Thursday, February 12, 2015

What Do All Those Numbers and Letters Mean?

It's time to help you decipher the code from the end of the fabric bolt!  Not every bolt is the same, which adds to the mystery.  And there are 2 parts to understand, one from the manufacturer and one from Bear Patch.  
The manufacturer's label will show the company name in easy-to-read text.  The rest of it is tiny (keep your reading glasses handy) and informative if you give it a chance.

First, the manufacturer's label, printed directly on the cardboard and glued in place with bolt-specific info.  This can contain various bits of information, depending on the company.  It might include:

  • the common name of this fabric and maybe the designer
  • an identifying number/letter code from the manufacturer, often called the item ID
  • the width of the fabric (estimated)
  • how many yards of fabric were wound on the bolt originally
  • UPC label/barcode
  • fiber content
  • fabric care instructions
  • the contact information for the manufacturer

And on the Bear Patch sticker, placed on the side of the bolt next to the end:

  • the Item ID from the manufacturer.  We often abbreviate what the manufacturer created as the original Item ID since we have only an itty-bitty space to print it!
  • The year and month that the fabric was put on the shelf at the store
  • UPC label/barcode
  • the manufacturer's name of the fabric
  • the price per yard
Here are a couple more examples to illustrate the variety of labels we see.  The orange batik bolt includes the name of the designer, Jason Yenter.  The name of the fabric group, floragraphix, is kind of a trademark for him because his fabric designs often include "graphix" in the name.  There is a handwritten number "12" on the label.  This is not the price, it is the yardage on the bolt.  That leads to confusion sometimes for customers.  Always be sure to ask if you aren't sure of the price, we don't want any surprises at the register any more than you do!

 And this one includes the designer's name (Kaffe Fassett).  But don't let that red X confuse you into thinking that this is a marked down bolt.  We do mark our sale bolts in red marker with the price per yard, not an X!

Here's a bit of trivia: you might notice the little tiny "Coats" almost cut off the right side of the picture.  The Coats company owns Rowan and Free Spirit fabrics, as well as Susan Bates, Anchor and Red Heart yarn.  And you thought they just made thread!
So there you go, more about bolt labels than you ever wanted to know!

1 comment:

MissesStitches said...

Interesting post. Thanks for all the great info.