Monday, August 17, 2009

How Do They Do This?

I was amazed to see the quilts in the latest L.L. Bean catalog. Usually quilts offered in most catalogs are uninspiring to say the least, especially if you're a quilter. But I have to say that their collection is very nice. This is hand-quilted according to the ad, and it looks dense too, judging by the photo. Prices: Twin: $199, Queen: $229, and King: $249. I'm assuming they are made in China, but still, how do they do this? Have any of you seen these in person?

Posted by Picasa

13 comments:

Stephanie said...

I think Pottery Barn has quilts in it too and they're Denyse Schmidt. Can't remember the prices.

lattermild said...

Most likely by employing children and/or paying the sewers a pittance and making them work 10-12 hours a day. The textile industry sucks.

Bunny said...

Doesn't this make you crazy. The fabric here in Canada is so expensive. It costs more than that just to buy the fabric, let alone the batting and the labour. Oh well it is pretty though.

I am having a giveaway so stop by if you have time.

Vicki W said...

Foreign labor.

Harvest Textiles said...

Oh that makes me mad. I wonder what their definition of hand-stitched is.

Becky said...

My girlfriend bought a "China" hand quilted quilt. It's about 3 stitches to the inch.

Akiko said...

I got that catalog and made me sad:(
But before that, I think we should educate people around us, too.
I'm quilter and my family knows that. But they are buying quilts from store and paid like $20 for twin size. I asked them why and they always said "it's cheap and I didn't want to bother you to make for me".
To make quilt for someone is not "bothering".
I hope they know difference between our hand-made quilt and store-bought hand-made quilt.

Selvage Quilter said...

Regardless of how pretty a store bought quilt may be, it can't touch the value of a quilt made by a friend or loved one! They're not in the same universe:)

Artfulife said...

Looks really cute.

SueR said...

Yes, I have seen all of the LLBean quilts. I live about a half hour from their main retail store in Freeport, Maine, and I own two of their queen-sized quilts. I don't see much difference in fabric quality from their quilts and quilt shop cottons, and in some cases, it looked to me like the Bean quilts may have even been a higher thread count.

They are indeed hand stitched. I measured the stitching on my own quilts; and Becky is correct--mine were also about three stitches to the inch. However, the batting is noticeably thicker than Warm and Natural or Dream Cotton, and I'd be very surprised if you could get a much smaller stitch than 3-5 stitches per inch with that thicker batting.

As far as I know, all of Bean's quilts are imported. Many are imported from India, some from Portugal. I don't know how many, if any, are imported from China.

I would guess that one of the reasons they can offer quilts less expensively is simply by volume. LLBean markets worldwide. VickiW is also correct in that foreign labor can bring a product to market more cheaply than the US labor market. How about US auto makers? That might be a good example.

All in all, you can get a pretty nice quilt which is quite serviceable and made well enough to last for years fairly inexpensively. Compare that to the hundreds or thousands of dollars US quiltmakers want for their quilts. There's a good reason why there's a market for these quilts.

Helen said...

One year I bought quilts from Pottery Barn as Christmas gifts. As a quilter they were not acceptable and I returned them. In the magazine they looked wonderful and I was excited thinking I could wipe out a goodly number of Christmas gifts so quickly. Looks are deceiving is all I can say!

Amy said...

I have to admit that I have an LLBean queen size quilt on my bed and it has been there for 10 years now. It still looks good and I get compliments on it all the time. People also ask if I made it. I too am guessing that it is the labor. The fabric seems to be good quality and the craftsmanship too.

Jan said...

I have been loving this postage stamp quilt, and have added it to my "to do" list. It certainly will cost me more to make it than they are charging. The workers who make these quilts must make a dollar or two a day. It really is a shame that this injustice goes on. It probably always will, unfortunately.