Saori loom that we are selling in our galleries. We are trying to figure the best way to pay our weavers, since multiple weavers often work on on piece. I'd like to ask those of you who sell your work how you figure the value of your time when pricing a piece. If you had to figure what you pay yourself per hour, what would that figure be? I'm trying to find a "going rate" for a skilled weaver. I'd appreciate any advice.
I can't answer this questions, but I know that Cynthia Alberto at Weaving Hand has a similar project going on, and she could probably give you some great information. Her website is weavinghand.com, and there's contact information on there. She's a fabulous person, and I'm sure she'd be happy to help.