One of the biggest trends to catch on in the first few months after the COVID-19 lockdowns took effect around the world was the DIY craze. Thousands took on the challenge to learn new skills that offer delightful advantages like being able to make useful items around the house, even clothing! As physical shops were forced to remain closed, there was a surge in the number of people looking to buy fabric online.
But buying fabric online is quite different from buying it in a physical store. For one, in a physical store, you are surrounded by people who know fabrics better than you might, so you can call for help. More importantly, though, in a physical store, you can choose fabrics based simply on how they feel in your hands. Buying fabric online requires you to know in much more detail exactly what you’re looking for.
Here are some tips to make your online fabric shopping spree easier and more fun:
1. Know Your Fabrics
Not all fabrics are good to use when you plan to stitch them. Similarly, not all fabrics take well to being stuck together. In fact, fabrics are so complex that even the way it is weaved will affect the way a given fabric looks, falls, and folds. Before you purchase any kind of fabric, you need to understand the most common uses for it and take a look at pieces designed using it. Being familiar with the look of any given fabric and reading up on the best ways to use it will give you valuable insight into how you can make the best use of it with minimal damage and wastage. Build your Swatch Collection
It is impractical to expect that you will be able to remember everything you need to know about the look and feel of every kind of fabric out there. Shopping online can be overwhelming in terms of the sheer variety you suddenly face at once. In the absence of physical access to the fabrics on your screen, it can be very easy to get confused. So, we highly recommend that you build a collection of swatches, which are sample pieces of materials that you can put into a book or portfolio. This will help you greatly in finding the perfect material for every need, even if you’re buying it online.
2. Study Fiber Types
A lot of the qualities of your end product will be determined by the cloth you use to create it. Similarly, the qualities of a fabric are dictated by the fiber used to produce it. For example, how well a given fabric would do as a cushion cover will depend on its ability to absorb and stretch without tearing. These are qualities that natural fibers will offer readily, but they are also given to staining easily due to this. An alternative is synthetic fibers, which don’t stain as easily but they aren’t absorbent at all. So, you may want to go in for a blend of the two. Knowing the basic qualities of fibers will help you pick the right one for your needs.
3. Read the Fine Print
Fabrics have a fixed width, and you will need to know exactly how you will be cutting and using the chosen fabric before buying it. If you intend to cut the fabric diagonally, then the width of it will limit the length of patches you can cut without having the individual threads begin to unravel. Another aspect that you will need to pay close attention to is the weave and thread count of the fabric. It will determine the way you can cut or stitch the material, as well as its suitability for various purposes.
We hope you have found these tips helpful to start you off on your mission to buy fabric online.