Return to the Quilting Forum | Post a Follow-Up

 o
Question about shopping for fabric

Posted by socks12345 (My Page) on
Sat, Jun 9, 12 at 12:02

Shopping in a local quilt store, I noticed that each bolt was securely fastened shut with a little silver clip. I removed clips from two bolts to get a better look at the prints, but could not get the clips back on. I asked the clerk how to get the clips back on. She said it could only be done at the desk with a tool and asked me for the clips and the opened bolts and took them back to the desk to close them up again. Yikes. It felt very "user un-friendly."

So, I got the fabric at Joanns where no one cares if you open bolts and can play with the fabric for as long as you want to make a choice. I would rather have used fabric from the quilt shop since it's a nicer quality.

Is it common among quilt shops to use those clips to lock the bolts?


Follow-Up Postings:

 o
RE: Question about shopping for fabric

At all the quilt shops I've been to, they use metal clips to hold the bolt 'closed' while on a shelf. But none of them were ever attached with a tool... They basically slid on/off kind of like a paperclip.

I do like how neat the shelves look at a shop. So much easier to see the selection than at JoAnns which generally looks sloppy. I've never had anyone ever complain about pulling a length or two off a bolt to audition next to other fabrics, either.


 o
RE: Question about shopping for fabric

Socks, sorry you had such an unpleasant experience. I frequent about 5 local quilt shops, and without exception, they allow you to unwrap the bolts and move them about the shop to audition other fabrics. I try to be respectful and not destroy the shop, but I'm sure you didn't act disrespectfully. Sounds like the clerk was having a bad day. Quilters love to audition fabric; it's maybe the best part of quilting. Most shops encourage it. The more you look at, the more you might buy. Any shop that discourages it won't be open long.

Is there another shop nearby you could visit? Or else, give the first shop another try. Maybe it was just a bad day.


 o
RE: Question about shopping for fabric

I've been shopping for fabrics in multiple countries and for many years and never ran into clips one could not secure ones self, either. If the clerk assumed you were finished with the bolt (and if you asked how to do it, one could make that assumption) that she took the clips and bolt to the desk to secure them really doesn't imply that she was upset with the process, and to secure the bolt and put it away would be the natural progression.

That being said, and even assuming you did not do anything any other potential customer would do, and that she was not upset................I'd call a shop like that not very sales friendly and say that more attention was being paid to a neat appearance than assistance or convenience. I suppose I may be just a little more forward than you, because I would have asked directly at that point if walking a bolt around or unfurling it to see it's lay was not appropriate. If you were discouraged from it, then would be the point where you would consider it not a good place to shop. The clerk may be mis-interpreting the directions of a manager or owner to keep the shop neat and taking it to extremes.

I walk bolts all over stores holding them against other material. It's the only way you can really be satisfied they complement each other. Even more important is to gauge the lay and feel of the cloth. I can tell if the weave is too lose and the body is nothing more than sizing that way and see how it falls and drapes. That's hard to do wound on a bolt.


 o
RE: Question about shopping for fabric

Don't let this incident discourage you or put you off from shopping your local quilt shops. As others have said, you did nothing wrong and I have to believe the clerk thought you were done. Fabric people NEED to look at fabric, touch it and open it up to get a better look. I carry bolts around stores too and have never felt like the store personnel didn't want me to do it.

Try again... I'm hoping it was just a misunderstanding!

Kate


 o
RE: Question about shopping for fabric

You know, thinking on this today, I remember a little metal clip about 1cm wide that used to be sold as a binder clip item. It required a little handle tool to open it wide enough on the stack of paper, though it slipped off easily.

I wonder if this was the clip. If so, it's minimal effort to put on, and no big deal. (Most of the shops I've been to use clips about 1/2" wide by 3" long).

And I agree that you did nothing wrong by shopping around the store. I tend to pile and spread out on a cutting table if it's available!


 o
RE: Question about shopping for fabric

Oh well, I don't mean to be a whiner, but it just felt so unfriendly, like "you can shop here but don't touch the merchandise too much." I was certainly not impolite, tried to tidy up after myself after opening two bolts. I'm sure she thought I was finished looking at those two fabrics and that's why she took them back.

Jennifer, the clips might be what you are referring to--silver rectangles/squares and you can get them off, and you'd think you could get them back on, but no, not with just fingers. You cannot open them.

Yes, there is another quilt shop, not nearby, but near my MIL's home, so I can go there when I go to see her.

Thanks all for the input.


 o
RE: Question about shopping for fabric

Okay, I have a very different perspective from my (too many) years in retail, many selling fabrics of all kinds. As an owner or manager, Priority is customer service & keeping the inventory pristine and the store neat and organized for the shopper. Fabric is especially difficult. I think the store is trying to provide a high level of customer service by not requiring the shopper to have to tidy up the fabric. The fact that the clips are easily removed means they want you to unroll the bolts and play, but they don't expect you to maintain the display. I agree with you that she thought you were finished looking at them.
Please give that shop another try. Ask them next tine, if it is okay to unroll the bolts, and how to handle the little clips. * If they say, no we don't want you to mess up the store- then run!


 o
RE: Question about shopping for fabric

I too like a tidy shop. I don't think it was an attempt to keep you from playing with the fabrics, but perhaps the clerk should have been a bit friendlier. I would continue to play with the fabrics (that is half the fun of shopping for them) and give the shop another try.

beverly


 o
RE: Question about shopping for fabric

That's exactly the perspective I had and why I suggested she just ask. I used to docent in a special library dedicated to history and genealogy. We had a terrible problem with patrons who would unshelf books and then reshelf them incorrectly and that meant many hours of tracking down 'missing' volumes, some of them quite valuable and irreplaceable. Our protocol was a friendly...........sure help yourself to unshelf them but please leave them out and let us put them away. I can sure see this happening in a fabric collection where different brands, qualities and types of material are shelved according to their group. When customers would browse and then reshelf without help, it was not unusual at to find a high quality and expensive bolt stuck into the same area as the bargain brands and many customers get an awakening after they take it to the cutting area only to find out it is five times the price of every other bolt they looked at, or not on sale but accidently mixed in with another lot.


 o
RE: Question about shopping for fabric

"When customers would browse and then reshelf without help, it was not unusual at to find a high quality and expensive bolt stuck into the same area as the bargain brands and many customers get an awakening after they take it to the cutting area only to find out it is five times the price of every other bolt they looked at, or not on sale but accidently mixed in with another lot."

This happened to me yesterday!!! I grumbled and then did not buy anything, as all the fabric was beautiful high end, but the one I wanted to buy was not included in the 50% off, but was right smack in the middle of the 50% off - 6 shelves. I was going to buy 7 yards :~(


 o
RE: Question about shopping for fabric

What I would give to have such a problem. I live 29 miles from the closest town where Walmart is my only choice for fabric. I find myself going on line for fabric, that being said, I am a new quilter and haven't gotten to the place where I need to touch and feel while making choices for that future quilt. That will be a good day.


 o Post a Follow-Up

Please Note: Only registered members are able to post messages to this forum.

    If you are a member, please log in.

    If you aren't yet a member, join now!


Return to the Quilting Forum

Information about Posting

  • You must be logged in to post a message. Once you are logged in, a posting window will appear at the bottom of the messages. If you are not a member, please register for an account.
  • Please review our Rules of Play before posting.
  • Posting is a two-step process. Once you have composed your message, you will be taken to the preview page. You will then have a chance to review your post, make changes and upload photos.
  • After posting your message, you may need to refresh the forum page in order to see it.
  • Before posting copyrighted material, please read about Copyright and Fair Use.
  • We have a strict no-advertising policy!
  • If you would like to practice posting or uploading photos, please visit our Test forum.
  • If you need assistance, please Contact Us and we will be happy to help.


Learn more about in-text links on this page here