It’s not a secret: I like nice fabric.
A good portion of my fabric collection now consists of silks and velvets, and nice broadcloth. The thing that people don’t realize about nice fabric is that it doesn’t have to be expensive. There is some correlation between price and quality, but it doesn’t always hold true.
Below are some of my favorite vendors to go to for specific fabrics, but this isn’t the whole list. Please note that I am not sponsored, nor did they solicit a positive review. These are my own words and experiences.
I think if you look through my fabric bins now, a good … half? of the stash came from this site. If it’s a polyester satin/taffeta/chiffon/tulle/twill or a cotton broadcloth, it’s very likely that that I ordered it from them. They have great customer service, good prices and a crazy selection if you know how to look or your keywords. Their shipping times can vary depending on where you are, and I really recommend swatches, but you can’t beat the quality to price ratio.
If you’re a fabric artist and you’ve been around, you’ve probably heard of this site. I get all of my prepared for dyeing fabrics from here, as well as an assortment of dye peripherals (more on this later). I’ve used their 8mm and 5mm habotai in many costumes, and their chiffon is a really pretty crepe-y texture. If you’ve been wanting to work with silk dyeing and experiment with silks, their fabric is really forgiving to work with and the price point is excellent.
My other favorite silk supplier! I can’t sing enough praises about this vendor; their dupioni is beautiful and so easy to work with, excellent customer service, and fast turn around time. They run sales a lot for odd yardage sizes for corsetiers/if you only need a little bit of this one fabric. I made my wonder woman costume almost entirely of their fabric and it’s one of my favorites. I do recommend swatches, mostly because the monitors can’t really reflect the vibrancy or the subtle tones, and they have excellent swatch pack deals (plus if you buy yardage, you get three free swatches).
If you need stretch fabric of any sort and the other fabric stores aren’t cutting it, this is the place I go to. I made a decent amount of competition wear for a friend, and this is where I got all of the fabric. You need to know the terminology and your stretch capacities (and also know how to sew knits, which is easier than you think), but this is a good place to start looking. I have issues trying to find things and knowing where the fabric is located (and they don’t label what they send…), but that may be user error. They used to only take phone payment, but they have since added an online cart and it makes it about 100000x easier for this introvert to order fabric now.
If you’re just starting in corstery and you want to work with true cotton coutil (and not just twill or canvas, which also has its benefits and places), this is where I go. Their prices are in pounds, and the shipping fee is a little higher since they’re located in the UK, but they offer a broad range of corstery strength fabric. I get a decent amount and it lasts for a few corseted costumes before I have to order again. I’ve been eyeing their spotted broche for a while now, but I need to refine my corseting skills a little bit more before I splurge.
Joann’s Fabric and Craft:
Joann’s has really stepped up their fashion fabric game in the last few years. I got a lot of school fabrics from them (the last two years when I was still a fashion student), and I have to say I was pleasantly surprised by the quality. I usually end up getting interfacings, zippers, and muslin from them, though. Do yourself a favor and get the mobile app and find coupons, and hunt for the sales (and don’t forget about the coupons on the website). The Yaya Han specialty fabrics are useful, but they’re expensive as hell without a coupon, and some of the fabrics are pretty… uh, not fantastic for the original price point.
But hey, the convenience factor beats all of the sites I listed above, so… I get fabric from them in a pinch.
There are also always your local fabric vendors! Ordering online is great, but supporting your local stores is better. When I was still living in Colorado, I went to Colorado Fabrics fairly often because that store is ridiculous, and there was also Allyn’s. I still need to explore Salt Lake some more to find a local supplier aside from my local Joann’s.
If you think I’m missing out on a gem of a site (I know Mood exists. I just haven’t ordered from them enough to form an opinion, yet), please let me know in the comments, or in an email!
Thanks for reading!