Sustainability is a practice that has taken the world by storm because of how positively it affects the planet we live on. And, while nowadays there are various strategies we can implement to do our part in eco-friendliness, thus lowering the carbon footprint, like choosing to reduce waste by using reusable shopping bags, fashion is one aspect that certainly needs focusing on.
Each year in the UK alone, there’s around 360k tonnes of waste composed of clothes that ends up in landfills, which is alarming to say the least. You don’t have to be a fashionista who blindly follows each and every trend that emerges to do something about your clothing habits and purchases.
It takes going against the grain by choosing to learn more about the items you wear in a world of fast fashion where international chains offer alluring price offers. One easy solution to make this happen is to take matters into your own hands and start creating and mending your own clothes.
You can master this slow fashion tactic by knowing the sewing basics and how to use the proper tools, of course, but also not forgetting that part of the end result lies in choosing the ideal fabrics. And, you don’t even have to spend much time to locate a shop near you to make the most of the shopping; a well-stocked online fabric store can be your one-stop option for all-things sewing.
Should You Buy Fabric Online?
Perhaps the idea of not having the chance to touch the fabric and get a notion of its feel on the skin, its weight and texture in particular, doesn’t seem that appealing to you, but there are perks to buying online that you may not be aware of.
For example, the online store can:
Provide You with a Range of Fabrics
If you want to be spoiled for choice, then leave it all to the online fabric store to offer you a variety of options. Whether it’s natural choices, such as cotton, wool, linen, and silk, or synthetics like polyester and vyscose, browsing through a neatly arranged selection can help you scan through numerous designs while saving up time as you do so.
For an even easier and quicker search, you can filter out the results to make more specific browsing based on fabric type, occasion, weight, colour, and pattern. This gives you the flexibility to do the shopping at your most convenient time of the day, as the online stores are available 24/7. Moreover, you won’t have to leave your home to go on the quest for the most resourceful store or ideal fabric for your slow fashion projects and stylish wardrobe upgrades. Less time for stressing out, and more time for working on your creations!
Help You Save Up
A real-time dealer can sometimes be the more expensive approach since the online store of choice may be one that has no overhead costs as you’d be buying straight from the seller – no middlemen involved in the process. That’s why it’s important to take your time as you search for a reliable supplier.
Other ways the e-commerce alternative can be the best solution to economise can be through bulk buying, especially convenient if you have a brand, you’re working with great scale manufacturing, or want to create your stock of fabrics. Then, there’s also the fact you can come across convenient deals such as discounts for the holidays, or limited offers on certain items that will be out of stock. Some go as far as offering irresistible gift certificates to attract more clients. Either way, you win!
Turn Into Your Number One Supplier
Don’t be surprised if your chosen textile online shop turns into your main or only choice of supplier for your clothing creation projects. A well-stocked shop has more than a variety of fabrics for clothes, as there’s plenty more to choose from in terms of textiles meant for general fashion matters, decorations, and even furniture.
It can also provide you with essential accessories, sewing tools, as well as crocheting, knitting, and embroidery kits should you choose to broaden your specialties and skills. In case you’re a beginner who’s just starting the amazing journey of sewing, the shop may very well be your helping hand, providing you with crucial lessons through a specialised workshop, detailed books, and sewing patterns for specific items (i.e. garments, bags, kids and baby items).
How to Make the Most of Buying Fabric Online?
The final piece of advice is to learn more about the different types of fabrics you can see at the stores. Apart from the main classification based on whether they’re natural or synthetic, you should understand between terms like embroidered, woven, stitched, printed, and dyed.
This would give you an idea about the characteristics of each of the available options – like whether or not they shrink. Then you’d be able to take the necessary precautions and care.
If you’re new to this kind of project (i.e. creating your own garments), or you’re new to online shopping for fabrics in particular, you’d want to do everything in your might to have a successful purchase by avoiding mistakes. As it’s different from in-store shopping where you have the possibility to touch the textiles, you need to:
Ask for Swatches
This solution is as close as you get to the skin touch of fabrics in store. This would help you decide whether or not a specific fabric you’ve set your eyes on is the ideal one for your project, and would assist you with avoiding the mistake of ordering the wrong full piece.
When in doubt, just as for a variety of swatches from different pieces. Be sure to check if the specific choice is available for swatches, and if not ask for help from the store. In some cases, the fabric shop online may provide you with a minimum cut as a sample which is also a cheaper solution to buying the whole piece.
Make Your Own Swatch Notebook
This would save you from a lot of guesswork when you decide to buy a fabric over the internet, as then you’d have your own reference point to check out. Once you add the samples in the book, it’s advisable to add some basic info, like the weight, to have an idea for future projects. This would make your shopping and sewing a lot easier!
Check the Weight
This is often mentioned by the store, so pay attention to the number indicated for each of the textiles you intend to buy before clicking the “add to cart” button. When in doubt, look for a reference point in your notebook. Sometimes, it’s also possible to get some general idea based on the photo provided for the textiles online, like checking out the swirls or folds, and the texture to see if it’s soft, rough, or ribbed.
Check the Colour
Certain screens present the colours differently, so what you see at home on your computer may not be exactly of the same colour or shade you end up ordering and receiving. To avoid disappointment, ask about swatches again, and make your order most accurate by changing your screen’s settings to as normal as possible to reduce blue light.
Check the Print Scale
Again, this is also where you need to have a reference point, so when checking a specific fabric, pay attention to the print as opposed to an item near it. Some stores have pictures with yarns on the piece of fabric, for example. And if not, there may be a ruler along the edge of the photo so you can compare with the print scale. It’s all in the details!