Friday, September 4, 2015

Making yarn sample cards

Occassionally I get requests for Yarn Sample Cards of all the colors in my Tilda Yarn Collection, which you can purchase in my Yarn Shop. There are so many shades to choose from - over 70!!! - and I totally understand that it might be easier to choose your favorite colors from real yarn samples than from pictures on a computer screen.

So far I have not been able to supply my customers with Yarn Sample Cards and to be honest, not many big yarn brands do either. And everytime I ask for yarn samples and get the answer that it is not available, I get disappointed and think it is poor service...

I've been pondering this and tried to come up with ideas of how to make Yarn Sample Cards in an easy, quick and cost efficient way... And so, when a loyal returning customer asked for a Yarn Sample Card I couldn't decline her wish. I had to make her one and at the same time see for myself what it takes to prepare one.

Well, it took me a good couple of hours and a million snippets of yarn, a bit of creative cutting and pasting, handwriting and tying and Voila! My very first Yarn Sample Cards are made.

They look good for being a first trial but this is unfortunately nothing I can provide for my customers. At least not for free. It is waaay to time consuming and fiddly. And even if it is fun, I just can't afford spending hours on making Yarn Sample Cards.  So my question to you is:

What would you be comfortable with paying for 2 A4/Letter sized Yarn Sample Cards like this? 5 USD? 10 USD? 15 USD?

Another question is:

Do you have any other advice on how I can make Yarn Sample Cards in an easy, quick and cost efficient way?

Any ideas and feed back on this topic are welcome. It would feel awesome to be able to offer Yarn Sample Cards to my yarn loving buyers. There just must be a way...


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  1. This is a great idea ..... How about the customer pays a fee for the sample cards, and if they make a yarn purchase, there is a small discount deducted from the yarn purchase cost to offset paying for the sample cards? Seems like it might work....

  2. That is just a great idea! I have made so many orders and chosen colors and got so disappointed some times. Then, when return cost is not free I keep the yarn and the stash grows.

    Now, my local yarn shop have Svarta Fårets yarn. But to all of your customer the yarn sample must be the best thing.

    Maybe put one price for the samples only, and then include the samples when ordering for a certain amount?

    Have a nice weekend with lots of sunshine and yarn!

  3. What if you took a photo of the sample cards and sent those? I think a photo in ones hand is much better than a computer screen. Or, wind some yarn around those little square cards that are used to store embroidery floss.

  4. Hi, i have a much more simple way: you can change the order paper you sent with the yarn, stance with a multo map printer holes next to the yarn number, so clients ca n cut little threads and put them next to the right yarn number/color themselves, for free and it is much less work for you!:-)

    Did i explain it clearly? Some words are bit difficult in english for me , greets

  5. Hi Anette, I can imagine it's something you would like to offer - especially with so many colours on offer! ;-) In general I find them quite useful.
    Here is an example of another one, maybe that helps a bit, for technique and pricing:

    Good luck and enjoy your weekend!

    1. PS. Apologies for missing an n in your name...

  6. Maybe you can lay 5 cm yarn of each color on a row, and than in the middle masking tape.

  7. I would suggest making a template with excel or photoshop and printing all info (including color #s) on plain white cardstock, then glueing down the yarn ends. It will save time and money.

    I used to work for a large fashion retailer and even the big yarn mills from all over the world had to hand-make several aspects of their color cards which was very time consuming.

  8. I know that Lion Brand Yarns charges from $3 to $8 (or more) for their yarn sample cards, and other companies charge $15+. I would pay $15 for the 2 cards, although shipping to the U.S. would add to the cost. You could even include a coupon for $5 or 10-20% off their next order. :) I don't have any advice about the construction of them. Good luck!

  9. I would certainly pay £5 GBP. Could you pre-print a card and use double sided sellotape to fix strands of yarn on, then seal with a piece of acetate sheet?

  10. The sample cards look lovely, but they also look very time consuming! I'd pay about the same as a ball of yarn, but I don't know if I'd pay more unless I was going to buy a wide range of colours for a big project, you know what I mean? I wonder if you could make a chart or table on the computer, with the names of yarn on one row, then a row of empty boxes, etc - print it out on thick paper or thin card, and glue or stick snippets of yarn into the blank squares, below their colour names... You save the chart on the computer, so you don't have to rewrite every time, and by sticking a few strands of inch-long bits of yarn, you're saving time having to tie long pieces of yarn into holes on card. Just a thought! Cxxx

  11. The Tilda colours are So Pretty!

    Country Crafts sells clothes pegs with all the colours (more than 60) of Stylecraft Special DK for 5.99 £. These are "Handmade", the colour numbers written on the pegs...

    Here you see the idea better:

    Best wishes, Lena


  12. Doesn't the manufacturer have cards with the color palettes on them?
    Love your blog!
    1/2 Swede in Nevada, USA

  13. Hi Annette, I to love seeing yarn in the flesh to appreciate the true colours. My initial thoughts about mass production are around gluing long strands of different colours in rows next to each other on card, and then rotary cutting them up into strips...not sure how many you could make at once this way, but beats hand cutting everything. I think $10 for a sample card would be fine. xx

  14. These sample cards look really nice and proffessional, I think you could ask 10 USD for them!
    But just an idea.. What if you print the colour chart you have and add only a little piece of yarn for each colour? It could be a bit more time and cost efficient.. (Even if it does not look this well..)
    Xxx, Sophie

  15. Just a quick thought - make up a sample and take a photo which you then print and sell or give a way for free. The colors can be seen very well on the photo above and maybe that is good enough?

  16. Humm this is a toughie isn't it? I've probably only want to pay up to £5 to be honest and that's not nearly enough to re-pay you for all the hard work that you've put in. I don't think you could really speed it up too much either could you? Pre-printed cards with the numbers on but other than that... I don't think it would be worth getting a photo of the colours printed as the print process can change colours considerably, unless you get very expensive.

    I think, we have to accept that there is a slight gamble involved with buying yarn colours online. That is the trade off for being able to order from anywhere in the world I guess! The local yarn shop might not be as competitive or have such a great range, but you can see it and touch it, that's worth a lot too.

    Not that I'm saying people shouldn't buy your gorgeous yarns online, because they are all lovely and I don't think there's a bad colour in that lot! Just that there are pros and cons with anything in life and to get the pros of online shopping, maybe we all need to except there are cons?

    S x

    PS I still need to place an order with you! It's on my to do list, promise!


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