How Much Fabric is in a Bolt? (Width & Length)

If you’re like me, when it comes to fabric shopping – especially if you’re a DIY enthusiast – the question that always pops into your head is, “How much fabric is in a bolt?”

A bolt is usually between 30 and 100 yards of fabric in length. The width is typically between 36 and 60 inches. The exact length depends mostly on the type of fabric. Thicker fabrics may have less fabric per bolt than thinner ones.

bolt fabric 1

Well, my friends, I’m here to answer all of your queries and give you an overview of everything there is to know about bolts of fabric.

A Bolt of Fabric

bolt of fabric
Bolts of fabric. Credit: canva

A bolt of fabric is a large roll wound tightly and secured with a paper or plastic covering. Fabric bolts are typically used by fabric stores, tailors, and other businesses that use large quantities of fabric.

It’s essential to know how much fabric is in a bolt when purchasing fabric, as this can help you determine how much you need for a specific project and ensure that you don’t overbuy or underbuy.

How Much Fabric is in a Bolt?

bolt of fabric
Credit: canva

How Many Yards in a Bolt of Fabric

Fabric bolts range in size from 30 to 100 yards in length. It may vary depending on a variety of factors, such as:

  • The type of the fabric
  • The material of the cloth
  • The thickness of your piece of fabric

A bolt of lightweight material such as chiffon or organza may contain more yards of fabric due to the lighter weight or thinness.

It’s also important to note that the actual amount of fabric in a bolt may vary slightly due to manufacturing tolerances and other factors.

For example:

  • A bolt of cotton is typically 100 yards long.
  • A bolt of the canvas is around 39 yards long.
  • A bolt of silk is usually 40 yards long.

How Wide in a Bolt of Fabric

bolt fabric
Credit: canva

A bolt’s width refers to the fabric’s width when rolled onto the bolt. The most common widths among the mentioned ones are 45 inches, 54 inches, and 60 inches.

Some common bolt widths for different types of fabrics include:

  • Quilting cotton: 44 inches
  • Broadcloth: 60 inches
  • Denim: 56 inches to 60 inches
  • Upholstery fabric: 54 inches to 118 inches
  • Wool suiting: 60 inches

You may also encounter these widths:

  • 35, 36, 38, and 39 inches (88.9, 91.5, 96.5, and 99 cm)
  • 41, 42, 44, 45, and 48 inches (1, 1.07, 1.12, 1.14, and 1.22 m)
  • 50, 52, 53, 54, 58, and 59 inches (1.27, 1.32, 1.35, 1.37, 1.47, and 1.5 m)
  • 60, 66, 72, 100, and 108 inches (1.52, 1.68, 1.83, 2.54, and 2.74 m)

It’s important to note that these are just general guidelines, and bolt widths can vary from one supplier or manufacturer to another.

How to Measure a Bolt of Fabric

bolt of canvas
Credit: canva

For all craft persons, artisans, and designers, the good news is that you can check the label. The label states the length, width, material type, etc. 

If you cannot find the label, ask the store employee or consult the manufacturer’s website for more information.

How is Fabric Folded on a Bolt?

Fabric is typically folded in a specific way when rolled onto a bolt.

  1. The fabric is first folded in half lengthwise with the right sides together so that the selvages (the finished edges of the fabric that prevent it from unraveling) are aligned.
  2. The fabric is then folded again, with the cut edges together so that the fabric forms a long, narrow rectangle.
  3. Finally, the fabric is rolled onto the bolt with the selvages inside and the cut edges outside. The fabric is held on the bolt with a piece of paper or plastic called a bolt band, wrapped around the fabric and the bolt to keep it from unraveling.

Some fabric types, such as sheer or lightweight fabrics, may be folded differently or packaged differently to prevent creasing or damage.


How much does a bolt of fabric weigh?

Generally, a bolt of fabric weighs between 10 and 15 pounds.

A bolt of cotton or linen typically weighs about 25 pounds. A bolt of silk can weigh as much as 50 pounds.

However, there can be quite a bit of variation, so it’s best to check with the manufacturer or retailer.

Can I purchase a fabric bolt without buying the entire bolt?

Yes, most fabric stores will sell by the yard instead of requiring you to purchase the entire bolt.

How do I measure a bolt of fabric?

  • First, measure the width of the bolt from one end to the other.
  • Then, use the ruler to measure the length of the bolt.
  • Finally, multiply the width by the length to find the total square yards of fabric on the bolt.

Can bolts of fabrics be returned if I don’t need them, or are they not what I expected?

Most fabric stores have a bolt return policy, which means that you can return the bolts of fabric if they’re unused and in the same condition as when you bought them.

However, it’s important to check the store’s policy before you make your purchase. Some stores may only allow a certain number of days for returns or may not accept returns at all.

What is the difference between a regular and a double-width bolt?

They are typically used for smaller projects such as quilting, crafting, and sewing.

Double-width bolt fabrics are twofold the usual 54” size and usually found in sheer or drapery varieties, but you can sometimes acquire them as upholstery fabrics too. These multifunctional materials offer a larger scale for your projects.

Are there different sizes or types of bolts for different types of fabrics?

Yes, some fabrics like lace or tulle may come in smaller bolts than heavier ones like denim or upholstery, which come in larger bolts.

Was this article helpful?