Fashion designers, home decorators, interior designers, dressmakers, students, craft enthusiasts, furniture makers, tailors, etc. all patronize on-line fabric stores because they know what they are looking for and going on-line is like a one-stop-shop for luxury fabrics.
Asides the professionals and creative arts people, we find the homemaker also patronizes online shops too. But what are the pros and cons of buying unique fabrics on the net?
The first thing to find out is how comfortable you feel you about on-line purchases, especially things like textiles.
It’s one of those items you need to see with your naked eyes; something you need to touch and feel with your hands.
For everything, there is a good side and a not-so-good side of it. But in all cases, one outweighs the other.
So, what are the advantages (pros) and disadvantages (cons) of buying quality textile materials online?
Advantages of Buying Fabrics On-line
1. It is a cheaper way to shop. Because online fabric retailers operate with lower margins and next to none-overheads, you get their savings passed on to you the buyer.
2. If you love fabrics, you’ll enjoy browsing the web stores for fabrics.
3. It cuts out the endless search for special types from local stores. This at the best of times is time-consuming, and at the worst can become a futile chore. You’ll probably end up choosing the next best thing, or the next best one to that!
4. You are almost certain to find fantastic deals and bargains every time. You may even find Clearance and Closeout Fabrics . . . those are always a great buy; including free shipping for orders as little as $30.
5. You can buy fabric by the yard, fat quarter bundles, and even half yard cut bundles.
6. There are great books you may never find in the local shops including lots of designs and patterns from today’s top designers.
7. Some fabric stores online will sell a minimum of a full yard (or metre) if that’s all you require. In other words, there is no minimum order when you buy fabrics from on-line shops.
Disadvantages of Buying On the Internet
1. You can’t touch or feel what you like, unless you first order for swatches of your requirements. This may cost you a waiting period of a couple of days or so. Order for swatches, like what you get, then make your purchase, all of this probably spanning 3 or 4 days.
2. You may miss physical window-shopping because you love the hustle and bustle of a shopping mall or market. You like to ‘feed your eyes’ viewing, admiring, and feeling material with your hands.
3. Samples or swatches are always available and will be sent to you on request. Its purpose is to help undecided buyers determine if they like or want some particular design, weave construction, pattern and/or colour.
Window Shopping for Luxury Textiles Online
If these are ‘disadvantages’, then they aren’t really drawbacks that are worth giving any thought. To touch and feel, you get swatches. Window shopping . . . You can get to do that online too, except you may need a few hours to go through the hundreds of fabrics types you’ll see. It will be window shopping for fabrics on-line, without stress and exertion.