There’s a lot to love about fabric shopping online.
For those of us who don’t live near a garment district, it let’s you still get the benefits without expensive travel.
You can order things at weird hours of the day, and you can cash in on some pretty awesome deals.
But being an online fabric shopper can come with a learning curve. So here are 16 tips so you can become a savvy fabric shopper online
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1. Get swatches!
I think the biggest drawback to online fabric shopping is not being able to see and feel a fabric. So what do you do, dear?
Get swatches! There’s several stores that offer swatches for free or for a low cost. Higher end fabric shops like EmmaOneSock and Apple Annie Fabrics do offer free swatches, as do a lot of home decor fabric shops. If you’re not sure if a store offers swatches, paid or not, just ask.
I personally have received happy free swatch mail from small fabric shops on Etsy and Ebay just because I asked.
Yes, it takes a few days to wait for swatches in the mail, but then you have that fabric in your hands. Once in your hands, you can see if it’s the color, weight, style, feel, drape that you’re hoping for, potentially saving you a bad choice or a ruined garment.
There’s also several online fabric stores that offer curated swatch clubs throughout the year. They can be a great way to see what’s in the store, and just to learn about fabric in general.
If you’ve ever read the back of a pattern envelope and been intimidated by all the fabric words on there, swatches can be a great teacher! Swatch clubs usually give extra bonuses to their members like special discounts, first access to new fabrics, news, or inspiration to help you decide what to do with your fabric. Here’s a few to check out:
US Fabric Swatch Clubs
UK Fabric Swatch Clubs
2. Sign up for coupons
There’s a lot of smoking deals that fabric shops will offer throughout the year. I know I’m always happy to go to Fabric Mart on a 60% off day!
You can stalk your favorite sites, but if you want to save a little time, sign up for fabric store newsletters. You’ll get all the latest deals in your email box. This can be a great way to take advantage of smaller sales that any given online fabric store will offer that’s not on a major holiday or weekend.
This page contains affiliate links. If you purchase a product through one of them, I will receive a commission (at no additional cost to you). I only ever promote products that I use and love and I think you will love too. Thanks for supporting this blog!
Elizabeth Farr is the writer behind the Elizabeth Made This blog where she shares helpful sewing tips, step by step sewing tutorials and videos to help you explore your creativity through sewing. She has written sewing Eguides and patterns, been a featured teacher at Rebecca Page’s Sewing Summit and Jennifer Maker’s Holiday Maker Fest and her work has appeared in Seamwork and Altered Couture magazines. She also created a line of refashioned garments for SEWN Denver. When her sewing machine isn’t humming, she’s playing and teaching violin, and hanging around a good strategic board game with her husband and 4 kids.