I’ve been having a damn hard time sourcing affordable fabric lately. And it’s not just because I moved away from Toronto, although that’s part of it.
For all you city slickers out there, moving away from a large city really gums up your fabric buying options. In my neck of the woods, there’s Fabricland, and a tiny smattering of independent shops that cater to old ladies, and therefore only carry taffeta, fleece, and chenille in chartreuse, rust, and lavender.
For last night’s sewing class, my students were asked to purchase fabric for pyjama pants. As this is a beginner course, I told them to only buy quilter’s cotton or flannel. And I also told them that you could purchase such fabrics for $10-12/m.
Oh what a fool I was. What a naive, city-slicking fool.
Two of my three students ended up dropping over $40 each for their two metres of fabric, and the other one went to an old lady shop, where, although the fabric was more affordable, it wasn’t what she wanted. Holy hell.
Add to this my ever-increasing inability to start a wholesale account with a fabric wholesale company, and you have a near catastrophe on hand.
Seriously, I’ve contacted roughly 10 different fabric wholesale companies since I registered my business in January, and not one of them has come through. Some of them no longer exist, (I got my info through this TFI list, which might not be up to date), one of them told me that don’t actually sell fabric (contrary to what their own website might claim), and most of them just never responded to my inquiries. And honestly, should I really have to contact a company more than once to set up a business account that involves me giving them money? My husband hasn’t had to ask more than once with any of the skateboard related companies he’s contacted for our store. Hell, he gets companies asking him to start accounts.
So what’s up with fabric? I don’t have any answer to that question, but I have another option: The Internet!
Sewaholic, a Canadian pattern making company, created a list of fabric stores that sell online. It came as a result of a long comment thread where many Canadian sewists shared their favourite online fabric resources, some of whom charge pretty good wholesale prices. It’s a few years old, so some of the websites might not be up to date, but, hot damn, it’s a sight for sore eyes.
I’ll let you know how it turns out!