How to Calculate Fabric Yardage for Purchasing Fabric for Your Project?

Many of you need to calculate fabric consumption for making the items that are made of fabrics. Depending on the region where you do belong, the product type, and the item you make, fabric consumption is calculated either in Meters or in Grams (Kgs) or in Yardage. 

In this post, I will show you the fabric yardage calculation method for making clothing items.

fabric yardage calculation
Yardage is nothing but the linear length of the fabric (average consumption) needed for making one apparel item irrespective of the fabric width.

In some countries fabric requirement (consumption) is calculated in yardage and fabric is purchased in yards (linear length). Fabric yardage requirement is calculated for making one single garment (the item can be bed linen, pillow, and any other home furnishing items). The symbol of the yard is ‘yd’.

You know the fabric is available in various widths. Some of the common fabric widths are 44 inches, 54 inches, 64 inches. First, you select fabric width and then calculate how many yards in length you need to purchase.

Unit conversion factors

Let us keep the unit conversion factors ready.

1 yard = 3 feet = 36 inches
1 meter = 1.0936 yards

If you use the metric system for measuring the length of the fabrics and garment sizes, you may not need to calculate fabric consumption in yardage. But if you do, first convert all measures to inches and then calculate fabric yardage for your project (garment item).

Calculating yardage for an apparel item

For this, you need paper patterns or the measurement of all the components of a garment design. Let us say, you will be making a Kurti (ladies top) and the pattern dimension are as following. 

pattern marker for plain kurti

In lengthwise, you need 44 inches for the front panel and back panel + for sleeve 26 inches + add seam margin of 3 inches. Total 73 inches in length. 

You decided fabric width as per your Kurti size (bust measurement) 48 inches (width). For different sizes, you may order the fabric of different widths. Or you can order a fabric of width that fits the biggest garment size.

Add 5% fabric wastage in length. So, calculated length of the fabric 
= (73 x 1.05 inches) = 76.65 inches.

Now, convert the fabric length into yard = (76.65 /36) Yards = 2.129 Yards

The fabric yardage for this Kurti is 2.129 yards.

If you need to make 500 Kurtis, you need to source a total (2.129 x 500) = 1064.5 Yards of fabric.

Related: Calculating fabric consumption in meter

Calculating yardage of bedsheet (bed linens)

The bedsheet comes in different dimensions depending on the bedsheet size. For a double/Full bedsheet, the dimension is 54”x75” (width 54 inches and length 75 inches). Seam allowance in lengthwise 1+1 inches. Considering no folding is done on the sides of the bedsheets.

You can select a fabric 54 inches wide.

Including the seam allowance and edge folds, the total length of the fabric needed for one bedsheet 77 inches.

Now convert the length into Yards (you already know the conversion factory, 1 yard = 36 inches).

Yardage per bedsheet = (77/36) = 2.139 Yards

For the bulk fabric purchase, you need to add some fabric wastage to avoid a shortage in cut quantity. Let’s say, 4% wastage is added. 
So, final yardage for bedsheet = (2.139 x 1.04) yards = 2.22 yards

Related: Calculating fabric consumption of a t-shirt

Prasanta Sarkar

Prasanta Sarkar is a textile engineer and a postgraduate in fashion technology from NIFT, New Delhi, India. He has authored 6 books in the field of garment manufacturing technology, garment business setup, and industrial engineering. He loves writing how-to guide articles in the fashion industry niche. He has been working in the apparel manufacturing industry since 2006. He has visited garment factories in many countries and implemented process improvement projects in numerous garment units in different continents including Asia, Europe, and South Africa. He is the founder and editor of the Online Clothing Study Blog.

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