What is "Board foot" - Definition & Explanation
Last Updated on: 20-May-2023 (1 year, 10 days ago)
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Board foot

The concept of "Board Foot" in textile refers to a unit of measurement used to determine the quantity of fabric required for a particular project. It is a crucial aspect of textile planning and procurement, especially in the manufacturing and construction industries. This comprehensive guide will provide a detailed understanding of the meaning, history, types, tips for handling, and top international users or manufacturers of Board Foot in textiles.

Meaning and Definition

Board Foot is a unit of measure used to calculate the volume of lumber or wood products. In the context of textiles, it is adapted to determine the fabric's quantity needed for manufacturing or constructing various textile products, such as clothing, upholstery, curtains, or bedding. It helps in estimating the fabric requirements accurately, ensuring efficient production and cost-effective decision-making.

History and Origin

The concept of Board Foot originated in the lumber industry in the United States during the early 20th century. It was initially used to measure the volume of sawn timber, specifically boards. The term "board foot" refers to a board measuring one foot in length, one foot in width, and one inch in thickness. Over time, this measurement system became widely adopted in various industries, including textiles, to streamline material planning and procurement.

Types of Board Foot

There are two main types of Board Foot commonly used in the textile industry:

  1. Raw Board Foot: Raw Board Foot refers to the total volume of fabric required for a project without considering any wastage or additional requirements. It provides a baseline estimation of fabric needs, which can be adjusted according to specific production factors or design considerations.
  2. Net Board Foot: Net Board Foot represents the actual fabric quantity needed, considering factors such as fabric shrinkage, pattern matching, cutting efficiency, and seam allowances. It takes into account the practical aspects of fabric utilization and helps in minimizing wastage during production.

Tips for Handling Board Foot

To effectively handle and utilize Board Foot in textile planning, consider the following tips:

  • Accurate Measurements: Ensure precise measurements of fabric dimensions and design requirements to calculate Board Foot accurately.
  • Consider Design Elements: Account for factors such as pattern repeats, directional prints, or specific fabric placements while calculating the required Board Foot.
  • Efficient Cutting Techniques: Optimize fabric cutting layouts and techniques to minimize wastage and maximize the utilization of Board Foot.
  • Regular Updates and Monitoring: Continuously evaluate and update the Board Foot calculations based on production efficiency, design modifications, or fabric availability.

Top International Users and Manufacturers

Several international textile manufacturers and brands incorporate Board Foot calculations into their production processes. Here are a few notable examples:

  1. Levi Strauss & Co.: Levi Strauss & Co., a renowned denim brand, utilizes Board Foot calculations to estimate fabric requirements for their jeans manufacturing, ensuring efficient material procurement and production planning.
  2. IKEA: IKEA, a global home furnishings retailer, incorporates Board Foot measurements in textile planning for their upholstery and soft furnishing products, optimizing fabric utilization and minimizing waste.
  3. H&M: H&M, a popular fashion brand, employs Board Foot calculations in their garment production processes, allowing accurate estimation of fabric needs and efficient utilization in their diverse product range.
  4. Lululemon Athletica: Lululemon Athletica, a well-known athletic apparel brand, uses Board Foot calculations to ensure accurate fabric estimations for their performance-focused products, enabling efficient manufacturing and supply chain management.
  5. Target Corporation: Target Corporation, a leading retail chain, incorporates Board Foot calculations to optimize fabric usage in their wide range of textile products, including clothing, bedding, and home textiles.


Board Foot serves as a vital tool in textile planning and procurement, providing accurate estimations of fabric requirements. Originally derived from the lumber industry, this measurement concept has been adapted to cater to the needs of various industries, including textiles. By understanding the types, historical significance, tips for handling, and top international users or manufacturers of Board Foot, professionals in the textile industry can enhance production efficiency, minimize wastage, and make informed decisions regarding fabric procurement.

Board foot
A measure of wood, 144 cubic inches, for example, a board 1 inch thick, 12 inches wide and 1 foot long or 1 inch thick, 6 inches wide and 2 feet long. The usual measure for random length and width hardwood.

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