where do you shop for fabric?

I was back home in the United States recently and had the chance to stop into a well-known chain fabric store that I hadn’t visited in a while. It was a bit shocking and disappointing to see the fabrics that were on display. What happened to good quality fabrics? I know most of you aren’t wearing Green Bay Packers fleece 98% of the time. (Well, many of my parents’ neighbors are, but that’s because they live in freezing cold Wisconsin and are hardcore Packers fans.) So where you do find fabrics to sew when you’re not going to a Packers game? What if you want to make a Recital Shirt and need quality cotton shirting, or you really want to sew a Lisette for Butterick B6385 coat and can’t find decent wool coating?

Where do you shop for fabric?

I do a lot of my fabric shopping when I travel. I’ve already told you about the fabric stores near us in Madrid, and they aren’t bad. But I’m spoiled after living in New York, so I still save a lot of my shopping for trips back to New York where I know which stores are best for specific items and where the selection is extraordinary. I also do a little shopping when I travel to Paris or London. But when you don’t have the time or luxury of travel, what do you do? (By the way, for those of you who love to travel we’ll be continuing our series on fabric shopping, and I’ll be back with a post about shopping in New York in a couple of weeks.)

I thought it might be helpful to assemble a list of on-line fabric sources here. Do you have a favorite place to buy T-shirt knits? Fabric for wool coats? Fancy silks?  I asked this question on the Oliver + S Friends Facebook group the other day and received an overwhelming response from so many of you! So we’ve assembled some of your favorites into a great big list. This is a list of mostly on-line shops that will ship to you. Feel free to add more suggestions in the comments, and be sure to tell us where the store is located (so we can make this a global resource) and what sorts of fabric they sell. Be part of the community!

General fabric needs:

Swimwear:

Ribbing:

Knit:

Nani Iro double gauze:

Linen:

Shirting and fine cottons:

Liberty of London:

Outdoor apparel:

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30 Comments

  1. Marcia Hilger

    Marcy Tilton, an online store with beautiful fabrics. She and her sister are pattern designers for Vogue and Butterick.

    1. WHITNEY DONNELLY

      Ye, Marcy and Kathrine are fantastic people as well as fantastic fabric shoppers. Definitely check out Marcytilton.com

  2. Erin

    Duckadilly is a good resource for Liberty of London here in the U.S. They have an online presence as well as a studio in Ann Arbor, Michigan. I use Mood for wools, etc. as they can be nearly impossible to find in a brick and mortar store.

  3. Taryn

    The Fabric Store – based in New Zealand but can ship worldwide – has stores in Australia and LA as well. http://www.thefabricstore.co.nz Great selection of merino knits

  4. Gayle baker

    I second Marcy Tilton-really unique pieces.
    I also buy vintage fabric on etsy, the quality is so much better than modern fabrics.
    I’m glad you brought this up. I feel like I don’t want to spend my precious time sewing on inferior fabric. I go into some of the big box stores stores for thread and am always so disappointed with the fabric, I never buy any.

  5. Debra

    Joann’s is a crap shoot. Lots of junk to plow through to find a gem. Stonemountain in Berkeley, CA is fabulous! You must go if you’re in the BayArea. Stonemountain has a huge variety and lots of high quality fabric.

  6. Sharica

    I love L’ouseau fabrics here in Canada!

  7. Stephanie Spann

    Spoonflower.com is a good website, especially if you have a design of your own you wish to create.

  8. Jacqueline

    You’ve missed the best! Tessuti Fabrics in Australia…https://www.tessuti-shop.com/
    The fabrics are quite expensive, but when looking for quality and specialist yardage, they are terrific. Living in Australia, we benefit from proximity (deliveries of online purchases are so prompt!), but I’ve noticed overseas customers comment on the speed of their response and customer service, too. For clarity, I have no connection to the business, but a visit to their store is always a highlight of a holiday in Melbourne or Sydney!

  9. Carole Di Fabio

    My go-to fabric store in the Providence, Rhode Island area is Apple Annie Fabrics in Swansea, Massachusetts, with an online presence as well. She has a wonderful and beautiful selection of fashion fabrics–woolens, knits, silks cottons, linens. Website: https://www.appleanniefabrics.com/

  10. Connie Sue

    I love QQuilter; they have an excellent line of fabric and their customer service is outstanding

  11. As you probably have heard, shopping from the US as a Canadian is just not advisable. I did order recently however, from EmmaOneSock and have to say that was a fabulous experience! The difference in the dollar, cost of shipping and customs means you can pretty much double what the fabric costs ($9.99 becomes $20.99 CDN with shipping and customs).

    There are 2 other online fabric shops in Canada I love – one is in Calgary – L’Oiseau – and the other is in Quebec – Simplifabric. Both have excellent quality fabrics (mostly knits).

    Silk I buy mostly locally at Gala Fabrics which is a beautiful shop right here in Victoria. Liberty cotton I order off ebay from a UK supplier who carries some lovely prints at reasonable cost. We don’t pay anywhere near as much for shipping from the UK and we don’t pay customs either so it’s a good option.

    Ironically I just got home from FabricLand (who is advertising huge sales) and I was appalled at the fabric! Almost ALL of it was polyester and acrylic (which is an environmental disaster). It was just plain awful AND incredibly overpriced. I don’t mind paying a fair amount of money for good quality fabric but I’m not buying cheap fabric for inflated $$. I don’t know why anyone would buy it to be honest. You do have to shop around. I’m not going to go to all the work (work I love mind you 🙂 ) of fitting and creating a garment out of cheap fabric. That’s just depressing and discouraging.

  12. Sharon Griffitts

    Marcy Tilton does have gorgeous fabrics. So does oak fabrics in Chicago and on Etsy. Also, in the UK fabricgodmother.co.uk has wonderful fabrics, everything from cottons to knits to wools. She buys from Italian mills, designer fabrics. And she ships!

  13. Marcy

    I like to buy organic fabrics when I can find nice ones – Organic Cotton Plus has some beautiful fabrics! https://organiccottonplus.com

  14. Kim Dimond

    Two that are on my radar are Blackbird Fabric and Style Maker Fabrics.

  15. Elizabeth

    G Street Fabrics is still alive and well in spite of their troubles in the past…they’re in Rockville, MD, off Parklawn Drive. Just stopped in the other day and they still have a lovely collection of fabrics on a smaller scale.

  16. Elizabeth

    If you are interested in Aboriginal designs on fabric, Capital Quilts in Gaithersburg, MD has a nice selection!

  17. francesca

    I can’t believe nobody’s mentioned Sewbox in the UK for Liberty. She’s great and her prices are excellent too. Also, no Merchant and Mills? Amazing quality linen, wools and cottons. Then there’s Supercut in Italy – she has really really nice stuff – a mix of designer excesses and basics, great Italian fabric.

    Re Girl Charlee – I fail to understand the love. I won’t buy from them again. One so called cotton/viscose/elastane mix was so synthetic it creaked. Shocking.

  18. For quilt fabrics, you can’t beat Hancock’s of Paducah….I can never resist their sale fabrics, and very seldom have to pay full price for a fabric I just have to have! Their online store is jam packed with goodies!

  19. Janell

    TexStyles, recently moved to Smithville, Texas, is the best option withing a 3.5 hour radius of my home. Otherwise Fabric.com.

    All fabric from Joann’s I regret buying, but I often have little other choice. I was particular upset when my recent fabric choice looked worn and old after pre-washing. However, often I can’t afford the price of shipping or cant afford a two hour round trip in the car :/ sewing is a luxury hobby.

    1. Brenda King

      Janell- Many of the on-line fabric outlets charge NO SHIPPING with a certain amount of purchase. Some, like Fabrics.com and Missouri Star Quilts.com have a $5.00 at most, shipping charge. Happy sewing & quilting. JoAnn’s leaves much to be desired! : (

  20. Michelle

    I was really hoping to see a merchant located in Japan. Im infatuated with the Japanese quilts that haunt the larger stateside quilt shows and would love a source for the fabrics they use.

    1. Helen Gorsuch

      Try okanarts.com. Patricia has lovely yukata fabric, and has just published a book.

  21. AJ Wellner

    Oh, thank you so much for this information. I miss being able to go to a brick and mortar store to touch and see lots of beautiful fabrics, especially now that I’m not able to walk or stand for any extensive length of time. We used to have lovely choices here in the northeast, but now there’s nothing available, but JoAnne’s and one over priced small shop that’s extremely hard to even turn around in without falling over something. I’m looking for good quality brocade, (not Asian with dragon lotus flower designs). Also, heavy Melton coating wool and all types of Ecclesiastical religious old lace trim and fabrics.

  22. Denise Babin

    Harts carries at least a few Nano Iro double gauze fabrics.

  23. Susie Monk

    I have just visited Inspire in Plant City Fl. The shop was amazing and the staff really helpful. Kaffe Fassett fabrics at good prices. Wish we had a shop like this in France near us.
    Like most I also visited Joanns. Not familiar with the process I waited for some mesh product to be cut,and waited. When theassistant finished with her customer she asked for a number. We had tried to get a ticket but it hadn’t worked. So although she had seen us waiting and I only needed I yd of one fabric…. no exceptions. We left it on the counter and joined the queue to pay 30 mins! Not worth the time or trouble

  24. I recently opened a fabric shop in Decatur, GA, right beside Atlanta called Topstitch Studio: http://www.topstitchatl.com. Inspired by Living in London and the fabric stores there, I opened one selling many of the beautiful items I couldn’t find locally—Liberty fabric, Nani Iro, Lady McElroy lawn and wools from England, Atelier Brunette lawn and knits from Paris to name a few! I also wrote a guide to London’s Fabric and Knitting shops when I lived there called London Stitch and Knit, A Guide to London’s Fabric, Knitting and Haberdashery Shops, which features more than 45 shops there. The Fold Line web site has an online world map of fabric shops by the way! https://thefoldline.com/map-of-fabric-shops/

  25. Aviva Garrett

    Other stores that ship are Mood Fabrics (brick-and-mortar stores in LA and Manhattan) and Josephine’s Dry Goods, in Portland, Oregon. Also, regarding Britex, my experience is that the fabrics they show in their online shop are considerably different from when they stock in the store, but that might just be me.

  26. Lynn

    Murray Hill Bolt and Spool in Cleveland, Ohio carries really lovely fabrics. They are located in an old school house building in the Little Italy section of Cleveland’s east side. The staff is very helpful and nice!

  27. Florence taylor

    I mostly buy from Punkin Head Threads , the owner Laura Anderson Frazier is one of the most responsive and genuine people ever. She has pre-orders of fabrics and they are all top notch and beautiful.
    I also with Phat Quarters, Spun Hiney, Red Blossom and Threads and Stitches.

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