How do you go about shopping for fabric online and finding the best online fabric store? Shopping online for the beginner may seem rather daunting, especially if it is for fabric. Seeing is believing they say and in terms of fabric ‘feeling is believing.’ In case you doubt the feasibility of shopping for fabric online here are some tips and pros and cons to this modern approach to shopping for fabric.
Best Online Fabric Store
The best online fabric store for you will depend on a few things including your location and what kind of fabric you are looking for. Some shops specialize in certain fabrics like stretch will others have a large selection of woven fabrics.
The Pros and Cons
Before you look at the best online fabric shop it is important to look at the pros and cons of buying online.
Pros of Buying Online
In the pros column convenience is top of the list. No need to travel and take time out of your busy schedule to shop. If you have young children you won't have to drag them along and be distracted by their lack of interest in fabric shopping.
The fabric you order arrives cut and ready for your creative touch. Online shopping and finding the best online fabric store is a must for folk who live out of main towns or in towns with limited fabric choice.
Cons on Buying Online
The cons column for the best online fabric shop revolves around the lack of contact with the fabric you buy. The actual experience of shopping for a lovely piece of fabric and the trims are missing. You don’t have the opportunity to drape the fabric and see its color in the light of the day.
You also won't have the immediate gratification of buying that perfect piece of material. If you are a touchy, feely person you may doubt that the fabric will ever arrive.
Tips for Buying Fabric Online
Here are some tips to make the process of online shopping and finding the best online fabric store easier and give you a more secure feeling about your purchases.
- KNOW YOUR FABRICS - This may seem an obvious one but know your fabrics. The weight and the contents and the suitability of fabrics for the project in mind are vital. Source quality fabrics, not polyester. Choose cotton, linens, and fabrics with pure fibers, not poly-blends. This ensures quality fabrics.
- TRY AND GET SAMPLES - Collect samples of your favorite fabrics. Make a swatch and if you are unsure of a fabric you plan to order you can ask for a sample.
- CHECK YOUR MONITOR - Some colors can be deceiving or look different online. Ask for samples if necessary or be prepared for some differences in shades of color.
- AVAILABILITY - Check how much fabric is available before ordering so you are not disappointed when you order and the fabric is sold out or if you need more fabric later.
- RELIABILITY - Use a reliable source when choosing the best online fabric store. Look at the listings on their website and do a quick google looking for reviews of the shop. Put yourself on their mailing list. Making contact gives you more confidence in the source you are using.
- RETURNS - Check on the availability of a returns policy. Make sure there is a customer care facility. Look out for good lines of communication, contact numbers and a sense of professionalism and knowledge of the product.
- SHOP LOCAL - Look for online shops in your part of the world as any returns or problems will be more easily resolved.
- SHIPPING - Do they offer a tracking system and returns option? Check for hidden charges and shipping costs and if you order internationally, don't forget that you may be hit with customs import charges as well.
- PAYMENT - Make sure there is a reputable payment method using a credit card or PayPal and not cash or money orders.
Best Online Fabric Store by Region
Look for sources with a good reputation and in your part of the world or with good shipping services. This list was put together with the help of my Facebook group where there were plenty of great suggestions.
- Etsy - Etsy has a large selection of fabrics from smaller businesses. I find it is particularly good for the latest designer quilting cotton which you can buy by the fat quarter or yard.
- Fabric.com - I regularly order from this company and find the shipping from the US to Australia is always under a week. I generally order quilting fabric and have ordered some nice faux leathers for some tutorials on this blog. In my opinion, this is the best online fabric store due to the choices and international shipping.
- Spoonflower - Fabric is a little more expensive on this site, but you are able to design and upload your own designs which makes it truly unique. Imagine a fabric printed with something you have hand-drawn or created yourself. The other advantage of buying on spoonflower is the incredible selection of fabrics. You can even print your own wallpaper!
- Fabrics Mart - Specialize in fashion fabrics at discounted prices.
- Fabric.com - Online shopping for all types of fabric and haberdashery.
- Zenith and Quasar - Recommended for athletic fabrics and stretch
- So Sew English - Woven and Knits
- Fabric Fairy - Specializes in knit and swimwear fabrics.
- JOANN - Has a large range of fabrics and haberdashery.
- Fabric Depot - Largely woven fabrics including a large selection of quilting cotton.
- Spotlight - This is the main place to purchase fabric in Australia. The selection isn't always the best but it is generally good quality. I regularly purchase dance and swimwear fabrics from them. Look out for their 40% off sales which happens a few times a year and stock up as fabric is expensive in Australia.
- Lush Fabrics - Woven and Knits
- Sew Unique Fabrics - Woven and Knits
- Glitter and Dance - Specialty Lycra and Spandex
- Shine Trimmings Fabrics - Specialty Lycra and Spandex
Best Online Fabric Store in UK
- Loubodu Fabrics - According to my customer Christine, this company is owned by Lorrelle who is one of the nicest people to deal with.
- My Fabrics UK
- Fabric Land
- Fabric Fox
Best Online Fabric Shop - In Conclusion
Now you have somewhere to start, give buying fabric online a try, and find the best online fabric shop for your needs. If you own an online fabric store please leave its name in the comments below. There are many more small and medium-sized fabric stores that offer great products.