Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Married Bolts Discussed

A lot of people like to get married in the Summer, so what better time than now to discuss married bolts?  
Let me start off by defining this fabric terminology.  To me a married bolt is when the double and rolled bolt of fabric has more than one single length of fabric on it. In other words, it could be a 10 yard piece and a 5 yard piece rolled together to make 15 yards.  If you really want to get shops mad, you could put 3 pieces of fabric on to one board and that will really drive everyone nuts.  That is a fabric cardinal sin and we never did that.  That all being said, our family of companies decided a couple years back to stop selling married bolts. Below, I am going to discuss why this happens and why the shops hate this.

When the fabric comes in to our warehouse, it typically comes in on large tubes in lengths up to 120 yards like in the image below.

This is what we call rolled on tube (rot) fabrics.  These goods come in unfolded as opposed to how we ship the fabrics out on bolts when they are folded in half and rolled on boards.  Since we obviously can’t ship out 120 yards at a time and no one is ordering that much of one pattern, we do have to double and roll the fabric to more manageable sized pieces i.e. 10, 12 or 15 yards that can be shipped to shops. 

This is an example of how a married bolt is born.  If we take a 120 yard roll and instruct the cutter (the double and roller) to cut 8 bolts x 15 yards you would think that things would be all good in the hood. However, what happens when the cutter starts cutting is that he might hit a seam which is where the greige (raw material for fabric) is sewn together.  The problem now is 2 fold:  1.  Some yardage was lost when cutting out the seams, so now we may have 119 yards for example.  2.  The seam also could have fallen right in the middle of a 15 yard bolt.  Oops.  So now we have a 7 yard piece for example.  One would be tempted to marry that 7 yard piece with an 8 yard piece and some companies definitely do that.  This is where the quandary begins.  As I mentioned in the beginning, we no longer marry bolts, so we set the 7 yard bolt aside and sell it as a short bolt, typically at a discount.  The frustrating part about this is that the bolt is first quality, but was just unlucky in the cutting process and we suffer on the pricing.  This is another reason why the fabric business is imperfect.  

Here is another example of how the short bolt is born.  If we happened to have hit the seam in the rot fabric right at 15 yards, we would have a perfect bolt.  Don’t get excited because it rarely happens that way. Then say we cut the seam out and lost one yard or a 1/2 yard or something.  Now we don’t have exactly 120 yards and the last bolt in the roll ends up being 14 yards or something less than 15. This is a short bolt that we call non-standard i.e. not 15, but typically we can ship a 14 yard bolt so that is a good thing.  The bigger trouble arises with the married bolts.

Now I am going to put myself in the shoes of the quilt shop owner and explain how annoying married bolts are.  Play along please!  Picture me with scissors in hand. So today I was in the shop working the cutting table and Mary Jane came up to me with a bolt of A Competitor’s fabric. I ask Mary Jane, “how many yards do you want?” She wants 6 yards. As I start to unravel the roll, I notice, “uh-oh” a married bolt. Not only is it married, but the first length that I roll of is only 5 1/2 yards and Mary Jane wants 6 yards. This is quite embarrassing.  Hmmm….as I scratch my head. What the *&^%! am I going to do?  And in there lies the problem, plain and simple. And in their lies the reason why we no longer marry bolts.  Marriage really is a beautiful thing, but not when it comes to fabric.  Good riddance to short bolts!  

Enjoy the summer!


Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: I Firmly Believe In Recycling

Good Day Studioe Fans,


Do you believe in recycling?  I hope you do.  I am a firm believer in recycling.  You should check out how I use recycled paper in the office.  Every sheet has printing on both sides…that way I end up using 1/2 the paper I would.  Haste makes waste!  As such, in honor of my own Father’s Day off present to me, I am going to recycle an oldie, but goodie blog.  Before I do that, let me say that I hope all the Fathers out there had a great Father’s Day!  Here we go with the recycling.  


Today, we are going to play a guessing game.  Can you guess what this supposed to be?

85 bolts photo 185 bolts photo 2

Alright, enough with the guessing.  Yes, it is fabric bolts.  But what do these bolts signify?  These are two photos of approximately 85 bolts of fabric.  Do you know why I am showing you photos of 85 bolts of fabric?  The reason is that if you win our 85th Anniversary contest, you will win 85 bolts of fabric for F-R-E-E!  What a nice ring that has to it!


If you don’t know about the contest, here is the flyer that we have circulating in the marketplace:

85 flyer

Read the flyer carefully and all the answers to your questions should be right there. If you have other questions, feel free to email me:  scott@jaftex.com or ask a question on the blog and I will answer.

Check out how many entries we already have!  There are a lot more since this picture was taken in March.


And don’t be a Debbie Downer and think that you cannot win because someone, somewhere, somehow is going to win this and the 85 bolts will be yours.  Let’s just day dream together and think what it would mean if we could win 85 bolts of fabric. Also, if you don’t win the first prize there are other good “cash prizes.”  Get involved before it is too late!


Good luck!

Resycling (sic) Scott

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: Summer Is Here….Finally

Summer begins for me today (Sunday, June 14) as today marks the end of baseball and soccer season for my son, Aaron.  I truly can’t wait until both of my boys have sports….then I will just have no life.  These are the joys of having boys!

It happens that baseball falls smack in the middle of Saturday and soccer right in the middle of Sunday.  How convenient!  NOT!   I am now the owner of my own weekends which will be really nice while it lasts.  Yippee!  In honor of Summer really beginning, I cut off all my hair.  Well, not all of it, but a lot.


The thing is that sometimes we get so caught up in our busy schedules and lives that we don’t take a second to come up for air and smell the roses.  I am definitely guilty of being a slave to my outlook calendar as the days flow in to weeks and weeks flow in to months.  It is sad, but true.  

However, this time around, I am going take a step back, make some fun plans and set some goals for my Summer.   Time to take some control….while I can. 

Are you a victim of this same problem?   Are you so caught up with work, that life is just passing you by?   If so, it is time to put your foot down and take control of some part of your life while you can.

Don’t let it all pass right in front of your eye.  I know I am going to try not to do that because life is just too short.  It will probably be much harder than it sounds, but nothing is easy anymore.  Amen to that.  I hope you can heed my advice.  Have an amazing Summer and make sure to do some things that you want to do for yourself, your mind and your soul.

Summer Scott   

Rush Hour Giveaway


Congratulations to Jeannie Zimmerman  for winning the Watermark giveaway! Today Studioe is giving away a bundle of the Rush Hour line.  To enter to win, all you have to do is enter through the Gleam box below. 

*Contest ends June 18th, 11:59m EST.  Open to US residents only.*



Rush Hour Giveaway

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: YES!


No!  No!  No!  That dirty little word has be driving me crazy lately because I have been hearing way too much of it from people that should be saying YES!  YES!  YES!  I am hearing this from suppliers, vendors, publishers, employees, reps and so many others.  I just don’t get it.  I am not sure if the people are just being lazy or that it is just their nature, but from me, I can promise you a YES!  99% of the time.

What kind of business practice would it be to say NO?  A stupid one in my opinion.  The thing that bothers me even more is that when I ask “why not?” the answer is really nothing more than a really lame excuse.  I could live with a legitimate excuse.  I am not big on excuses though and typically ignore them because all they are is excuses.  So in my quest for yes answers, I relentlessly press the NO-sayers to try to get them to a yes answer.  I end up hearing more excuses and it makes me consider whether I want to continue to do business with a NOer (someone who always says NO!).  Who really needs it when I can probably easily find someone else that will say yes?


I frequently get calls, emails and letters with all sorts of requests and like I said, 99% of the time I say yes.  To say yes is rewarding.  People are sometimes shocked at the lengths I will go to in order to make something happen.  But this is an amazing quality and this will make people want to continue to work with me and continue to do business with my family of companies.  You would truly be surprised how often I get thank you emails, calls and letters.  People even stop me at quilt market and say, “you were so kind to have done so and so.” 

Without harping on my successes of being a yes man, I have one simple request:  stop saying no! and start saying YES!  YES! YES!  You too will be thanking me as it is never too late to turn over a new and simple leaf like this one.  You will be proud you did.  Am I right or what?


Yes Man Scott & Studioe



Watermark Giveaway


Congratulations to Alisa for winning the Pirouette giveaway! Today we’re giving away a set of the 18″ x 21″ quarter cuts bundle of our Watermark line. This bundle will be of the darker colorway.  You can view the entire line on our website here.  To enter to win, all you have to do is enter through the Gleam box below.  

*Deadline to enter is June 11th at 11:59m EST. Open to US residents only.*




Watermark Giveaway


Watermark Giveaway

Tales Of A Fourth Generation Textile Executive: The History Of Studioe Fabrics

I am frequently asked about the origins of Studioe, so today I am going to give you a little history about how it all began.

In the mid 1980’s, Fabric Editions started doing business under the ownership of the Debbie Scott and her husband. 

The mission of the company was to become the leader in precut fabrics for the major fabric chains and they surely did just that.  Somewhere along the way the company changed hands and it became part of a small family conglomerate called Fendrich Industries.  In hindsight, Fendrich probably paid too much for the company and they battled to make the investment profitable.  Moreover, several large preexisting programs they had with the major chains were split with another company and essentially their sales were cut in half.  These were unforeseen circumstances and Fendrich struggled to recover any return on their investment over its life. 

In 2008, Fabric Editions decided that they wanted to diversify their business away from the chain stores by offering a quilt shop only line.  Thus, Studioe was born….my baby now.  I always get asked where the name comes from, so here is the secret.  The “E” is derived from the “E” in Editions. 

In early 2010, the major shareholder of Fendrich unfortunately took ill and decided that it was time to part with Fabric Editions and the newly formed Studioe.  One day my dad was contacted by the President of Fabric Editions about purchasing the company.  We traveled to Greenville, South Carolina to meet the owners and learn about the business. Shortly thereafter in the middle of 2010, we purchased the entire entity. 


Being that I spent most of my textile career running A.E.Nathan and catering to the chains, I decided that it was time for me to take the next logical step and learn about the quilt shop only business.  I told my dad what I wanted to do and he supported the idea.  Thereafter, we moved the Studioe Division to New York City. I became the President and we hired a new lead stylist and support staff.  The rest is history.  This was a great addition to my career as it opened up an entirely new world to me.  I am so glad that we made this decision as I truly love working with all the quilt shops and I am now more entrenched in this business than I am with the chains.  Now you know more of my secrets. What do you think?  How are we doing?  Do you see how we have improved over the years?  


Studioe Scott