How Big Is A Bolt Of Fabric? In-Depth Size, Cost & More

How big is a bolt of fabric

Last Updated on December 14, 2023 by Wahid

When deciding what to use fabric for, size plays a crucial role. Generally, wider bolts are more expensive than smaller ones. Wider fabrics are more expensive to produce & sell. Knowing the width of the fabric will prevent problems in the future, even if you don’t need to know it before purchasing it.

How big is a bolt of fabric? What to look for before buying? Generally speaking, a bolt represents a piece of fabric 100 yards (or 91.44 meters) long, varying in width based on the fabric. The traditional width of cotton bolts is 42 inches (or 1.067 meters), while the traditional width of wool bolts is 60 inches (or 1.524 meters). Standard fabric widths are available in several sizes. In general, lightweight & midweight cotton fabrics are 45 or 36 inches wide.

Our first step was to measure each bolt of fabric in the fabric store. We intend to discuss everything we have gathered with you in this post. In order to satisfy your curiosity, take a look at the whole document.

Fabric Bolts: What Are They? All You Should Know

To explain what is involved in measuring a bolt, let’s look at some things first. Please read on to learn what a bolt is. A bolt is, in general, a unit of measurement. In addition, it doesn’t resemble other measurements you might use in everyday life, such as pounds, meters, and inches. 

Fabric Bolt Size

  • Let’s begin with what was on your mind initially, namely a bolt’s diameter. You might not think it is very simple, but it is not. Width is determined by two factors. Material type and amount are two factors to consider also.
  • Usually, bolts contain between 40 and 100 square yards of fabric. Perhaps you are wondering, isn’t a bolt a unit of commercial measurement that contains specific amounts of fabric?
  • Well, it’s constant for certain types of clothing. Bolts of canvas usually measure 39 yards, whereas bolts of silk are 40 yards. Cotton fabric always comes in 100 yards. Most cloth is made of cotton.
  • However, length is directly related to width because it is directly connected to width. As the material gets longer, the width will increase.
  • There is usually a range between 35 inches and 108 inches in width. Fabric bolts, which are cotton bolts, are about 42 inches wide. A wool bolt will, however, have a width of approximately 60 inches. Aren’t those also considered fabrics?
  • Basically, bolts are not specified in width. However, when it comes to bolts made of a specific material, they will have the same width throughout them.

Do Fabric Rolls Come In Standard Widths?

  • Measures 36″x45″ (92″ by 114″)
  • Measures 45 x 45” (114 by 114 cm)
  • Measures 60 x 45” (152 x 114 cm)
  • Measures 36 x 60” (92 x 152 cm)
  • 58/60″ wide, and 56/58″ long (140/144cm, 142/146cm, or 148/150cm), for bridal veils.

In some cases, fabric bolts can be thinner than those listed above. Before making a purchase, make sure the dimensions are accurate. Alternatively, the fabric could be too small, resulting in a useless bolt. Bolt width also affects the average price per square meter. From $6 USD to $30 USD for 60″ wide fabric, it ranges from narrower bolts to wider ones.

You should check Amazon if you need a particular size. They are reasonably priced and offer a wide range of widths & lengths.

How Many Yards Of Quilting Fabric Come In? 

  • Quilting cotton fabric usually contains 40 to 42 yards per bolt. Obviously, this varies according to the weight and width of the particular yardage. 
  • As an example, a bolt will yield 40-42 yards less or more depending on whether it’s 60″ wide or 45″ wide. 
  • The quality of quilt shops will be heavier per square foot than bargain bin items (which will cost less). 
  • Additionally, a large print may take up most of the fabric’s yardage, leaving less room on the fabric itself.
  • Whenever you are shopping for fabric, keep this in mind: when there are only fat quarters left, you might want to take them anyway! 
  • The small piece might be useful ( an art quilt center? A mini-quilt?), but it will be worth it.

Fabric Bolt Size: How Big Is It?

  • Size is also affected by the same factors as width. As a result, the size varies with the material and the quantity. As you already know, the bolt’s length determines its width. Don’t you think width plays a crucial role in size?
  • In general, it will depend on the bolt. However, it’ll remain constant throughout bolts with similar diameters. For instance, wheels with a diameter of 14 inches have tread lengths of 34″ up to 6 inches or 1 inch over 6 inches.
  • Depending on the substance and width, the cost will vary. Typically, cotton bolts are 100 yards long, whereas silk bolts are 40 yards long. Briefly, it depends on what kind of material is in the bolt.

Bolts of Fabric: What Do They Cost?

  • Several factors have been repetitively discussed here that influence the cost. However, beyond the material used for the clothing, the quality will also be determined by how big is a bolt of fabric, how wide is a bolt of fabric and the origin & the manufacturer. It is expected that some manufacturers will be using high-quality raw materials, resulting in a higher price.
  • Moreover, when it comes to imported bolts, such as those from foreign countries. There is a possibility that it will be more expensive compared to local ones. However, fabric yards are generally priced between $15 and $50. In contrast, if you want a luxurious one, you could spend $1000 per yard.
  • The place and the person who made the fabric also play a role in the price. The cost of high-end fabrics, as well as fabrics made by designers, will be higher. Price differences can be attributed to the desires of designers and manufacturers of fabrics to make money.
  • Cotton & polyester, are more common and are less expensive than silk & wool. A rare fabric or one considered a luxury fabric, for instance, wool, cashmere, silk, etc., is more expensive because it is harder to make and is less available.

Fabric Bolt Measurement: What Do You Need to Know?

The number of bolts can be helpful when you’re buying fabric, particularly when buying whole and bulk fabrics. You should ensure that you will have sufficient fabric, despite buying the bolt. How much fabric is on a bolt can be measured in a number of ways?

Check The Label

  • Using a bolt’s label as a guide is one of the easiest ways to measure fabric. You should be able to determine what type of fabric the bolt contains by looking at the label. 
  • A fabric’s label will tell you how wide it is if you’re confused. Fabric labels tell you everything about the fabric but not its folded width, or its width when it’s folded halfway.
  • Additionally, the label specifies the number of yards on the bolt, assuming a whole bolt. 
  • Labels also provide information about the fabric type & fiber content (100% rayon, 100% cotton, etc.,) the name of the fabric, its color, and its pattern. 
  • When you run out of fabric, you can purchase more similar materials. Basic care instruction is also provided on the label.

Ask An Employee

  • The label on the bolt is by far the most helpful information for telling you the width and length of fabric on a bolt. But, it does have a flaw where length is concerned.
  • For example, let’s say that you want to buy a whole bolt of fabric, but someone before you wanted that same fabric and didn’t need the whole bolt. 
  • On the bolt, the yardage may differ from what is printed on the label. Most of the time, a fabric store has more than one bolt of a certain fabric available for sale.
  • Nevertheless, if you’re looking for a certain fabric, they have only that bolt available. 
  • For bolts that aren’t whole, an employee can evaluate the fabric yardage within the bolt. In this way, you will have a clear picture of what you are receiving.
  • To measure the yardage, the employee must remove the bolt & unwrap it entirely. Although it’s time-consuming, it is the most reliable method of estimating fabric weight on a bolt that is not whole.

Check Out The Layers

  • Fabric layers folded around a bolt are another way to determine how much fabric is on a bolt. A bolt that isn’t whole may make sense to use this method. It can’t be measured by an employee because there’s no time to waste.
  • The layers of fabric on a bolt can be counted just by counting the layers of the bolt. Therefore, it’s not very accurate when it comes to giving exact yardage. It can, however, give you an idea of the number of bolt yards. Initially, it will let you know whether it is whole.
  • To determine the number of yards in the bolt based on the number of layers, consider the fabric thickness. When it comes to fabrics that are either medium thick (cotton) or thick fabrics (canvas), there are typically two layers per yard. When it comes to thinner fabrics (lace, silk, etc.), three layers are equal to one yard.
  • Suppose a bolt of fabric comes with 100 yards according to its label. Taking the bolt as a whole, there are approximately 200 fabric layers on the bolt. Counting 8 layers on the bolt if it isn’t full, you’ll have approximately 4 fabric yards.
  • In the case of thinner fabrics, 9 layers give you about 3 yards of fabric. Based on 24 layers, there would be approximately 8 meters of fabric. 
  • Accordingly, when it comes to thicker fabrics, add 2 layers, and when it comes to thinner fabrics, subtract 3 layers.

Frequently Asked Questions

01. How many yards of fabric is on a bolt?

In most cases, a bolt of fabric contains around 30 to 100 yards, depending on the type and thickness of the materials. Fabrics with a thicker weave will have fewer yardages per bolt since a bolt can only hold so many yards of fabric before getting bulky.

02. Which method is used to measure fabric bolts?

You can measure out your fabric yourself rather than ask the cutting table gals to do it. A bolt of fabric can be counted like rings around a tree. In the case of medium-heavy fabrics, such as burlap and cotton, there is roughly one yard of wrapping per two layers.

03. What does the term bolt mean?

In industry, a bolt refers to the measurement unit for materials such as wood and canvas, usually stored on a roll. Most fabrics are either 40 yards or 100 yards long, but their length varies by fabric. Bolts of the canvas, for instance, are commonly 39 yards long.

04. Is there a standard width for fabric bolts?

Bolts of fabric range in width between 35 and 108 inches wide. Bolts typically measure between 40 and 60 inches, and specialty fabrics fall outside this range.

05. What is the width of a Hobby Lobby bolt of fabric?

There is a one-yard increment available. Bolt sizes range from 8 yards to 16 yards on average.

06. How wide a Walmart bolt of fabric is?

Muslin Fabric By the Bolt – Pellon Choice, off-White 45″ Wide x 10 Yards By the per Bolt as well- Walmart.com.

07. How much fabric is one yard?

Approximately 36 inches is equal to 3 feet, 0.94 meters, or 91.44 cm. This is about the width of your shoulder or about half of a yardstick. “Yards of fabric” refers only to length, rather than width. Usually, fabric widths range from 43 inches (1.09 meters) to 60 inches (1.5 meters).

Final Words

Hopefully, after reading this article, you have gained a better understanding of how big is a bolt of fabric can be. In addition, when you’re buying a bolt, remember the trick we mentioned in the article. This will simplify the entire process.

The average bolt of fabric contains approximately 30 to 100 yards. However, the yardage, fabric width, & cost, all depend on what kind of fabric you use. Taking a look at the bolt label and measuring the fabric will help you determine the amount you’re getting with your bolt.

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