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Topic: Buying fabric on the net a no-no?  (Read 1756 times)
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« on: May 05, 2009 11:26:19 AM »

hey! Where i live there aren't many good fabric stores for novelty fabrics o fabric for clothing in general, so i was wondering if it is recommendable to buy fabric over the internet?

In my case, i'm not trying to match the fabric to anything, so i'll live if the color is slightly off. However, i'd like to know that if you do buy fabric over the net: is it fabric you've already seen and felt?  what sites do you go to?  what advantages and disadvantages does it have?

thanks so much for your help!  Wink

hey sorry, just realised that this is the wrong place for this to be, so i tried to remove it but it didn't work, i'm going to start this topic in the sewing in general board. my bad!
« Last Edit: May 05, 2009 11:28:22 AM by munchkinarooo » THIS ROCKS   Logged

A friend of mine that we met in Len whos father was older than him that and had a washing machine that a guy had to fix, that guys second couisn that had a sister in law that had a grandmother that had a maid that had a friend that sold tofu. Well a neighbour of hers has what you lent me.
« Reply #1 on: May 07, 2009 12:30:58 PM »

i have not ordered from www.fabric.com but some of my onlne acquaintances have and they have had good experiences.  www.fabric.com does free s/h if you are in the usa and spend $35.  plus they do free returns, no questions asked

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« Reply #2 on: May 07, 2009 03:47:10 PM »

I like vogue fabrics. I purchased bamboo fabric from there. I wasn't sure what it was going to be like, but as a knit, I knew the basic properties. I have also bought iridescent chiffon. I already knew what chiffon was like. Hancock used to carry the iridescent, but now the just carry normal chiffon. You can get samples from vogue fabrics and I have gotten samples from spandexworld.com, but I haven't ordered fabric from there. I have also gotten silk from fashionfabricsclub.com, it was a charmeuse and I already pretty much knew what charmeuse was like. I have also ordered fabric off ebay. Most recently I ordered a lace, ebay will range by seller.

The good thing about vogue fabrics is that you can order thread and zippers at the same time as your fabric and ask them to pick the color that is the closest match. Vogue also has collections of fabric with similar colors that go together in their swatch club.

So, I am all for buying fabric online!
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« Reply #3 on: May 09, 2009 01:15:35 AM »

I agree with the previous posters! Buying fabric online is awesome!! It doesn't TOTALLY beat going in and feeling stuff for yourself at the fabric store, but you can certainly score some great finds on the net. Because the selection where I live of high quality fashion fabric is EXTREMELY limited where I live, I've taken to finding stuff on the internet for my projects. Because I have access to a bigger selection, I can get more unique and exotic prints than I could in my city. Plus, my store carries very few eco fabrics like hemp and bamboo, which are much easier to find at eco-friendly retailers on the net. Most places give a pretty detailed description of the fabric, or at least good enough to know what to expect. You can figure out from the weight and fabric content, as well as the type of fabric, what the fabric what kind of project the fabric is appropriate for, and often they will tell you in the description what the fabric is best suited to. I've ordered online a lot and been really happy with what I've received. Basically, if you know what you want and you know what it should look and behave like because you've seen it or used it before and you know from experience (or your pattern) that it's appropriate for your project and you see some that you like on the internet, you're probably in pretty good shape. You don't have to go to a store and physically touch and see the exact fabric you want to know whether or not silk charmeuse is going to work for the dress you're making, and it'd probably be pretty hard to track a specific fabric you found on the net down that way anyway. The biggest source of disappointment might be if you want the absolute EXACT shade of green you saw on your computer, or if you couldn't see the detail of the fabric as well from the picture on the net. If you're worried that a print is too big or too small for the project, see if the website has a measurement of the size of the print indicated or more often has a coin pictured along side the print for sizing purposes. Internet retailers tend to have pretty good shipping and return policies too if you find you can't live with what you bought. Almost all (although I've yet to find one that doesn't) of them offer swatches so you can actually see and touch what you're buying ahead of time if you feel it's absolutely necessary.

As for sites, I've only ever ordered from fabric.com and ebay, although I'll probably order from several others very soon. Fabric.com has some good staples, and pretty good sales sometimes. I bought some awesome dark wash denim there a while back and several GORGEOUS prints that I just fell in love with. I found I pretty much got exactly what was described and what I expected. Fabrics were also the approximate weight that was indicated, so I had a good idea of what was sturdy enough to be a bottomweight and what wasn't. With ebay, it's trickier because you don't know if you're seller has any idea what they are actually selling or not. I bought some purple brushed denim and the selvage had no info as to where it came from. It's pretty obvious it's cotton and could easily be machine washed, but what if it were a silk or some other fabric that might be washable or not? You take a risk in that case if the seller doesn't tell you the care instructions, like you might get on a regular internet retailer. It's a lot like buying fabric from the thrift store or a garage sale. Plus you run the risk also of buying what you think might be silk charmeuse, only to find out when you receive it that it is actually polyester because the seller couldn't tell the difference. It's a crapshoot, but some really cool vintage fabrics and notions can ONLY be found on places like ebay.

P.S. Someone else mentioned Fashion Fabrics Club. I took a look at this site, and they have a huge selection, a good return policy and are having what looks to be a KILLER sale! I'd highly advise checking this one out!

« Reply #4 on: May 09, 2009 09:08:26 AM »

Buying on the internet can be a challenge, but it's definitely not a no-no.  There is a thread somewhere here with a big list of fabric sources..  My general advice would be to buy only if you have a good idea of what you're ordering.  If you can get swatches, that is the best, even if there is a small fee.  Pay attention to shipping costs, and use caution if you are on a tight timeline.

I haven't done a ton of online fabric shopping, but I have had a good experience with Fabric.com, Gorgeous Fabrics, and Spandexworld.  I just got my first order from Spandexworld this week, and I am very please.  The shipping was fast, and the prices are very nice for good quality knits.  They have free swatches, but they do take a long time to arrive (maybe 2 weeks).  If you are looking to order during a sale, or ordering for a specific occasion, it might be better to pay for the express shipping.  Fabric.com and Gorgeous Fabrics both offer swatches for a reasonable fee.  Fabrics sell out quickly at both, so once you get your swatches, order ASAP.

Fashion Fabrics Club is kind of a mixed bag.  They have terrible customer service and very slow shipping (expect your order to take at least 2 weeks).  But, they do have some fantastic deals.  I have gotten some really crappy fabric from them and have decided not to order from them anymore, but I know a lot of people who buy from there frequently.  They don't offer real swatches - but you can order 1/8 yard cuts and pay about $6 shipping for up to 7 cuts, I think.  But, your fabric may be sold out before you even receive your swatches!  I have had fabric sell out before they even cut the swatches (they refunded the charge).

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« Reply #5 on: May 09, 2009 09:50:33 AM »

I didn't realize 2 weeks was that slow. I thought 7-10 business days was a pretty average quote and I get excited when it says it will arrive sooner than that. When we did special orders at the fabric store I worked at, that took 7-10 business days.

I forgot to add, I've also ordered from dharma trading and I would order from them again even though they shipped my fabric to the wrong place originally.
« Reply #6 on: May 09, 2009 04:23:19 PM »

2 weeks I meant as a minimum - the average is probably much longer from what I have been hearing.  I can't remember how long my last order took, but it was longer than 2 weeks for sure.  I know people have been waiting a month or more to get fabric they ordered from Fashion Fabrics Club, which is why I give the warning.  If you are on a tight timeline, I would not order from there.

As a contrast, the order I just placed last weekend (Saturday) at Spandexworld arrived on Thursday.  That was faster than I expected for sure! Smiley
« Last Edit: May 09, 2009 04:23:51 PM by Kaitlinnegan » THIS ROCKS   Logged

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« Reply #7 on: May 11, 2009 12:37:10 PM »

I've no good luck with buying fabric on the net. Almost everything i bought turned out a completely different fabric as i thought (the descriptions in the Netherlands are not that good, so it's always a guess). I think I've more than 20m of fabric from the net which are a total disappointment Sad
So from now on i will first order a sample of it.

(and here it will arrive in 2/3 days, many times i received the fabric the next day)
« Reply #8 on: May 11, 2009 03:17:55 PM »


I've been ordering fabric online recently, i ordered form fabric.com they send u sample of some stuff if u like, for bout $1.75 each.. i think it took less than a week to get the samples i couldnt decide between 2 of the same fabric in different colours... so i had to get samples... then i ordered my actual fabric and that came within a week.

I also ordered some from this site...


The stuff from there i ordered, came super fast, and what i ordered looked very close to how it looked online. cos u know colours can b bit different on screen.

« Reply #9 on: May 14, 2009 06:33:59 AM »

I only buy online fabric no shops here that sell fabric.
I have had good buys at www.fabricdepot.com and at www.fabric.com
the colours tints are sometimes different from the pc monitor either more intense or more subdued tints. I choose fabric I allready know.Cotton , silks.
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