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Conversational Threads

Sources for fabric

Elaray | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

I consider the people who post here to be “serious about sewing”. I consider myself a serious, above average sewer who still has a lot to learn. I’m on a mission right now to expand my sewing skills and I spend time perusing this forum in addition to Pattern Review. It appears to me that most people do not get fabric from national chains like JoAnn or Hancock. So, I’m asking directly: What are your favorite, most frequent, and most reliable sources for good quality fabric. Do you subscribe to a swatch service? Order from online sources? Travel to New York’s garment district? Does your city or town have a variety of independent fabric sources? I’m curious about where serious sewers get fabric.


I sew, therefore I am


  1. SewNancy | | #1

    I live on Long Island so I often get fabric in NYC in the garment district.  My favorites are Mood and Paron.  But, lately I have ordered more on line.  There my favorites are http://www.emmaonesock.com , http://www.manhattanfabrics.com , (run by Paron).  I have not had a problem with color, because I have a calibrated monitor for photos, but even then I would be cautiious about blues as they photograph badly.   I also will call and ask for samples to be sent from Banksville fabrics in Conn.  They have great prices and are lovely on the phone.  Initially you have to pay a small fee, but after you buy from them they will send samples without recharging you a fee.  Waechters in Asheville NC has a website that they are expanding, I was just there and they have lovely fabrics and helpful sales people.  They are not as cheap as the two I mentioned above.  They advertise in the back of Threads if you want their web address.  Also, B & J in NYC will send samples free of charge.  They have a huge selection if you need something specific but are not cheap.  I don't have their tel # or address since they moved, but Carol Freesia probably does as I know they get fabric there for Threads projects. 


  2. Barbaran8 | | #2

    There are some excellent stores around Seattle, but I do a lot of fabric shopping when I travel. I look up cities that I will be travelling to on pattern review's store review page, and then figure out how to get to the ones that sound interesting. I also tend to fill the stash during the sewing expo in Puyallup in February. For me, fabric shopping is a tactile experience, and I just can't trust buying on-line, where I can't touch the fabric first.

  3. carolfresia | | #3


    Like Nancy, I'm not that far from the NYC garment district or from Banksville Fabrics in Norwalk, CT, and we shop for Threads fabric in those places. I buy that way, too, but I actually purchase a lot of fabric from online vendors. In the next issue of Threads (Aug/Sept 2005), I'll have an article about online shopping. For starters, I recommend you go to the the Threads homepage, and click on "Advertiser Index" at the left of the screen. This will take you to a whole lot of links to fabric retailers who advertise in Threads--look not just at the merchandise photos, but also at the swatching policies. There are, of course, loads of excellent online vendors who are listed among our advertisers--you'll get leads to them here and at Pattern Review.

    When I travel to sewing expos, I frequently buy fabric from vendors at the show. And I'm luckier than most: when I visit an author who lives in a different part of the country, we usually set aside time to do a tour of the local independent fabric stores. Each store has its own "flavor," due to the buyer's taste and the region where the shop is located, so there's very little cross-over, I find, and that's exciting!


    1. SewNancy | | #4

      Buying when traveling is always on my list too.  Bought in India and Asheville recently and they couldn't be more different!


      1. HeartFire | | #5

        Nancy, I'm in Asheville as I type this ,my husband and I are here looking for a house, we plan on leaving Houston, the mountains here are fabulous, but I bought some to die for georgous silk/linnen blend fabric at Waechters, it has such a wonderful drape, I'm going to make a simple sleeveless sheath dress, boat neckline and I saw one recently that had 3 box pleats in the back, so I think I will incorporate that idea into it. Tomorrow I'm going to explore the other fabric stores in the area and unfortunatly on Tuesday we head to Atlanta and then home. We havn't found that perfect home yet, but hardship as it is, we will jsut hve to come back and spend more time here looking!!!(LOL) we drove into Hot Springs today an I spent a few hours hiking on the Appalachian trail, it was heaven!

        1. SewNancy | | #6

          Enjoy Asheville.  My husbands family live there.  My Mother in law lives down the street from Waechters on Chartlotte.  I've been shopping at Wachters for over 30 years.   Hve you looked out in the Weaverville area afor a house?  Less traffic out there and very pretty and closer to town than the south end.  The area norh of Charlotte Street is really nice.  Older homes but lovely neighborhoods.  Neac UNCA.


          1. HeartFire | | #7

            I think we may have just found a house in Weaverville, at least I love it, now to convince my husband... but he did say he liked it better the second time we went back to see it. To keep this sewing related, I went to the House of Fabrics today, wa not too impressed with them, I will sorely miss High Fashion Fabrics in Houston when we leave.Judy

          2. SewNancy | | #8

            My brother in law and sister in law live in Weaverville off of Reems Creek road. 

            There is no other fashion fabric store that I know of.  I think that everything else is quilting.  Even though I live on LI., and can shop in NYC, I have been doing a lot of shopping on line.  It is better than it used to be and most will send samples.

            Good luck


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