Decreasing quality in supplies

In the past, I’ve alluded to declining quality in fabrics and trims as the options dwindle.  Well, I have a very clear example of that that I think shows up in photos.  See, usually, when I know I will use a lot of a supply, I will buy full bolts of fabric or rolls of ribbon or trim, often enough to last for a couple years at least, if not more.  This is how I’m able to provide the same lace for many corsets, or the same fabric for many robes.  So I miss the small, incremental slips that acclimate people to changes over a longer time, and get to see the full leaps.

Tonight I didn’t have enough of an eyelet trim I needed for a corset, and ran off to the store.  I managed to find the same patterned trim, but it felt…thinner.  I bought just what I needed for this corset.  If the quality was slipping as much as I thought, I didn’t want to buy a full, pricy roll as I’d rather find something newer and high enough quality to meet my standards.

Well.  Well, well, well.

The lace is indeed much thinner.  The lace on the right is the older lace.  There are three notable differences.  First, yes, the cotton is definitely thinner. This isn’t meant to be delicate, in which case thinness can be good.  The second is related to the first.  Take a closer look at the space between the flowers.  In the newer trim, there is more pulling.  The cotton fabric isn’t substantial enough to handle the embroidery without stabilizer, though the older fabric could.  The third irks me to no end.  The edge of the older lace is pretty clean while the new lace has frayed edges.

Here is a closer look at the fabric and the embroidery.

I’m pretty sure that you can tell which is which.

Do you think the cost is going down to reflect this, or even staying stable (which would amount to the price going down due to inflation)?  Either of those would be mildly acceptable.  But no.  The price has nearly doubled.  Since I usually buy full rolls, the rolls I have in my supply room have the prices on them.  So I’m not relying on memory for this.  Fairly recently, I shared how the cost of fabric is drastically increasing as choices shrink.

Fewer choices, rising costs, decreasing quality.  Sometimes I want to rip my hair out over this.

2 thoughts on “Decreasing quality in supplies

  1. Beverly Breslen

    Yep, I feel your pain. I’ve noticed, too, that quality and choices have shrunk while prices have escalated. Therefore, I have started to buy from fabric artists directly. Definitely more expensive fabric but also higher quality.

    • aria

      A lot of those fabrics are imported from China. The prints are often beautiful (and frequently infringe on copyrights, but I digress), but many of those fabrics are very likely going to go up. 🙁

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