I have always envied those who know where you should buy whatever it is you might be needing. You casually bring up your need to purchase a low-shank walking foot for your Janome 1308 in the wedding of your least favorite sibling and some random person just walks towards your table and says: “Oh, I know just the place. You gotta go to Casa Grande, Arizona, and ask about Bob’s Farm. Bob is not there anymore, but I am sure his sons have all the Janome parts you need.” You don’t know whether to thank this person or question why they have this particular piece of information, but still, it’s helluva impressive.
The same thing happens on intergalactic travels as well. You say: “Oh, by the way, I need some burgonium in an amount that can destroy seven planets,” and there is a guy who’s been hunkering down in the back and emerges from the shadows even before you complete the sentence: “We can drop you off at the Murgauw-13 station. Ask about The Courier there. If he doesn’t want to see you, tell him Bill sent you. He’s a Tracean merchant, so be careful. Also, ask him if he has any of that Saturnian pepperoni left.” You are unsure whether this guy is just being helpful or he is just an experienced planet-destroyer and mass-murderer, but again, it’s quite impressive.
And now, it’s time for me to impress you. You are about to start an amazing sewing project, but you just can’t decide where you should buy the fabric needed for it? Well, don’t worry, because I do! Of course, I am not going to send you to Arizona or Murgauw-13 because nowadays the best shops are just a click away from us.
Best Places to Buy Fabric Online
Amazon is now like a magic bazaar in which items appear as soon as you start thinking about them. Of course, there is nothing magical about algorithm-based recommendations, suggestions, and advertisements, but the prospect of finding what you want just in the matter of seconds and delivered in 1-2 days does still have a magical quality about it.
Moreover, the online shopping titan recruits enough editors on any kind of industry or line of hobby you can think of, and that doesn’t leave much space for mistakes. As long as you go for trusted brands and shops and for products that have enough reviews and decent scores, you’ll be satisfied once the delivery arrives and you open the box in excitement.
It’s the same for buying fabric. I can assure that, on Amazon, you’ll easily find what you’ve been looking for, and even if you don’t, following the basics of online shopping (making purchases based on reviews, etc), what you get will at least be enough for a beginner project.
Joann is a well-respected company that has been producing fabric and other items for the art and craft of sewing for more than seven decades. They started as a little shop in Cleveland, Ohio, and thanks to the quality of their service and material, now they have a store in almost every city and state throughout the United States.
You can visit one of those stores, finding the nearest one on the directory they provide on their website, but you can also visit their online store, which may as well be the best in its sphere. The Joann online store doesn’t only feature great fabric options for your upcoming projects, but also their editors’ guides and ideas about projects as well as tutorials for kids, beginners, and the already-skilled. These guides and ideas might not be as brilliant as mine (duh!), but they are still worth exploring.
The part that totally convinced me of their superiority is their Halloween Headquarters, though. You can find great ideas for Halloween costumes and cosplay in addition to Halloween-specific fabric, thread, and crafting and sewing supplies. What a way to win hearts, Joann, what a way to win hearts, indeed!
Have I yet told you that they are also giving you the opportunity to create your own fabric with their customizer exclusive? Now I did, and now you can go rogue on that!
Fashion Fabrics Club
If you ended up on this webpage with the hope of finding where to buy cheap fabric, Fashion Fabrics Club is your answer. They have a special section for fabric that is currently on discount. You can’t find anything that appeals to you on discount? Well, they have enough temporary sales, which will eventually provide you with what you are looking for, as long as you make sure you are in the loop by subscribing to their mailing list!
Another plus of Fashion Fabrics Club is that they almost have too many print options. Therefore, it’s quite possible the fabric you are going to purchase from them is going to be nothing like anything your friends have seen before, and you’ll be able to achieve unique creations with unique sewing projects.
However, I should warn you that the design and navigation of the website is not great and you might end up scrolling endlessly and opening an insurmountable number of tabs, losing track of what you came for. In that sense, it’s like a crowded and untidy bazaar.
I accept that including what basically is an online stationery shop on a list about the best stores to buy fabric is a bit unorthodox, but, believe me, Minted is one of them, and the designs of the fabric they are selling by yard is a great testament to their motto: “We are a marketplace for independent artists.”
Artists from all over the world present their art to Minted and they are producing amazing fabric with great artistic vision from them. The art varies from abstract to landscape and geometrical shapes to animal figures, so it’s quite possible you’ll find enough yards of fabric for your artistic inclinations.
There is a downside, though. As most of you might agree, stationery shopping is one of the most fun activities for people with creative tendencies, and you might get lost in that section of the Minted online store. Add to that their home décor section which houses amazing curtains, pillowcases, and linens, and you might forgo your own projects and just purchase them.
If you like the idea behind the Minted’s fabric options above, you are also going to like Spoonflower. They are also a home to independent artists with great visions, and as a result, their online shop features many beautiful and custom fabrics. You can sew many outstanding dresses, shirts, pillowcases, and table linens with them.
The style options you can choose from include themes such as nautical, worldly, historical, modern, and textures. Therefore, it’s highly probable there is something for you in there – and maybe not only you, but also for your partner, kid, or parents.
Similar to Minted, they have their options for home décor as well, which might seduce you to spend more than you are prepared to. Also, you can upload your own designs and discover or indulge your hidden artistic self and maybe make some money in the meantime.
Loom Decor is a pretty straightforward company name, and as with all the companies that have straightforward names, you can be sure that they produce high-quality material and provide high-quality service. That’s a trend I have discovered at a young age: companies that are sure of the quality of their products and services don’t feel the need to prove something with their names.
As you scroll through the options Loom Decor showcases for drapery, pillows, or beddings, you can be sure of that, too. In addition to their great fabric collection, they also offer a “create your own” opportunity. Of course, it’ll be costlier than your own sewing, but it would be understandable if you wanted to take advantage of it, too.
Best Physical Stores to Buy Fabric
When it comes to choosing fabric, feeling it, touching it, and slowly caressing it are important, and online shops cannot supply that until you make a purchase and your purchase is delivered. Therefore, you might want to physically visit some stores before making a purchase, and below are some of the best.
Like Joann, West Elm also has stores all over the United States, but unlike Joann, their online store is quite uninteresting. Therefore, if you opt for West Elm, I recommend you locate the store nearest you using their store map.
The company is the first home retailer to ever join Fair Trade US, so if you have reservations about companies that mistreat their workers with low wages and inhumane working hours and conditions, let me assure you by saying that West Elm is not one of them. Moreover, they are using low-impact source materials in the making of their products, meaning that they are concerned about the environment as well.
On top of these, they are supporting local artists, artisans, and craftspeople, who in turn create great handcrafted furnishings and fabric.
Purl Soho was started by Joelle Hoverson as a small family project in a tiny shop on Sullivan Street, NYC in 2002. Yes, they are a young company, but the name they have made for themselves in such a limited time (for a physical store anyway) is the best proof of the quality of the fabric, yarn, and other sewing material they sell.
Now they operate in quite a big shop on Broome Street, and if you are closeby or if you ever get the chance to visit New York City and you are keen on sewing or you just like looking at colorful fabric and yarn, you need to pay them a visit and see the activity inside. Once you see it, the first word that should come to your mind is “passion” – and you wouldn’t be reading this article up until this point if you weren’t also passionate about sewing.
After all, a store doesn’t become a personal favorite of Martha Stewart for nothing.
Okay, I am not going to urge you to go to Stockholm just to see some fabrics, but still I am going to tell you that some things are better experienced physically even if there is an online store for everything these days, and I believe you can agree with me once you take a look at the website and see the beauty of all the fabric on display there. Wouldn’t you like to go visit the actual shop just to witness it in first person?
The varied design and lovely colors on all of these fabrics are surely unique and appealing. After all, the company was founded by an art teacher in 1924. Moreover, you can also be sure of the craftsmanship that went into each end-product as they are made in Sweden. How else could they be regarded in such high esteem without perfectly blending a superior sense of aesthetics with meticulous craftsmanship anyway?
Tourists go to Paris, have their photograph taken somewhere near the Eiffel Tower, drink coffee or wine wearing turtlenecks as if they are a character in a French New Wave film and then head home happily.
What is wrong with people? Why go all that length to see a bunch of steel pieces placed horizontally, vertically, and diagonally, and not even visit Marché Saint-Pierre – a five-story building housing all kinds of amazing textile in each of its floors, a formidable pillar of the European sewing communities?
And they even have koalas!
Now that we are at the end of this article, I realize that I’ve been quite excited writing about a couple of the stores mentioned above and it wasn’t really a good idea.
Now, I want to go wild on Joann’s “customizer”, I want to create my own fabric designs and upload them to Spoonflower (and maybe make some money with them), I want to go to Paris not only to visit Marché Saint-Pierre again but also to explore what little sewing gems that amazing city hides in its labyrinthine streets and gorgeous avenues, and I want to travel around the world to explore other fabric shops and the history of artistry behind their designs.
And then, when will I sew?