Pricing Textile Art: Guide for Local Art Fairs
Written by  Daisie Team
Published on 9 min read


  1. Evaluate your material costs
  2. Calculate labor costs
  3. Factor in overhead expenses
  4. Consider the market value
  5. Apply the Keystone Pricing Strategy
  6. Adjust prices for your target audience
  7. Use tiered pricing for different products
  8. Offer discounts for bulk purchases
  9. Re-evaluate prices regularly
  10. Present prices effectively at art fairs

Getting ready for a local art fair can be a whirlwind of creativity and excitement. But amidst all the hustle and bustle, one question often looms large: "How to price textile art?" You want to strike a balance where your prices reflect the value of your work and also appeal to the event's attendees. Let's dive into some practical steps you can take to price your textile art effectively for local art fairs.

Evaluate Your Material Costs

The first step in pricing your textile art involves a straightforward look at your material costs. This isn't just the price you paid for your fabric and threads, but also takes into account things like buttons, beads, or any other embellishments you use to make your pieces sing. Here's a simple way to go about it:

  • Make a list: Write down every single material you use in your artwork. Even if something seems minor, like a dab of adhesive or a single sequin, it still counts.
  • Assign costs: Next, assign a cost to each item on your list based on what you paid for it. If you bought a pack of beads for $10 and used 10 beads in a piece, that's a $1 cost. Remember, every cent counts!
  • Add it up: Now, add up all these costs. The total will give you a clear picture of how much you're investing in materials for each piece of textile art.

Knowing your material costs is a great starting point. But remember — this isn't the final price tag. It's just one part of the puzzle. And it's certainly not the whole story when it comes to figuring out how to price textile art for a local art fair. There's more to consider, so let's keep going.

Calculate Labor Costs

Textile art isn't created with a wave of a magic wand. It takes time, effort, and skill. And all that should count towards your pricing. In other words, you need to calculate your labor costs. But how do you do that?

  • Track your time: Start by keeping a record of the time you spend on each artwork. Whether it's a complex quilt or a simple embroidery piece, jot down the hours you invest. You might be surprised at how quickly they add up!
  • Set an hourly rate: Now, decide on an hourly rate for your work. This can be a tricky step. If you're unsure, start with the minimum wage in your area and adjust from there, based on your experience and skill level.
  • Do the math: Multiply the hours you tracked by your hourly rate. The result? That's the labor cost for your piece of textile art.

Now you've got two crucial pieces of the pricing puzzle: material costs and labor costs. But don't rush off to tag your art just yet. There's still more to consider in the quest of how to price textile art for a local art fair. Stay tuned!

Factor in Overhead Expenses

Textile art isn't just about threads, needles, and your precious time. There's more to it. Have you thought about overhead expenses? These are the costs that make your art-making possible, yet they're often overlooked.

  • Studio space: Do you rent a studio or use a corner of your home? Either way, there's a cost for that space. It's part of your art's price tag.
  • Utilities: Whether it's the electricity to power your sewing machine or the gas for your heating, utilities are part of your overhead expenses.
  • Tools and equipment: From scissors to sewing machines, your tools aren't free. Their cost should be part of your art's price.
  • Marketing: Whether it's printing flyers for a local art fair or maintaining a website, marketing costs money. And yes, you guessed it, that's part of your overhead expenses.

So, how to factor in these overhead expenses? Just add them up for a certain period—say, a month—and divide by the number of pieces you produced in that time. Now, add this overhead cost to your material and labor costs. You're getting closer to your final art price!

Consider the Market Value

Now that you've got your costs covered, there's another important piece to consider: the market value. What are other textile artists charging for similar work? This isn't about copying their prices, but using them as a guide to understand what customers are willing to pay.

Start by visiting local art fairs, galleries, or online platforms. Make note of the prices for textile art that's similar to yours in size, style, or complexity. Do you see a range? What's the average price? This can give you a ballpark figure to work with.

But remember, don't undersell your work. If your costs are higher than the average market price, you might need to find ways to reduce costs or find a unique selling point that makes your art worth a higher price. On the flip side, if your costs are significantly lower, don't rush to undercut the market. Your art—and your time—has value, and your prices should reflect that.

Figuring out how to price textile art for a local art fair can feel like a balancing act. But with some research and careful consideration of your costs and the market value, you can find the right price for your work.

Apply the Keystone Pricing Strategy

Now that you have a good sense of your costs and the market value, let's talk about an easy-to-use pricing strategy: the Keystone Pricing Strategy. This strategy suggests that you should double your costs to arrive at the retail price. Sounds simple, right? Let's see how it works.

Let's say you've tallied up your material costs, labor, and overhead, and it comes to $50 for a piece of textile art. According to the Keystone Pricing Strategy, you should price that piece at $100. This covers your costs, and then some.

However, remember that this is just a starting point. Don't be afraid to adjust the price based on your understanding of the market value. If the market value for similar pieces is higher, you can consider increasing your price.

Keep in mind, the keystone pricing strategy is a tool, not a rule. It gives you a solid starting point to figure out how to price your textile art for your local art fair. But it's your art, and you get to make the final call.

Adjust Prices for Your Target Audience

Once you've got a starting price point, it's time to consider your audience. Who's going to be at your local art fair? What's their budget like? It's important to know your audience and price your textile art accordingly.

Suppose your local art fair tends to draw in a crowd of art-lovers who are willing to spend a bit more on unique pieces. Here, you may be able to price your art higher than the keystone price. On the other hand, if the fair attracts a more budget-conscious crowd, you might need to adjust your prices down a bit to increase sales.

Think of it this way: If your art is priced too high, it might not sell. If it's priced too low, you might sell out quickly but not make enough profit. It's all about finding that sweet spot where your art is affordable for your audience, but you're still making a fair profit.

Remember, knowing how to price textile art for a local art fair involves a balance between your costs, market value, and what your audience is willing to pay. And as we know, balance is an art in itself.

Use Tiered Pricing for Different Products

Another handy way to price textile art for a local art fair is by using a tiered pricing strategy. This means grouping your artwork into different pricing categories based on factors like size, complexity, and time invested in creating them.

Why is this useful? Well, it gives your customers options. Not everyone can afford a large, intricate textile art piece, but they might still want to support your craft and take home a smaller, simpler piece.

For example, you might have small textile art pieces like brooches or patches in one price category. Medium-sized pieces like wall hangings or pillow cases could be in the next tier. Large items like quilts or tapestries would be in the highest price category.

By offering different price points, you're more likely to appeal to a wider range of customers. It's a win-win: you sell more art, and more people get to enjoy your beautiful creations.

So, when thinking about how to price textile art for a local art fair, don't forget about tiered pricing. It's a flexible strategy that can help you cater to a variety of budgets.

Offer Discounts for Bulk Purchases

Ever been to a store and spotted a 'buy one, get one free' deal? Or maybe you've seen a discount offered when you buy three or more items? These are examples of bulk purchase discounts, and they can work wonders for your textile art sales at local art fairs.

Offering a discount for buying more than one piece encourages customers to purchase more from you. It's a popular pricing strategy in retail, and there's no reason why it can't work for textile art, too. Plus, it makes your customers feel like they're getting a great deal, which increases their overall satisfaction.

How can you apply this to your art fair pricing strategy? Maybe you have a collection of textile art pieces that all follow a similar theme. You could offer a 10% discount if a customer buys three or more items from the collection. Or perhaps you have a series of small textile art pieces that could be sold as a set. You could offer the set at a lower price than if each piece was bought individually.

Remember, the goal is to give your customers a reason to buy more. So, when figuring out how to price textile art for a local art fair, consider offering discounts for bulk purchases. It's a strategy that could help boost your sales and make your customers happy. Who doesn't love a good bargain, right?

Re-evaluate Prices Regularly

Now imagine this: you've set your prices, you're happy with them, and your textile art is selling like hotcakes at the local art fair. You might think you've nailed your pricing strategy, right? Well, not so fast. Just because your pricing works now, doesn't mean it will work forever.

Markets change, trends come and go, and the value of materials fluctuates. All these factors can influence how much people are willing to pay for your textile art. That's why it's important to regularly review and adjust your prices. This is not about randomly changing prices; it's about ensuring your prices reflect the current market conditions and the value of your work.

It's like keeping an eye on the road while driving. You wouldn't just set your speed and never adjust it, would you? Of course not. You'd keep an eye on the road conditions, the traffic, and adjust your speed accordingly. The same principle applies when you're figuring out how to price your textile art for local art fairs. Regularly review your prices, and adjust them if necessary.

So, always keep your finger on the pulse of the market. Stay informed about trends in the textile art world, and don't be afraid to adjust your prices when needed. Remember, pricing is a journey, not a destination. It requires regular check-ins and adjustments to stay on the right track.

Present Prices Effectively at Art Fairs

Once you've figured out how to price your textile art for the local art fair, the next step is to present those prices effectively. Think about it: no matter how fair or accurate your prices are, if they're not presented in a clear and attractive way, you might lose potential buyers.

Firstly, make sure your prices are easy to find and read. You don't want potential customers to have to ask you for the price of every piece. This might make them feel uncomfortable or pressured. Instead, clearly label each piece with its price. You might consider using price tags, or you could even incorporate the price into your display in a creative way.

Secondly, be consistent with your pricing. This means if you're selling similar pieces, they should be priced similarly. Consistency gives buyers confidence in your pricing. It shows them that you value your work and you're not just pulling prices out of thin air.

Finally, don't be shy about explaining your prices. If a customer asks why a piece is priced the way it is, be ready to explain. Tell them about the materials you used, the time it took to create, and any other factors that contribute to the price. Transparency builds trust, and trust can turn a casual browser into a loyal customer.

Remember, when it comes to pricing textile art for local art fairs, it's not just about the number on the tag. It's also about how you present that number to your customers. So, take the time to get this right, and you'll be well on your way to art fair success.

If you're looking to perfect your pricing strategy for textile art at local art fairs, we highly recommend the workshop 'How to Price Yourself as a Creative' by Olivia Ghalioungui. This workshop will provide you with practical advice and strategies to ensure your pricing structure is both fair and profitable. Don't miss out on this great opportunity to enhance your textile art business!