Quick Tip: Know Your Dye Lots When Shopping!
If you are busy working on a project that is fairly large, don’t forget about dye lots! For anyone not familiar with the term, a dye lot commonly refers to the batch number yarn, fabric, even paper will have been manufactured under.
Have you ever worked on a design that was compromised because you couldn’t get enough similar materials together to finish it? Personally, this has happened to me in various ways. Once, while constructing a costume, I had to hit up several locations of the same sewing retailer to find blue fabric that matched up perfectly. The SKUs (product numbers) were identical, but the manufacturing process differed enough that one bolt in one place was green-tinged, while another one elsewhere was more grey. There was also the time I was teaching a paper-crafting class: while prepping and cutting pieces of the kit, I discovered that although I had multiple sheets of the exact same pink paper – bought off the rack in a huge stack from the same shop – there was a distinct color difference. Some were salmon, while others were more pale pink. Quite a bit of fancy cutting had to happen before I could finish the kits, because I couldn’t match the pink I selected with anything still available in-store. Yikes!
Whatever your project may be – matching curtains, hand-decorated team T-shirts, an elaborate sweater, or a huge princess outfit – always procure enough supplies to get the job done. It’s even a good idea to measure your fabric (or paper) to your pattern before cutting, just in case there isn’t enough. That way, if you’re short, you can always try to source more, or choose an alternative that will be in ample supply. It’ll avoid any last-minute 3 a.m. freak outs when things don’t square up – and trust me, that’s not a place you want to be!