Author Topic: Good places to get cheap fabric?  (Read 5142 times)

somecobwebs

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Good places to get cheap fabric?
« on: September 18, 2014, 01:25:12 AM »
Where are the best places to get cheap, patterned fabrics? Presumably NOT fabric stores. (They're for wall hangings, at least for now.)

Let me know if this should be in the DIY forum instead.

BurquenaAbroad

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Re: Good places to get cheap fabric?
« Reply #1 on: September 18, 2014, 02:09:19 AM »
What kind of material? Are you looking for specific patterned themes or just something that strikes your fancy?

If you aren't in a rush, the answer is thrift stores. Most every thrift store has a bedding section, with sheets, curtains, blankets, pillowcases, etc, in a rainbow of colors. Just give it a wash, cut off the useless bits, and you're good to go.

If you want more exciting patterns in smaller sizes/amounts (I'm guessing a wall hanging might be like a quilt, which uses lots of tiny pieces of fabric), clothes, of course, come in a zillion crazy colors and patterns, particularly kid's clothes and women's clothes. Yesterday I saw a top that was electric lime green with zebra-type black stripes, and it was a gigantic floaty top thing with lots of potential fabric. Kids clothes often have hearts or stripes or cartoons or seasonal themes or appliques or pictures of food or dinosaurs or animals or... the list is endless, but the amount of fabric is small.

If you're intent on specific colors or very outlandish patterns, a quilt shop will be your candy store, but it also won't necessarily be cheap. Sometimes the shops have discounts or very cheap small bits of leftover fabric though, so if you've got a specific vision, they're worth a look.

It might help other (more experienced than me!) sewers and/or quilters if you tell us more about your project. Indeed, tell everyone you know about your project and you might be gifted fabric from basements or closets (my grandmother's quilting group gives each other fabric all the time, though they usually buy it from shops).

MoolahLula

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Re: Good places to get cheap fabric?
« Reply #2 on: September 18, 2014, 03:34:47 AM »
i've scored cheap fabric on ebay from crafters reducing their stockpiles.

fireferrets

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Re: Good places to get cheap fabric?
« Reply #3 on: September 18, 2014, 06:05:24 AM »
I have seen listings for free fabric on Freecycle in my area. Sometimes people put up listings on Craigslist for cheap/free crafting supplies and fabric.

somecobwebs

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Re: Good places to get cheap fabric?
« Reply #4 on: September 18, 2014, 11:16:24 PM »
Thank you all! I'll start scouring the thrift shops in my area, as well as Craigslist. And buying seasonal kids' clothes for quilting.. brilliant!!

I'll be sure to post if I score any super good finds!

2ndTimer

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Re: Good places to get cheap fabric?
« Reply #5 on: September 19, 2014, 10:03:36 AM »
Don't know if you can do this where you live but some big U.S. cities have a Goodwill bin store where you buy their thrift store rejects by the lb.  They were 1.29/lb. last time I visited the one in Seattle. 

PlanB

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Re: Good places to get cheap fabric?
« Reply #6 on: September 19, 2014, 11:04:16 AM »
Etsy often has some people destashing their fabric. If you search "destash" or "wholesale" you should come up with some quality fabric for less!

socaso

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Re: Good places to get cheap fabric?
« Reply #7 on: September 19, 2014, 11:58:30 AM »
Another solution is to sign up for the Joann's flyers. I get one a week and there's always a coupon for 40% one item or a single cut of fabric. Pretty frequently there will be 50% coupons for the same thing. A single cut means however much fabric you want of the pattern you want. So if you want 10 yards of black and white cotton gingham you get 40-50% off the whole thing. At my local Joann's they will not take the discount off sale items. I've asked if I could have the coupon off instead of the sale price if the coupon is a better deal and they refused but I've been told that some Joann's will do that.

somecobwebs

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Re: Good places to get cheap fabric?
« Reply #8 on: September 20, 2014, 01:18:46 AM »
More awesome ideas! There's a big Goodwill about forty minutes from me - maybe they have one. I can call them. And there's a JoAnns near my parents' house. Will examine Etsy as well.

Thoughts and Thimbles does a lot of really creative fabric sourcing and makes gorgeous stuff for her kids. I think a lot of her stuff comes from thrift stores.

http://thoughtsandthimbles.blogspot.com/

Cool blog! Bookmarking :)

Gerard

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Re: Good places to get cheap fabric?
« Reply #9 on: September 20, 2014, 05:25:25 PM »
Tell everyone you know IRL that you're looking for fabric. Everybody knows somebody who keeps buying fabric to use someday but never does. Eventually one of them will take a shine to you and you'll be able to build a home out of all the fabric that comes your way.

No, this is not about my mom. Why do you ask?

sarah8001

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Re: Good places to get cheap fabric?
« Reply #10 on: September 21, 2014, 03:12:53 AM »
Another solution is to sign up for the Joann's flyers. I get one a week and there's always a coupon for 40% one item or a single cut of fabric. Pretty frequently there will be 50% coupons for the same thing. A single cut means however much fabric you want of the pattern you want. So if you want 10 yards of black and white cotton gingham you get 40-50% off the whole thing. At my local Joann's they will not take the discount off sale items. I've asked if I could have the coupon off instead of the sale price if the coupon is a better deal and they refused but I've been told that some Joann's will do that.
Actually, you don't even have to sign up for any junk. They always have coupons on their website, they can even scan your phone in the store. Joann's fabric is cheaply made and overpriced, which is the only way they can offer these coupons. However, if you want 100% cotton fabric (very difficult to find in thrift stores here) I would recommend Joann's. I would also say you should check out Gift Card Granny. Currently you can buy a Joann's gift card for 15% off.

50% off coupon + 15% off gift card + 10% on clearence = a reasonable price at Joanns ;)

Incidentally, this is how I buy all my cat food (wait for Petco cards to go 20% off). Just know there is a very small risk associated with this. All the companies offer guarentees if the card you order doesn't work, and it's actually pretty easy to get your money back, but they will take a week plus to credit your account :(

2ndTimer

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Re: Good places to get cheap fabric?
« Reply #11 on: September 21, 2014, 09:05:55 AM »
Having thought about this a little more I have realized that if I were looking for fabric, I would tell everybody I knew that I wanted all their worn out stuff.  I would also post a note in our clubhouse (I realize you may not have one of these).  Some of it would be valuable to you and some of it would be stuff you pass on to Goodwill.  I would thank people who give me stuff profusely and make them a potholder or something.  I bet I would be drowning in fabric in short order.  Actually writing this makes me realize that I should break out my sewing machine again.  I am letting a valuable resource float past me on the tide.