What to Look for from an Online Fabric Store

Shopping for fabric on the Internet is much different than going to your local fabric store. When shopping for fabric online you have to find a site that will provide you an alternative that is just as good, or better than your local shop. Here are some of the criteria that I check for when I buy fabric from an online shop.

1. A picture is worth a thousand words. That's why I only shop online from fabric stores that show the entire pattern on the fabric. A lot of fabric stores out there only show a 6" square sample of the fabric. That's not enough for me. A lot of fabric designers are taking advantage of the full width and length of the fabric. For example, look at Marimekko fabrics, they often will have only one to two repeats for 1 yard of fabric. It would be impossible to see the true pattern of the fabric with just a 6" square. Try to find online fabric stores that have great pictures.

2. A picture may be worth a thousand words, but an acurate description it helpful too. When shopping for fabric, I also try to find stores that have detailed descriptions about their products. This way I can get a feel for the color, dimensions, and material. This is very helpful for me if I have a specific project and need to know the weight of the fabric so you'll know if it's going to work for my purposes.

3. Customer Service - Even though you're purchasing from an online fabric shop and you'll probably never meet the face-to-face, it's important to make sure they provide excellent customer service. Here's a couple of things you should look for:

  • They should have a phone number readily displayed that will allow you to contact them.Better yet, it should be an 800#?

  • They should have an e-mail address readily available and if you e-mail them, they should reply promptly to your questions.

  • Another method of customer service is to web chat via instant messenger. This has become popular in recent years and is an easy way to make contact with the vendor. Look for the web chat icon.

4. Site nagivation is crucial if you're looking for a specific fabric style or color. There are thousands of different fabrics avaiable and if you're looking for a specific fabric from a site whose navigation is poorly designed, it can be like trying to find a needle in a haystack.

5. Hey, let's all be honest here. What's the PRICE? The final price we pay for the fabric is obvously going to play a role in our decision making process. A yard of quilt fabric can be priced any where between $4.95 and $10.95. The difference in price really is based on each designer of the fabric. Just like our clothes, the more in style and trendy the fabric, the more we're going to pay. But, we know it's worth it.

There are a lot of online fabric stores on the Internet. If you're truly looking for a wide selection, great product photos, amazing customer service, and a awesome shopping experience, I highly recommend ImagineFabric for your fabric needs.


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