A bolt fabric is something that all of the tailors and quilters will have. However, if working with clothing is your new thing, you will not have any idea about it. Well, do not worry, you are not alone. Even I had zero clues regarding a bolt of fabric when I was getting into stitching and quilting.
So, how wide is a bolt of fabric? Usually, a fabric bolt width will be around 35 to 108 inches. But It depends on the fabric type, a bolt of cotton fabric width will be 42 inches, wool 60 inches, fleece 58 to 60″, and others may come with 35 to 36 inches, 39 inches, 41 inches, 44 to 45 inches, 50 inches, 52 to 54 inches, 58 to 60 inches, 66 inches, 72 inches, 96 inches, and 108 inches width as well.
I went into the fabrics store and measured each of the available bolts. And I’m going to share all the information that I have collected for this article. So, to feed your curious mind adequately, read through the entire thing.
Table of Contents
What is a Bolt of Fabric?
Before I describe the things related to the measurement of a bolt, I would like to ensure that you know what exactly is a bolt.
Well, a bolt, in a general sense, is a measurement unit. And it is not like any of the other measurement units you would use in your daily life, such as meters, pounds, and inches. It is a commercial term.
How to Measure a Bolt of Fabric?
I usually used to ask for help when it came to measuring a bolt of fabric. And that would take too much time. The cutting table girl would unravel the whole thing and measure each of the folds individually. Chances are, most people still do the same thing.
However, there is a better way. As you might know by now that each of the bolts will have a label on it. It states all the crucial information regarding the bolt of fabric. But the thing is, not all of the shops will carry bolts that will have a label on top of it. Some will sell them rolled up in a regular wooden dowel.
Instead of a label, these rolls will have a hashtag on the wooden surface. And this hashtag tells all the things that you would need to know about the bolt. Now, to get an estimate of the yardage of a bolt, count the layers of fabric. For example, if you have chosen a fabric of cotton or burlap, two yards will come to one yard.
So, if the bolt contains 60 layers, the total yardage will be around 30 yards. However, this case is only applicable if the fabric is of burlap or cotton. These materials are generally medium-heavy. And when it comes to silk or lace, three layers of the wrapped fabric will be approximately one yard.
That means if you are opting for silk and there is a total of 90 layers, the total yardage will come to 30 yards.
How Wide is a Bolt of Fabric?
Let us start with the thing that passed through your head in the first place, which is the width of a bolt. Well, it is not simple as you might have thought it to be. The width will depend on two factors. One is the type of material, and the other is the amount of material.
Usually, a bolt will contain anywhere from 40 to 100 yards of fabric. Now, you might be wondering, if it is a commercial measurement unit, should not a bolt have a specific amount of fabric?
Well, it is constant but for a specific type of clothing. For example, a bolt of the canvas is generally 39 yards, while a bolt of silk will be 40 yards. When it comes to fabric, it will always be 100 yards for cotton. And cotton is the most common material for cloth.
Nonetheless, talking about the length of the material because it directly connects to the width. The longer the material, the higher the width is going to be.
Usually, the widths will be from 35 inches to 108 inches. And a cotton bolt will be around 42 inches wide. However, wool bolts will be around 60 inches wide. And that is also considered fabric, isn’t it?
In a nutshell, there is no specific width of bolts. However, when talking about bolts of a particular material or fabric, the width will remain the same throughout them.
How Big is a Bolt of Fabric?
The same factors that were applicable for the width are suitable for the size as well. In other words, the size will depend on the material and the amount of material. And as you know, the higher the length, the wider the bolt will be. Well, width does play a crucial factor in terms of size, doesn’t it?
So, basically, it will vary from one bolt to another. But it will remain consistent throughout bolts of the same diameter. For example, the ones that are ¼ inches in diameter will have a tread length of ¾ inches if it is 6 inches or shorter and 1 inch if it is longer than 6 inches.
How Long is a Bolt of Fabric?
As I have mentioned earlier, the bolts of fabric can be anywhere between 40 yards to 100 yards. It will depend on the type of material and the width.
Usually, a cotton bolt will be around 100 yards long, while a bolt of silk can be 40 yards long. In short, it will depend on the type of material that the bolt contains.
How Much is a Bolt of Fabric?
The cost depends on the usual factors that were repetitively highlighted in this article. However, along with the material of the clothing, it will also depend on the origin and the manufacturer. Some of the manufacturers will use premium raw materials, which will significantly bump up the price.
Additionally, if you are looking at the imported bolts, as in the ones that are from different countries, they can cost comparatively higher than the local ones. Nonetheless, the average price of a yard of fabric is between $15 to $50. But if you are looking for luxurious ones, it can cost as much as $1000 for a yard.
Are Fabric Roll and Fabric Bolt the Same Thing?
Many people and shop owners refer to a bolt as a roll. Even they will interchange the terms and use them as if it has the same meaning. However, there is a difference between the terms.
Firstly, fabric bolts will come in a state where the fabrics will be folded in half. In comparison, the rolls will have the materials at their full width. Secondly, fabric bolts are cardboard structure that has a central core. Most of the bolts will have fabric that will be 40 to 100 yards long.
On the other hand, fabric rolls will range from 50 yards to 200 yards. In rare cases, you will see fabric bolts coming in smaller ranges. Some of the unique clothing materials will come in yardage that will be from 5 yards to 50 yards.
Wondering why? Well, luxurious fabrics have a higher cost per yard rate. And people will not usually purchase them in bulk. For that reason, some of the unique materials will come in a bolt from 5 yards to 50 yards.
Furthermore, most quilters and people who sew will purchase the fabric from a retail shop. And in those shops, the materials are arranged so that the layers of cloth can tell the estimated yardage. And the bolts that these retailers will carry are meant to be purchased by the quilters and people who sew.
On the contrary, rolls are for shipping purposes. Manufacturers will ship the rolls to major markets and furnishing agencies.
Hopefully, after going through the entire article, you have proper knowledge about what a bolt of fabric is and all the info related to it. And when you are shopping for a bolt, keep in mind the tricks that I have discussed in this article. That will make the whole process easy.