How do you go about shopping for fabric online and finding the best online fabric store? Shopping for fabric online for the beginner may seem rather daunting. 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 Tutorial
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 while others have a large selection of woven fabrics.
Where to Buy Fabric Online - 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 Fabric 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 choices.
Cons of Buying Fabric 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 at Online Fabric Stores
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.
1. Know Your Fabrics
This may seem an obvious one but know your types of 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.
2. Try and Get Fabric 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. Some colors can be deceiving or look different online. Ask for samples if necessary, or be prepared for some differences in shades of color.
3. Check 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.
4. Choose a Reliable Online Fabric Store
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.
International Online Fabric Shops
These are major online fabric shops that ship internationally.
- 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.
- 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 upholstery fabrics or wallpaper!
- Mood Fabric - Mood Fabrics has a large range of fabrics, and you can choose different projects and patterns by skill level. This physical and online fabric shop was made famous in the TV series Project Runway. The store offers an enormous selection of fabrics, including luxurious silks, durable cotton, exotic leathers, and even eco-friendly materials. Mood is a treasure trove for anyone interested in not just fabric but also trims, buttons, and other garment construction essentials.
- Amazon - Amazon has a large selection of fabrics to choose from with generally fast shipping times.
USA & Canada Online Fabric Shop
- Fabrics Mart - Specializes in fashion fabrics at discounted prices. The retailer often buys closeout fabrics from designers and factories, allowing them to offer luxury fabrics at deeply discounted prices. Offers a wide range of high-quality fabrics, from natural fibers like cotton, linen, and silk to synthetics like polyester and rayon.
- Zenith and Quasar - Recommended for athletic fabrics, swim fabrics and stretch. Their range usually includes fabrics that are moisture-wicking, quick-drying, and offer some degree of stretch, making them ideal for activewear, swimwear, and yoga apparel. Many of their fabrics are made from recycled or eco-friendly materials, such as recycled polyester, organic cotton, or Tencel.
- So Sew English - Specializing in knit and woven fabrics, the company offers a wide variety of materials, including rayon, spandex, cotton, French terry, and more. The website often features detailed fabric descriptions, care instructions, and recommended uses, making it easier for both beginners and seasoned sewists to find what they're looking for. They also offer fabric bundles, which are curated selections designed to take the guesswork out of matching prints and solids.
- Fabric Fairy - Specializes in knit and swimwear fabrics, although they do have other fabrics as well. They are known for their modern prints and solids and are popular among the sewing community.
- JOANN - Joann is a leading fabric and craft retailer in the United States. Known for its expansive inventory, Joann offers an extensive range of fabrics, including quilting cotton, apparel fabric, and specialty textiles like denim, faux fur and fleece. Beyond fabrics, Joann also provides a wide array of crafting supplies, from scrapbooking materials to beads and even baking supplies. The store caters to a broad spectrum of creative enthusiasts—sewists, quilters, knitters, and DIYers—by providing not just products but also in-store classes, workshops, and online tutorials aimed at fostering a community of crafters.
- Fabric Depot - Largely woven fabrics, including a large selection of quilting cotton.
Best Places to Buy Fabric in Australia
These are the best fabric stores for Australia:
- 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 promotions, which happen a few times a year, and stock up as fabric is expensive in Australia.
- Lincraft - This is another major fabric retailer with a wide range of fabrics. They cater to both beginner and professional sewists and are known for great quality.
- Lush Fabrics - Focuses on sustainable, organic materials, catering to the environmentally conscious consumer. From bamboo to organic cotton, Lush Fabrics emphasizes eco-friendly choices without compromising quality.
- Sew Unique Fabrics - Woven and Knits
- Glitter and Dance - Glitter and Dance specializes in performance and dance fabrics, delivering materials with lots of sparkle, vibrant colors, and various printed fabrics. They are the go-to for stage costumes and specialty Lycra and Spandex.
- Shine Trimmings Fabrics - Offers a unique assortment of fabrics, including those for bridal and special events, along with DIY accessories like beads and feathers, making it a one-stop shop for specialized projects.
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 - My Fabrics UK is an online fabric retailer that offers a comprehensive selection of fabrics to customers across Europe and beyond. The platform caters to a diverse audience, ranging from amateur sewists to professional tailors and designers. My Fabrics UK provides a variety of fabrics, including cotton, wool, silk, and synthetics like polyester and viscose, suitable for a wide range of projects such as apparel, home décor, and crafting.
- Fabric Land - Fabric Land is a well-known fabric retailer in the United Kingdom with both physical stores and an online presence. Founded in 1984, the company has gained a reputation for offering a wide variety of quality fabrics at competitive prices. From basic cotton and knits to specialized fabrics like bridal satins and costume materials, it caters to a diverse range of sewing needs, making it a popular choice for both amateur sewists and professional designers.
- Fabric Fox - Has a curated selection of contemporary and on-trend fabrics. Specializing primarily in cotton fabrics with a focus on quilting and crafting, Fabric Fox appeals to a younger, more modern demographic of sewists and crafters. The store features a variety of playful prints, bold colors, and modern designs, often sourced from popular fabric designers and collections.
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 sewing project. 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.