As I’ve shared pictures of my inspiration board and sewing room, I’ve been asked multiple times where I shop for fabrics. The short answer is everywhere! Since that answer isn’t helpful at all to those asking the question, I decided to write a blog post about shopping for fabrics that is a bit more specific.
First of all, I am a fabric hound. If I see a fabric I like, I will sniff it out, track it, and hunt it down. I will dig in the resource sections of books, follow brand tags, comb websites, and send inquiries to find out the name of the pattern. Once I have the name of the pattern and the maker, I will run a good ole Google search to see where it is for sale. This means that I don’t buy from one specific website when shopping for fabrics, but I buy from whichever site has the best deal. This shopping method can lead me off the beaten path, which is the best place to find unique pieces to use in my home.
tip no. one
Do lots of searches! Typically, if you describe the fabric you’re looking for in a search engine box, you’re going to find it or similar fabrics that you might like more or might be more affordable. When I’m working on a room, I spend a lot of time searching for fabrics until I find exactly what I imagine for the room.
tip no. two
Order samples! Getting your hands on fabric samples is key and I order a lot of them. Sometimes they are free and sometimes they cost $1-5, depending on the company and size of the fabric swatch. I don’t always order them with the intention of buying that specific fabric, but more to test out color, pattern, and scale to see what I like and what works. Some of the samples I use are even from a decorator’s swatch books that I order off of Etsy and the patterns might not even be made anymore.
If you don’t want to purchase fabric swatches, print up a picture of the fabrics, and experiment with them that way. Just keep in mind that your printer might not match the true fabric colors accurately.
Small blue & white check – Zippy in Lakeland, P Kaufmann
Large check – Check Please in Lakeland, P Kaufmann
Green velvet – Leolaris Forest, Arhaus (special order)
Blue & White Striped Jacquard – Alpine Canvas Jacquard Stripe, Laura & Kiran
The fabric on the walls is Festin Bleu by STOF
tip no. three
Ask about ordering fabric by the yard, even if that’s not an option on the website. I fell in love with the green velvet fabric from Arhaus when I was looking at swatches for the living room sectional. I ended up going with Check Please in Lakeland (they call it Ponder Lakeland), but I inquired about ordering the green fabric by-the-yard to make pillows and I was able to put it in as a special order.
tip no. four
Look for bolts of fabric in unexpected places. I’ve bought fabric from all over the place, including the trunk of someone’s car! I’ve bought it at yard sales, thrift stores, antique shops, flea markets. Just keep your eyes open for folded stacks or rolls. You can often find great bargains shopping this way. I also love mixing in vintage, antique, and out-of-print fabrics from Etsy and eBay.
Here are the sources for the fabrics above that I’m using in my master bedroom…
White with blue & green flowers – Jenny Steffens Hobick – Blue Flower Pillow
Blue Linen – Reed, Fabrics | Store
Blue & white bird fabric – Aviary Toile Indigo, French General
Blue and white check – This was a huge bolt given to me by my aunt years ago and it doesn’t have any branding. It seems to be similar to a small-scale version of Buffalo Check Blueberry by P Kaufann.
Blue & white flower – Rambaugh Indigo, Lisa Fine Textiles
tip no. five
Shop with a high/low approach. My fabrics can be anywhere from free to $100+/yard, so it’s a pretty wide range! I use expensive fabric very sparingly for pillows and small details and use inexpensive fabrics for larger projects. Most of the fabrics I use are between $15-30/yard, supplemented with ones that are $5-10/yard. I look for sales and coupon codes and always compare prices.
Fabrics can be a luxurious part of a room, adding texture, pattern, and color, so I think it’s a smart place to splurge in small quantities.
When I can’t make a decision on a little fabric swatch, I’ll usually order one yard or 1/2 yard as long as the fabric isn’t too expensive. This allows me to wrap the fabric around pillows or tack it up on the wall to get a sense of how I like it in the room. Any kind of visual you can give yourself is going to be helpful (and worth the expense) when you’re making decisions.
I hope this gives you some inspiration and ideas for shopping for fabrics to use in your own home!
Here are the places I purchase fabric most frequently…
- Decorator’s Best
- Online Fabric Store
- Fabrics | Store
- Lisa Fine Textiles (You can also find LFT fabrics by-the-yard and premade pillows and curtains HERE on Etsy.)
- Fabric Guru
- French General