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Tools & Supplies

Support Independent Fabric Dealers

Jul 22, 2009
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Did you know that 95% of fabric shoppers shop at chain stores exclusively? Project 95 is out to change that with an online source of independent fabric retailers.

Project 95 is an online network of independent fabric and quilt shops, e-tailers, and design studios that will help you locate any local independent fabric retailers or find a source online. Sponsored by The Fabric Shop Network, Project 95 is a great way to connect with local fabric shops in your area and support independent retailers.

Currently on the site you can enter your zipcode and select for the website to display shops within 15, 25, 50, 75, or even 100 miles from your location. When I tried my zipcode in Brooklyn, I found several locations in my neighborhood I hadn’t known about before and will definitely have to check out soon.

So why shop independents? At independent stores you’ll find store-keepers who care about the products, have expert advice, and contribute to your local economy.

The site is currently still being developed and is in its beginning (“beta”) stages. They encourage you to let them know how the site is working for you and what you’d like to see improved or added.

Head over to the site today to discover shops in your part of the country or add your favorites to the registry.

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  1. cheapnezy October 21st

    I don't care where I shop, as long as I can find affordable fabric. Economy and fit are my priorities. I enjoy the sewing magazines' designs and technique info, but I have a problem with the fabrics they use. People, this is the twenty-first century. Women are busy with careers and such, so why promote expensive, hard to find fabrics that must be hand washed or dry cleaned? The designs aren't even translatable to sensible fabrics. I don't get it. I want modern fabrics that are permanent press, machine wash and dry.

  2. User avater BeerGoddess October 11th

    We are in the same boat here. Even though I live in an area where quilting and sewing are common, we only have the chain stores to shop, and they are a couple hours drive away at best. I have only had my home computer for a couple of years, but I am LOVING being able to shop online. I miss being able to feel the fabrics, however. When we travel I always look for non-chain fabric stores.

  3. User avater bstreet61 September 27th

    i agree chain store are limited in what the offer not only in yardage but expertise. when you go "off the beaten path"...you will discover some of the most exquisite yardage that you can work with that you would never find in chain stores. so shop INDEPENDANT.

  4. LottaTroublemaker September 2nd

    I'd love to shop locally, but where I live (in Norway), there are no proper fabric stores left at all, even if I'm in a city. There's just a couple who have some quilting and home decor fabrics. The last store that carried fashion fabrics disappeared a couple of years ago. When I was a teenager, we probably had at least 6-7 great stores in addition to many that had home decor fabrics and such. Now I even buy most sewing notions online, as the sewing machine stores that has some, most often only has a little of what I need and at real high prices too. So I end out buying most my things, fabrics and notions, from overseas, on eBay and online stores (even with S&H I save money on the things I could have got here). Well, up until now, that is, just heard that a shop that had gone out of business, has started up again and even if they used to have only quilting/home decor fabrics, obviously now also carries some fashion fabrics. So I'll take a look one of these days, maybe I'll get a nice surprise? Crossing my fingers! I miss being able to look at and feel the fabrics, getting inspired in the store etc. It feels ridiculous that one of the things on my list to do for when I go abroad on vacation, is to visit fabric stores... Oh, I so much want a trip to NYC again, have to visit one of those huge fabric stores!!!

  5. nobodysgrandma August 10th

    In Illinois, fabric stores are oriented toward either machine embroidery or quilting. Their inventories reflect this. Only Threads magazine recognizes garment sewing. As for me, I love heirloom sewing, but the heirloom sewing empire does not recognize anyone above the Mason-Dixon line.

  6. aussiesal July 28th

    I agree totally about the value of good customer service, and also about the importance of supporting independent retailers.

    My pet hates when shopping are loud yah-yah music, staff with loud voices, staff gossiping, staff who don't know their stock, and staff who treat you like a nuisance. I have reached an age where I have no shame and now ask for music to be turned down, or ask for the manager, or suggest that they serve me first and then resume their conversation. I do this in every place I shop, from banks to pharmacies to chain stores. Fortunately it does not happen very often and is always worse in cities.

  7. nehmah July 25th

    For the most part, the small shops were hurt by their indifference to good customer relations. I've moved across a good part of the Mid-Atlantic states. As soon as the last packing carton was removed, I started shopping for a shop to do business with. Reasons to not return: 1. A shop where the clerk and her chum gossiped, while I waited to have fabric cut and check out was not revisited. 2. A shop where no work was being done.My average purchase was for 2 patterns, 3-5 yds of fabric and interfacing, and whatever caught my eye on the "wall". If a reader here is thinking of starting up a shop, or has one that isn't doing well, have someone who is not known to your staff, shop there and relate her experience. It is best done on a day when you are gone. Nehmah

  8. PatsyS July 22nd

    I totally agree! I am always amazed that Atlanta only has a couple of fashion fabric independents (that I know of) - Gail K & Discover Sewing (they are adding more fabric). Still love all the quilt stores & I shop them as well. There used to be a lot more but they've slowly gone away in a town this size. I dream of living in a town or state with more selections - NY, Chicago, Washington State, CA. Now, we do have Fabric.com HQ here but you can't go in & shop. I like to touch the stuff.

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