5 Tips for Pricing Textile Art at Art Festivals
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 6 min read


  1. Consider Material and Production Costs
  2. Evaluate Market and Competition
  3. Price for Profit, Not Just Break-Even
  4. Factor in Your Time and Talent
  5. Adjust Prices According to Customer Feedback and Sales Data

If you're a textile artist gearing up for a thrilling art festival, you might be wondering about how to price your textile art. Perfect pricing is an art in itself—too high, and you might scare away potential customers; too low, and you might not cover your costs or value your work properly. Here, we'll explore five tips on how to price your textile art for art festivals, ensuring you're honoring both your craft and your pocketbook.

Consider Material and Production Costs

Before you stick a price tag on your textile art, it's important to consider the costs that went into creating it. This forms the foundation of your pricing strategy.

Materials Cost

First off, tally up the cost of the materials you used. This might include thread, fabric, beads, or any other items you've used in your artwork. For example, if you've used a high-quality wool from New Zealand or special silk threads from China, include these costs. Remember, no detail is too small to count.

Production Cost

Next, add in the production costs. This might include the cost of electricity for your sewing machine, the wear and tear on your tools, or the fees for any classes you took to learn new techniques. If you've used a unique stitching pattern that took extra time to master, or a special dyeing method, don't forget to factor these in.

Overhead Cost

Then there are the overhead costs. These are the expenses that you would incur regardless of whether you were creating a particular piece of art or not. Your studio rent, internet bills, or even the cost of maintaining your website—these all form part of your overhead costs.

Once you've added up all these costs, you'll have a better idea of where to start when pricing your textile art for the art festival. Remember, this is just the starting point. Pricing involves more than just covering your costs—you also need to make a profit and value your time and talent. But we'll get to that later!

Evaluate Market and Competition

Now that you've calculated your costs, it's time to take a look at your market and competition. Understanding your place in the market helps you position your artwork appropriately and price it competitively.

Know your Market

Begin by identifying your target audience. Are they art collectors with a keen eye for quality and uniqueness? Or are they casual festival-goers just looking for a beautiful piece to take home? Knowing your audience will help you understand what they might be willing to pay for your work. For instance, if your textile art incorporates traditional Peruvian weaving techniques, it might fetch a higher price from an art collector interested in global art forms.

Understand your Competition

Next, look at other artists who create similar work. What prices are they charging? Take note of their pricing strategies, but remember—you're not just competing on price. You're also competing on quality, uniqueness, and the story behind your art. Let's say you're up against an artist using machine-made patterns while you hand-weave yours—this distinction could justify a higher price for your pieces.

Stay informed about trends in the art market. Are certain colors, themes, or techniques currently popular and commanding higher prices? If your work aligns with these trends, you might be able to adjust your pricing accordingly. For instance, if eco-friendly art is trending, and your textile art uses sustainable materials, this could be a selling point that justifies a higher price tag.

Assessing the market and competition is a crucial step in knowing how to price your textile art for an art festival. By understanding your audience, your competitors, and market trends, you can price your artwork in a way that's both competitive and profitable.

Price for Profit, Not Just Break-Even

After you've taken into account production costs and evaluated the market, it's time to decide on a price. Remember, the goal here is not just to recoup your costs but to turn a profit. Here are some tips to ensure you're pricing for profit when selling your textile art at an art festival.

Set a Profit Margin

Profit margin is the difference between the selling price of your artwork and its production cost. You'll want to add a profit margin to each piece you sell. But how much? An easy rule of thumb is to aim for a 50% profit margin. However, this can vary based on your market assessment and personal goals. If your one-of-a-kind, hand-dyed silk tapestry took you weeks to complete, a 50% profit margin might not cut it.

Don't Underestimate Your Art's Value

Remember, your artwork has value beyond the materials and time that went into creating it. It's a reflection of your skill, creativity, and unique perspective. Those things are hard to put a price tag on—but they're what make your work special. So, don't undersell yourself. If you believe your hand-stitched, medieval-inspired tapestry is worth more than you're pricing it, consider raising your price.

Consider Wholesale and Retail Prices

If you're considering selling your textile art in other venues, like galleries, boutiques, or online platforms, you'll need to consider both wholesale and retail prices. Wholesale is typically 50% of the retail price. If you're selling at an art festival, you're likely selling at retail prices. So make sure these prices are profitable for you.

When learning how to price textile art for an art festival, it's important to price for profit, not just to break-even. By setting a reasonable profit margin, recognizing the value of your work, and considering wholesale and retail prices, you can ensure your work is priced both competitively and profitably.

Factor in Your Time and Talent

Textile art isn't just about the materials used; it's about the time and talent invested into each piece. This makes it vital to factor in the value of your time and the skill that you bring to the table when pricing your artwork for an art festival.

Calculate Your Hourly Rate

Start by determining an hourly rate for yourself. Think about how much you'd like to earn for each hour you spend working on your art. Remember, this isn't a minimum wage job—your unique skills and expertise deserve fair compensation. If you spent 10 hours creating a detailed batik wall hanging, make sure you're covering that time in your price.

Charge for Your Expertise

Your expertise as a textile artist adds value to your work. Maybe you've mastered the intricate art of Japanese sashiko stitching, or perhaps you have a knack for creating vibrant, eye-catching patterns with tie-dye. These skills set you apart from other artists and should be reflected in your pricing. So, charge for your expertise!

Don't Forget the 'Invisible' Time

When pricing your textile art, it's easy to overlook the 'invisible' time. This includes time spent on tasks like researching new techniques, sourcing materials, and even packing up your art for the festival. While it might not be directly linked to a specific piece, this time still contributes to your art business and should be factored into your pricing.

When you're figuring out how to price textile art for an art festival, remember that your time and talent are part of the equation. By calculating a fair hourly rate, charging for your expertise, and accounting for 'invisible' time, you'll ensure that your prices reflect the true value of your work.

Adjust Prices According to Customer Feedback and Sales Data

Just like any business, pricing textile art for art festivals isn't a one-time thing. You'll need to be flexible and ready to make adjustments based on customer feedback and sales data. This is the key to staying competitive and successful in the art market.

Use Customer Feedback Wisely

Customer feedback is a goldmine of information. Listen to what your customers are saying. Are they raving about the value they're getting for their money? Or do they love your work but hesitate because of the price? This feedback can help you adjust your prices to better match what your customers are willing to pay.

Analyze Sales Data

Sales data is another valuable resource when you're figuring out how to price textile art for an art festival. By keeping track of which pieces sell quickly and which ones linger, you'll gain insight into what price points are most acceptable to your customers. If a piece is selling like hot cakes, it could be an indication that you could increase its price. On the other hand, a piece that's been on display for a while without any takers might be priced too high.

Don't Be Afraid to Experiment

Pricing is more of an art than a science. Don't be afraid to experiment with different price points and see how your customers react. You might be surprised to find that they're willing to pay more for your work than you thought!

In conclusion, adjusting prices according to customer feedback and sales data is a crucial step in successfully pricing your textile art for art festivals. By listening to your customers, analyzing sales data, and being willing to experiment, you'll be well on your way to finding the perfect price for your work.

If you found these tips for pricing textile art at art festivals helpful, you might also benefit from Olivia Ghalioungui's workshop, 'How to Price Yourself as a Creative.' This workshop offers valuable insights and guidance for creatives looking to establish a reliable pricing structure for their work, including textile artists. Don't miss out on this opportunity to learn from an expert and confidently price your art.