Today, it is not unusual to find more people shopping for fabrics online, something quite uncommon a few decades ago.
You’ll barely find fabric shoppers in the textile department of most stores and shopping malls as people opt to make their materials purchase on the internet.
This is hardly surprising because the craft of sewing is becoming a popular hobby today and it’s only online that you’ll find such a wide and varied choice of fabrics that can satisfy your ‘fabric craze’.
The last few decades of the 20th century saw the sewing craft take a ‘nose-dive’. Many people became disinterested in having their clothes made. Homeowners would rather walk into the stores and buy a new set of furniture than worry about their re-upholstery works.
Home décor accessories like drapes, blinds, and curtains come ready-made. Who wants the bother of searching different fabric stores for the right textile material to make Roman blinds?
But today, there is a renewed interest in the sewing craft; and people are having their clothing custom made. Wedding gowns, prom dresses, vintage inspired clothing, and the like. And for the home-front, window treatments like drapes and blinds, quilted covers, throw pillows, poufs, ottomans and upholstery, etc… are made from scratch by DIY sewing enthusiasts!
A Moroccan seat, an antique Queen Anne chair, a Klismos accent chair may require beautiful luxurious materials like heavy brocade, chenille, brushed twill, or embroidered fabrics and the best place to source for such unique fabrics is certainly at online stores.
Finding the Best Kind of Fabrics
If you are into the sewing craft, are an interior designer (or decorator), an arts & craft teacher, a student, or, or if you are someone who is just ‘crazy’ about fabrics, finding unique luxury textiles can be a bit of a challenge.
Because you have to choose from what is available on the racks of local stores, it’s unlikely you will find the best. Reasons being there isn’t much of a wide range of choice.
The only place you can find hundreds (and in some stores thousands) of types, colours, patterns, weaves, designs, and textures to choose from is at online fabric stores. Sitting in the comfort of your home with a cup of hot beverage in hand, you can seek and browse to your heart’s content.
From vintage inspired luxury fabrics to modern, classic, transitional, or contemporary ones, whatever you desire can be found on the net.
Additionally, shopping online is great as you have the opportunity to ‘hunt’ for the best prices, rock-bottom bargains, and daily deals, including free shipping. It’s not likely you will find such ‘goodies’ at your local fabric stores.
5 Popular Luxury Fabrics to Look Out For
F. Schumacher – They have been around since the late 1800’s, and still develop new and exciting designs today, making them highly regarded well established and bespoke.
Scalamandre fabrics – Manufacturers of decorative, modern, and traditional textile trims, including wall covering, and floor coverings – carpet. Starting off as Scalamandre Silks in 1929, they soon veered into the design and production of other fabrics. Today they still make great textiles by re-creating historic materials “based on the collections of historic homes and museums”.
Beacon Hill – Their fabrics are not only exclusive, they are finely crafted and “made for luxury”. Their fabrics have a rich colour palette with a refined fabric construction method. If you love elegant interiors and a gracious lifestyle, you will be a fan of Beacon Hill fabrics.
Ralph Lauren – You will find thousands of designs in this collection. From jacquards to linen and wool tartan, their fabrics are produced by artisans all over the world . . . including in Italy, Belgium, and Scotland. Ralph fabrics with their rich details are sought by interior designers of repute. All printed in the finest mills, their textiles “capture the luxurious, classic lifestyles of the world of Ralph Lauren”.
Kravet – This fabric house was established roughly a century ago. Transforming from a small family fabric business to a global leader, Kravet represents top-end luxury fabric houses all over the world. They own Lee Jofa Fabrics, GP & J Baker, and Groundworks. They lay a great emphasis on detail and craftsmanship, and are truly committed to high quality. Their products are indeed bespoke.
6 Things to Note Before You Buy Fabrics On-line
If or when you purchase luxury fabrics online, you need to take note of a few things which will not only help you in making the right choices but also help to ensure your confidence in online shopping for textiles.
1. Select an on-line store that has a secure payment method. You can always check that when you visit their site. If the store accepts only personal checks or money orders, then it’s best you check elsewhere.
2. You can request for free samples or dirt-cheap swatches of luxury fabrics. If the store doesn’t want you to see, so as to feel the fabric before purchase, it’s good to look for another source.
3. Check the shipping costs; they probably have free shipping when you spend a minimum of $50 or thereabouts. If you live not too far from some stores, they will allow you pick up large quantities yourself, if you wish. It may work out to be less expensive to drive that little distance than to have the company ship the fabrics to you.
4. Before making a final decision, you can first look out for online auction of fabrics. Some have great selections of small yardages of fabrics. The only snag is you won’t be able to see or touch them before buying because they are auctioned off. A good rule of thumb is to read customers comments and feedback. With this, you will know if people that bought their goods are happy.
5. If you need textile scraps or small remnants that you can use to make pillows, quilts, doll clothes, crafts, or sewing, search for them when you get to their online shops. You’ll be surprised to find great things buried in the ‘heap’.
If In Doubt Buy Tested Brands
From polar fleece and silk to quilting and Waverly fabrics, what you will find at online luxury fabric stores may ‘blow you away’.
However, if you are unsure of what to buy, you may feel more comfortable sticking to tested and well-known brands of designer textiles. That’s why you’ll find some online shoppers only shop by designer.
This feeling is shared by most people all over the world that shop on the net.
But most have attested to the fact that they are happy to purchase the majority of their fabrics online$, and they have never encountered any problem. They even claim that the quality of luxury fabrics they find more often than not exceeds their expectations.