1/7/17

Rag Rug Weigh In

Putting a value on handmade items is one of the most difficult decisions the maker/artist/craftsman has to make.  Regardless of what one pays for the materials or the investment in tools or even the cost of maintaining a studio space, it comes down to what the target market will allow.  For many it comes down to making a sale or sitting on the product and waiting for that one in one hundredth buyer.

Sometimes it's not that the targeted consumer doesn't admire and want the rag rug...for instance...it's their comparison chart that often makes or breaks the sale.  First, they think "I can buy that at Wherever-Mart for much less...it's going to get walked on for Pete's sake". 

Then there is the shopper like me..."I can make that myself".  Oh, really?  You are going to go home or go shopping for the fabrics, sharpen or buy the assortment of cutting tools, find the right size crochet hook, set up sewing machine...all that before you can start on the rug.  Then there is sizing, cutting and sewing strips together and rolling them into a workable and efficient form...see Swifting and Sewing Scrap Strips. Yay! finally ready to start making that rug...and it's only been how many hours, days, weeks to get to this point?  Yeah, I shoulda bought it!

As it happens, that one in one hundredth shopper who is willing to pay the 'It's Worth' price, had a grandmother who made rag rugs, or recognizes the quality of the materials and craftsmanship.  And regardless of whether they could go home and make it themselves, knows the TIME it takes to create this one of a kind rug that will last forever...maybe become a 'Family Heirloom.

A sale like that gives me a great sense of heartfelt satisfaction, but...it doesn't...as they say..."pay the bills".  So how do I arrive at a target market value...I WEIGH it!

Here is a 'Rule of Thumb' weigh in for Rag Rug fabric...
6 yards...stripped and rolled = 1.5 pounds
6 yards fabric...averaged price of $5 yard = $30
'Rule of Thumb' size and weight of Rag Rugs...
24"x36" Oval = 3 pounds 
36" Round = 3.5 pounds
24"x 36" Rectangle = 3.5 pounds
Obviously, the smaller or larger the rug,
the adjustment of yardage affects the cost of materials. 
And then there is the TIME!
And that, too, depends on how...'You Weigh It In'.
 
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14 comments:

  1. I think it's seldom that we get what we think it's worth (for our homemade items)...I have heard of rag rugs all my life but not seen one in person.
    I know yours are pretty.

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    1. I just love making them, and seldom price them according to their 'real worth' when you factor in time and materials. Usually, if I can get my cost of materials and about half of my time...I'm happy! Then there is the idea of having a ready made special gift...that's priceless!

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  2. Back when I was a college student (way before the Internet, Etsy, farmers markets, etc.)I thought I was going to make some pocket money by crocheting. Was that educational, and I don't mean in a college way, either. You are right - pricing is hard, and few that don't have a similar tradition in their families realize why the work is worth more than something from Wherever-Mart. Alana ramblinwitham.blogspot.com

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    1. Pocket money to keep up the stash and maybe a little extra is about it. Today on the internet with Etsy, Ebay and all the other marketing sites, it's hard to make a go of it as well...so much competition. It's a good thing I really enjoy making and don't rely on it for a living. Story of my life...always have to have a real job to support my Fun Stuff!

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  3. How true on what market will bare on selling or running any business. I've had people tell me I should open a ceramic studio. Well I'm not in positioning in life to take a chance of money coming in or not. That why I have a job that has a study pay check.
    Maybe once I get closer to retirement. I will need to subsidies my social security more likely....I just finish my rag rug got photos over on my blog.
    Coffee is on

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    1. It is working out pretty well for me...extra money in retirement. I still work a part time job, though. Loved seeing your rag rug. Well done.

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  4. Never heard of rag rugs, but they look pretty cool. I imagine a lot of work goes into them. My mother is a knitter and crocheter, but the talent passed me up. Hoping my daughter will pick up the talent. Have a lovely weekend!

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    1. Rag Rugs were dubbed so back in the days when they were made from old clothes and remnants...braided was the most popular. I bet you have seen them before, and I imagine your mother knows about them, as well. It's something anyone can learn to do...no special talent required...just desire. Learn it with your daughter...I bet your Mom would love teaching you both. Thanks for stopping by...Happy New Year!

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  5. Reminds me of that joke going around - Why should I pay $7 for this when I can buy the supplies and make it myself for $92?

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  6. worth and arts, i.e. sewing,etc is tough to measure. You do it because you enjoy it, and yet your time and effort and materials do "cost.". You just have to find the right folks who appreciate the art and don't whine about the price.

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    1. I agree! Friends and Family hardly ever whine especially when it's gifted. Then there is the barter system...that's always a good option. Other right folks are fellow artists who are barter experts, too! I enjoy it all!

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  7. Interesting way to figure the cost, but it looks like it would work. I'm in town, but, have been busy so far. Will be on Concho Street tomorrow.

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  8. Happy Pink Saturday, Sue. You made my day! I am so glad to see you, and I think about you often. I am trying to hang in there blogging, but times are tough and my heart is heavy as my mother continues to decline.

    You know I love everything you do. I am definitely not one of those that think they could do it themselves. I know I can't! haha

    This post is being featured on my Pink Saturday post this week as "the one that caught my eye". Thank you for joining us and for sharing.♥

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