Friday, August 19, 2016

How to Save Money on Cloth and Clothing


This blog has explained that there are times in the lives of most when one may be financially hard up and such times are useful in teaching one how to stretch the dollars one has on hand. In this direction, there are notes explaining how little good food costs when one starts with basic ingredients like wheat flour etc. rather than prepared and processed foods from a store, how many edible leafy greens can be found on trees and fields or grown at home and how eggs and milk products are a good and cheaper source of protein rather than meat. The interested reader would find detailed articles on all this in going through this blog. This blog being one on life also has several plans and hints for another requirement of humans - shelter- with plans for several different type of cottages and homes. it is not expensive fittings but trees and flowers around the home that make  a home beautiful and these cost almost nothing except a little happy time tinkering in the garden.

The next requirement for humans after food is clothing and here too wisdom can help save huge amounts of money. Let the likes of a famous lady get an Armani dress costing over ten  thousand dollars in which she appeared recently on international media because she has the millions for it but others need not.  I had tweeted once that a rose wrapped in a piece of sack cloth is far more beautiful than a turd wrapped in silk. Human beauty comes from the soul not fashion and fabrics. It costs nothing more than love, truth and simplicity to make a soul beautiful. The greatest and most beautiful of books often come with plain covers just as the most beautiful of humans are often found dressed in simple clothing.

As a doctoral student with limited cash on hands,  I had discovered that if one searches enough in salvation army stores one could find perfectly good clothes at rock bottom prices, near free, in fact. In later years I have purchased expensive branded clothes on occasions but then felt disappointed when I saw a similar piece at much lower prices elsewhere on a sale. As a result, over the last two decades I have started following another practice; while passing through the markets if I find some cloth or clothing going real cheap I purchase it even if it is not needed by me or someone else in the family right away and store it. The result is that when a piece of garment or cloth is needed for something later even after several years, it is found in the storage trunks or closets. It goes without saying that one needs a more or less permanent home for the storage and care of stored material. For example that the collars of some new stored white shirts tend to go yellow with time and may need to be washed and restored. Clothing in storage also requires naphthalene balls in plastic packs with holes to keep insects away. The plastic pack is needed so that the naphthalene balls do not come in direct contact with clothes for that might create an obstinate stain.

From time to time, in the modern industrial age, a clothing operation shuts down or ends up with a surplus on their hands that they need to get rid of stuff quickly and it is this kind of stuff one can find cheap in the urban markets of the world. There is also a huge amount of defective pieces from factory, some with a defect so minor that one can not find it even by inspection. On the other hand, if one buys an excellent branded piece it often ends up with a bigger defect after use than the one that was found in the factory rejects.

I was inspired to write this note today when, while going through the market on an errand, I spotted huge bales of a fine cloth, of width of bed sheets and drapes being sold outside a large store at prices that were about one fifth of the actual price of that cloth. Most of the material was in floral prints and textures that were suitable for either a lady's dress or furnishings and not for a man's clothing. Nevertheless, there are ladies in the family and as per the suggestion here, I  purchased huge rolls of it. The photo in this post shows some of them. They are not needed at the moment, but the wife of my godson and the sister of another boy who works for me are seamstress with young kids and they shall be able to make good use of them. Some time ago we had organized such training for these ladies since they are largely housewives. One of the pieces has kiddy characters on them and the kids should love pillow cover and sheets made out of it.


Further, perhaps when time permits we shall change the drapes and bed covers in my bed room with a bright red instead of the present browns and cream with that of a guest room with a happy yellow shade, all with floral prints of a garden from the cloth just purchased. I have set it aside for keeping rather than give it away as I do with a lot of my cloth and clothing purchases. Not that I care much for a change in the rooms but it shall  be fun whenever time and opportunity permits and it will add beauty to the home because,

While money feeds a bank account, food feeds a body, beauty and goodness feed the soul

A photo from the author's garden

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