This originally appeared as an article/guide written by me for Ringthree's blog.
Critical Break is our crafting and economics column written by Qtipus. Q is an experienced crafter and also well versed in using the Auction House to turn a decent profit. Enough so that he was able to fund his own relic, Gungnir. Every Tuesday you will find Q's rants, raves and good crafting practices here. This week, Q continues his 0-60 series with part two covering Clothcrafting.
I hated leveling this craft to 60. The reason why was because damn near every one of the synths required multiple parts. And not only did they require multiple parts, some of the parts required you to perform synths just to make the parts for the synth you were trying to skill up on. That sort of pattern could drill down 2-4 synths deep just to make one item to skill on. It's the sort of thing that would drive someone as frugal as me completely insane.
It's kind of a good thing too. Technically, you could take Clothcraft to 60 just recycling everything you made during your previous skill up synth. It's not very economical to do so as there are usually other parts required and the end results don't sell on the AH or NPC for very much, but it is possible. That will be a bit of a theme as I map out how to go from 0-60 as efficiently as possible. Clothcraft is rather easy to get to 60 without blowing much gil or even possibly making gil.
Dive into the madness after the jump.
Phase 1: Of Yagudos and....Yagudos.
Get ready to spend a lot of time with our feathered beastmen friends. I hope you have a handy THF/BLM or BLM/THF floating around that can dump a couple Blizzagas or Thundagas in Giddeus. Even a job that can whip out a gun or bow or some sort of ranged attack that can potentially one-shot the Yags here is extremely handy.
Make an absolute shitton of these. I'm serious. You'll likely need at least 15+ stacks of thread just to get to level 8. Grass thread can be bought cheap enough at the guild and on the AH, but you're also going to want the feathers from these birds too for a later synth. Load up on some Wind Crystals, train the hell out of Giddeus and nuke down some birds. You'll be coming back here later too.
Recipe: Wind Crystal, 1x Yagudo Necklace
Cap: Level 1
Save your results from here. If you farmed Yagudo Necklaces, you haven't spend anything other than crystal costs.
Recipe: Earth Crystal, 3x Grass Thread
Cap: Level 4
This is the part where farming your Yagudo Necklaces saved you a lot of gil. There are some that would suggest making Sabiki Rigs after Grass Cloth as a bit of a bridge synth, which is fine if you already have Goldsmithing at 21, but odds are you don't and odds are you don't particularly feel like making Cotton Thread yet or Copper Ingots. Plus, you already have a crapload of free grass thread and grass cloths, right? Cap on the capes, NPC the results and save one to turn in for your next rank.
Recipe: Earth Crystal, 1x Grass Thread, 2x Grass Cloth
Cap: Level 8
Phase 2: Thread...Cloth...Thread...Cloth...Fly Lure...Wut?
Store all your grass stuff for now and take a deep breath. You don't have to farm for a bit.
Ok I lied, you might have to farm. It depends on guild prices and supply here. Buy up as much Saruta Cotton as you can get, hold, or afford as long as you can pick it up for 100 gil or less ea. Cotton thread will be used later on in rather large quantities.
Recipe: Lightning Crystal, 2x Saruta Cotton
Cap: Level 11
See previous entry. You're going to want to make a decent amount of this for later use.
Recipe: Earth Crystal, 3x Cotton Thread
You're going to lose a little money on this unless you farmed up all your saruta cotton somehow. This will eat up some of your cotton thread/cloth supply, but shouldn't eat up too much. There's also the option to skip this entirely and go straight to Linen Thread (which is something I'd recommend), but some don't like to attempt crafting items that are more than 5 levels from their current level.
Recipe: Wind Crystal, 2x Cotton Cloth, 1x Cotton Thread
Here's where it gets a little fun. Buy Flax Flower from guild or standard conquest merchants (nation needs to be in first and you need to be a citizen to take advantage of it). Load up on some lightning crystals and just craft away. This is likely the laziest stretch you'll come across while skilling this craft. Make these to cap and save most of your results if you decide to make cloth next. Once you hit 18, turn in a Cotton Cape.
Recipe: Lightning Crystal, 2x Flax Flower
Cap: Level 19
Turn your previously made linen thread into linen cloth. Or....
Recipe: Earth Crystal, 3x Linen Thread
Cap: Level 22
...sell some of your linen thread on the AH and use up those Yagudo Feathers you picked up while mass farming Giddeus. Stacks of 99 sell for around 3k on the AH and 2-3 stacks sell/day it seems.
Recipe: Wind Crystal, 2x Yagudo Feather
Cap: Level 22
These sell rather decently on the AH as people tend to break lines and lose their bait a lot while fishing. This is the primary reason I listed this here. The secondary reason is that it's materials are relatively easy to come by, but plays into the madness of synthing the materials to use as materials for the materials you need to make the fly lure. Chocobo Feathers are dirt cheap and can be bought from an NPC in any city except the ToAU areas for 7-8 gil. Animal Glue is super easy to make (and you can skill Alchemy alongside it to boot if you don't happen to have it up to level 8 yet) and Bat Fangs are usually super cheap on the AH. AH your results here and I hope you have a ton of room on a mule to do it. I wouldn't necessarily advice taking this to the cap of 30, but getting yourself to 28 so you can start taking advantage of synthesis support isn't a bad idea. Turn in a Heko Obi and move on up.
Recipe: Earth Crystal, 1x Animal Glue, 1x Bat Fang, 1x Chocobo Feather
Cap: Level 30
Phase 3: Ra..er Counting Sheep
Prepare to be frustrated by a level 15 sheep sleeping your level 75 character.
You're going to need sheepskin and lots of them. If you followed my Bonecrafting 0-60 guide, there's a point where you'll be needing sheep teeth early on. Odds are, you're going to be getting just as many sheep skins as you are teeth.
Remember that maddening part I mentioned before? Yeah well here's where it gets somewhat bad.
Take some wind crystals out to your favorite sheep farming spot and break down a pair of sheep skins into sheep wool. This will cap Leathercraft at 4. Once you have 2 pieces of wool, hopefully you have some Lightning Crystals with you too. Turn those into the wool thread. Depending on how far you skilled up on the Fly Lures, this portion could take you a while unless you just feel like blowing money on the AH and clearing it out of sheep skins.
Recipe: Lightning Crystal, 2x Sheep Wool
Hopefully you got enough wool thread made out of your sheep-raping exploits to pick up a couple of levels on this without having to make another farming trip, but I wouldn't bet on it.
Recipe: Earth Crystal, 3x Wool Thread
Cap: Level 37
Phase 4: The Oddities Before the Storm
Sell off your wool cloths as you won't be needing them any more unless you actually want to lose money making your rank item of a feather collar. If you farmed up everything, you're going to make a nice chunk of gil for your time and efforts. From this point forward, making money will be a bit hard to do, but doable.
You have a few different options with this. Farming these feathers isn't incredibly difficult as the birds that drop them are usually in good supply with a good drop rate. Buying them off the AH around 1k/stack isn't too shabby either. Either way, the end results of these don't sell very well unless you happen to catch a woodworker that's skilling up on Horn Arrows. NPC your results. Turn in a feather collar when you hit 38 and then keep on keepin' on.
Recipe: Wind Crystal, 2x Bird Feather
Cap: Level 42
Remember all that grass thread you have laying around? Oh you don't have any left? Back to Giddeus with you. This is a nice alternative to the Bird Fletchings. Your skill level is high enough that you can T2 the yagudo necklace synth and in the end, buying the grass thread from the guild ends up being cheaper than buying the bird feathers for the most part. Still though, being in this range with virtually no cost involved in the synths (as long as you're farming some too) is pretty good. Only downside is that it takes 2/3 of a stack of grass thread for one synth.
Recipe: Earth Crystal, 8x Grass Thread
Cap: Level 43
Phase 5: The Final, Velvety, Silky, Smooth Push
Going to be spending a ton of time with anything that drops silk threads, so warm that TH up.
Here's a chance to use up the rest of your wool thread. You'll be farming up silk thread as well. The option to buy off the AH is always there, but again, the point of these guides is to minimize your interactions with the AH as far as buying goes.
Recipe: Earth Crystal, 1x Silk Thread, 2x Wool Thread
Cap: Level 45
Wait, you just talked about this. Why do you have it listed again?
Well this is one of those recipes that make absolutely no sense. Much like the blood stone I mentioned in the bonecrafting guide, this synth somehow has a higher cap than the previous synth despite the materials being a much lower level synth than the materials for the previous synth.
Confused yet? Long story short, that cotton thread you saved from your wee-little clothcrafting days is going to get used up here. If you don't have any cotton thread left, buy up the saruta cotton and make some. If you picked up the Spinning key item by chance, this process goes a lot faster. Turn in a pair of Wool Bracers for your final rank up once you hit 48. You don't have to cap on these as the next item will be used a f***ton for the final item, but it won't make much of a difference to your wallet either way.
Oh and you still gotta farm silk threads.
Recipe: Earth Crystal, 1x Silk Thread, 2x Cotton Thread
Cap: Level 51
Seeing silk cloth here probably makes you wonder "Hmm...why didn't he show us a way to make silk thread?".
No? Yeah well, I didn't think of that until I just got to this point in the writing process. You can make silk threads via crawler cocoons that drop off the same crawlers you're farming for silk anyway. You can also buy crawler cocoons for relatively cheap from the guild on some days (range of 137 gil-870 gil...). Make sure you check those prices from time to time, but the odds of catching the super cheap cocoons in any large supply probably won't happen. Guild price needs to be around 420ish gil ea. to break even with AH stacks listed at 10k ea.
At any rate, no matter how you decide to get your silk threads, turn them into silk cloths. Save all of your cloths as the final synth will require you to go through 7 levels of clothcraft.
Recipe: Earth Crystal, 3x Silk Thread
Cap: Level 53
Here it is! Your final synth. There are some other synths here that might work out to be a bit cheaper, but the mats aren't always readily available. The idea with this synth is to NPC the results after you've made it. Barring breaks, if you manage to keep your silk thread cost at 725 gil or below, you will break even simply NPCing these with max fame. From a crafting standpoint, it doesn't really get much better than that. There are two downsides to this though.
The first is that the skillups are slow and the temptation is great to just buy all your silk threads off the AH instead of farming any of them up. Resist the urge...or don't give a crap about the gil you're spending/losing and clear the AH out. There will be some happy sellers thanks to you, but then there will be some pissed off crafters thanks to the spike in silk thread prices all thanks to your impatience. :)
The second is that we're back to the maddening point of this craft where you have to make the materials before you can perform the skillup synth.
You can strike a balance though if you want to speed this process up. Again this is barring breaks (which there will be, so just chalk those up as a loss to begin with...), but if we're to assume that 8700/stack of silk threads is the break even point, then you can technically farm up one stack and effectively end up paying 4350/stack. You're still making money by NPC'ing the results and you're making faster progress. You don't always have to work on a 1:1 ratio for it since farming can be a rather tedious process, but as long as you understand where the break even point is for this synth, then you can speed up the process.
As of this writing, Silk Thread stacks are selling for approx. 13k on the AH for Odin. Farming up one stack of silk thread reduces your cost to 6500/stack. That's not too much wiggle room for trying to break even if you factor in the actual material losses from breaks as well.
This means, should all your synths be successful (and they won't), you're going to NPC 8 Green Ribbons. 8 x 2175 = 17,400 gil. You made a 4k profit in the best case scenario. Buy two stacks at 13k and farm one stack? It means you're going to NPC 12 Green Ribbons. 12 x 2175 = 26,100 gil against a 26k investment. Yes, you can possibly pull this off, but trying to find some undercutters who put their stacks up at 11-12k would work out better for your wallet too. Always keep this in mind and always keep your other costs in mind as well like synthesis support and crystal costs.
Mentioned at the beginning of this writing that I hated leveling this craft. You'll likely share my pain as you level this up too due to the silly amounts of pre-synths you have to make. Don't use this guide as the end-all though. Clothcraft is one of the few crafts that have a lot of other options for skilling up as well. Look at the recipes on FFXIAH.com and FFXIclopedia to see what else you can potentially do.