Finding fabric online
I am often asked where I buy fabric for my various home projects (reupholstering chairs, sewing drapes, pillow covers, or slipcovers, etc.). So here I’ve compiled a list of my go-to sources. Buying online opens up so many more options (especially for us in Regina who really only have a small handful of fabric shopping options), and sometimes you can get some really great deals. I’m only including the stores that sell decor weight fabrics, so if you’re looking for quilting cottons (a lighter weight fabric) you could search online for some other good stores!
If you’re hesitant about ordering online because you’re unable to touch the fabric, or see it with your own eyes, do not give up on online fabric shopping yet! Most of these stores offer samples, so you can order those before committing to buying yards of a fabric, which is nice. (And I’ve outlined how these stores do that below.)
One thing to watch for when ordering online is shipping. If you’re ordering from an American store shipping can be hefty, plus you should know if duty/taxes is included in that. It may depend on how much you’re ordering, how good a deal you have, or how much you love the fabric to know if it’s worth it to order internationally. If you’re ever unsure of the shipping, save your order and e-mail customer service to get a thorough quote.
One more hint for you – before you place an order do a Google search for coupons or discount codes. Sometimes you can get an extra 10-20% off, which just might cover your shipping.
So here you go…
Designer Fabrics Online – This is a fairly high end store out of Toronto. They sell a large variety of upholstery weight and decor fabrics. With DF you can borrow samples for free (up to eight samples) and pay the $6 shipping, then return your samples within three weeks. I like this process so that you don’t have to pay for samples, but you can still look at and feel the fabrics in person. There is a large selection with a wide variance in prices, so if the first fabric you see is $72/yard, don’t despair! There is a lot of variety. Because shipping is within Canada it is reasonable. Customer service has always been very efficient any time I’ve ordered from this store.
Tonic Living – This is one of my favourite stores. They sell mostly upholstery weight fabrics and have a really trendy, cute selection. You can order samples, which you pay a small price for and keep. (And they’re pretty generous with the sample sizes, which is nice when a fabric has a larger print!) The Toronto-based store is fairly small (though getting bigger), and the selection is small-ish, but lovely. Shipping rates are good within Canada. ALSO, they offer a service where you can order custom drapes, roman shades or pillows from their fabrics if you’re not so into the DIY thing. And always search for discount codes before shopping here, because you can almost always get 5-10% off your order.
Purl Soho – This is where my love of fabric and ordering it online all began for me. This gorgeous little store out of NYC is lovingly run, and full of unique and quirky fabrics (both lightweight cottons and some decor weight), as well as yarns, sewing notions, patterns, sewing books, etc. They have wonderful customer service. Prices range from average to high. Watch their sales, though… you can find some gems!
Fabric.com – If you’re looking for deals, you can find some here – particularly on upholstery weight fabrics. This discount store is LARGE and so is the selection. It can feel like it’s a bit of work to wade through it all, sometimes. They offer upholstery fabric, quilting cottons, apparel fabrics, sewing notions, and various other craft supplies. There is a wide variety in fabric quality as well, so it pays to know which brands are always good (like Duralee, Amy Butler, Waverly, Robert Allen, Richloom, etc.), and which ones you might want to order a sample from first (any one you’ve never heard of). Shipping is usually ridiculously fast (sometimes mere days), but depending on how much you’re ordering the cost of shipping may outweigh the discounts on your fabric once you’ve factored in duty/taxes/international rates. (Order with a friend, if you can!) They also have a design board feature where you can save your fabrics and look at them together, which is neat. Always search for online coupons before you order because they almost always have some discount code offered.
So those are my sources. Do you have any online spots you order fabric from? Any hints for fabric buying? Do share!