Archive for November, 2011

Of quality and image

Or, Why the HELL did I look at the Burberry website?

See, I’m a guy with an understanding of how raw materials become fabrics become garments. Anyone who pays a little attention can know how things work, and for someone who uses yarn a lot, this knowledge becomes integral lore. If I needed to, I could construct a drop spindle and spin and ply my own yarn; probably, most knitters, crocheters, and weavers could.

This is where today’s little diatribe starts: at the cost of producing a fabric product. For something hand-made, these costs can skyrocket if the effort is exceeding a certain level; there’s no real way to produce things like socks in an economical amount of time, unless you’re selling them for hundreds of dollars a pair; say, 8$/hour with 10$ for materials; most pairs of socks take at least 30 hours to complete, if you’re lucky. Suddenly that’s 250$/pair; (friends of mine, take note: that’s why I don’t sell socks. You can’t afford them, and if I give them to you as a gift, I damn well expect them to be worn.)

What is shocking, though, is going to the Burberry website and seeing a scarf cost 400$ or more; that’s just absurd. That’s fucking absurd, for a machined product. Especially one which uses yarn that I can acquire from an online retailer who is marking up that yarn, having acquired mill ends of it, for about 20-30$ a cone; each cone, if I purchased the four colours necessary to weave one of those scarves, would cover the production of probably four or five scarves, all for around a hundred dollars. Somehow, you expect me to believe that your machine-produced scarves are worth 400$? Bullshit.

On the other hand, I’ll sell people scarves for 350$, with better workmanship than the Burberry product. You can take orders in the comments.