I think it's interesting that you can find reviews on the Internet for just about anything you can purchase except fabrics.
The best way to judge a fabric will always be in person at a store looking at and feeling the fabric. The sales announcements from online vendors can be very enticing, but how do you know if the fabric will be of good quality when all you have to go by is a picture? For instance, I was at Eleanor Burns website today looking at her sales, and there is a lot of "Anthology" fabric being offered at a discount. I haven't heard of that brand, so I don't know if it is soft with a tight weave and good drape.
This chart is an effort to help us in deciding which fabrics can be safely ordered online.
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If you post comments about fabric brands in this thread, I will update the chart every couple of days. Don't hesitate to post your opinion of a fabric already listed. The more ratings, the more reliable the info is. (The time stamp is for my reference in collecting comments)
Update: 08.14.12 / 10 a.m.
may assign a rating of ½, 1, or 2 thumbs up or down.
Excellent weave, very
little fraying, soft good colors and sews up well.
Slightly stiff, due to
sizing. Doesn't get flimsy when washed.
A lot of varieties of
prints, good basic fabric.
One sample seems softer than
another. Affected by the dying
process? Love Fossil Fern blendables.
Usually can find more reasonably priced online than in LQS
but quality is a plus in their fabric line.
Connecting Thrds - cotton
Good quality for the price. Quirky color combinations?
(Opposing - I don't like for hand appliqué. It is fine for piecing.)
Halfhearted thumbs up.
Connecting Thrds - batiks
Weave is good, the colors and patterns/variety are
excellent, no problem with colors running, starchiness or shrinkage, even the
ones I got at the Walmart.
They make a good line but
they also have a very cheap quality in one of their lines of fabric. It
is a brand that I have to see and feel.
A division of Westminster
Includes Peter Pan
They are a leader in the quality of fabrics that they put
on the market. Have never seen a lesser quality of fabrics under their
Hoffman - batiks
In the Beginning
Great silky feel
David Textiles, Legacy Studios, and Colorbok seem to be good quality. Debbie
Mumm (MMFab) is good. JoAnn’s own holiday fabric has strong weave yet soft to
touch. (Opposing – watch out for cheaper qualities of fabrics here.) Several
comments that Joann’s is improving overall.
Kaufman – cotton (inc. Kona & Fusions)
Fusions: Rainbow of colors, washes up, weave is not too tight, nice
feel to the fabric, prefer these for blending over Moda Marbles. (Kona solids difficult for hand quilting)
Kaufman - batiks
A big thumbs up to the Robert Kaufman's 'Artisans Batiks'.
I've bought both jelly rolls and yardage of both of these lines, and love
Very good quality.
(Neutral “Essential Dots” is thin and frays)
Very nice fabric, good
tight weave, soft and great color.
Beautiful look and feel!
(Opposing – had some that frayed / Moda Marbles by Patrick Lose are
too thin) Another person likes Moda Marbles, so some disagreement there.
Very smooth – almost a sheen.
Like their flannels, too.
P & B
Soft and smooth with
Have a looser weave to
them - nice prints though so maybe a half-hearted thumbs up.
Jinny Beyer! among other lines.
South Sea Imports
A division of MMFab. Includes
Nice "hand" and
good tight weave - some nice contemporary prints.
Timeless Treasures - cotton
Good basic brand. (If from Walmart - tends to be starched,
which washes out and causes warping)
Timeless Trsures - batik
Ordered from Fabric.com.
This had a real silky feel, but the design looks and feels stamped not woven
and I could plainly see my fingers through it.
It is a little stiff, but workable. This is a wildly variable brand. Some are good,
others barely acceptable. (If from Walmart - tends to be starched, which washes out and causes
Includes Kaffe Fassett,
Free Spirit, Ty Pennington, and Rowan.
A division of MMFab.
Wonderful, feels fabulous
and a good tight weave
On the banks of the Mississippi River in north central Minnesota (Brainerd lakes area)
I'm all for a review thread. I would like to order more fabrics online, too, but hesitate for the same reason.
Nancy ,maybe you could set up a group for this ,and have several people as your main reviewers an also anyone else who wants to add to the reviews , I think doing this is a great idea.
EAT!! SLEEP !! QUILT!!
I think this is a great idea. I've always had great luck with buying fabric on line, however, I would love to see reviews on fabric first. There is always that one time that I might not get what I paid for and that would be upsetting. Love the idea.
Georgetown CA I'd Rather Be Quilting
Sounds like a great idea! Money is too hard to come by these days (or any day) for us to waste it on a fabric that isn't of expected quality.
i think it is a great idea.
gini in north idaho
Barbara:maybe you could set up a group for this
I'm always concerned that groups don't get enough traffic. We see the question about whether it's safe to order fabric online all the time as new people join the club. If this topic was a regular in the forums, the new members would probably find it more easily. We can probably just keep the conversation going here. Tell me if you disagree. Is there a benefit to the groups area that I'm missing?
Is anyone up for this? Who has recently purchased fabric, whether at the LQS or online? Which brands did you purchase? Which ones felt especially supple? Which seemed coarse and/or frayed easily?
I wouldn't mind consolidating the reviews into a chart with brand, number of reviewers, thumbs up or thumbs down, and comments.
Nancy, this is a good idea. When I purchase some online I will let you know. Also, stay in the forums as it seems to get more attention. Susan
this would work fine, nancy, you could bump it once a month or so. have you gone back and read the first page of jeanine's thread, longarmers. her first post, she wondered how long the thread would stay alive. she's still wondering. timely threads stay alive pretty easily.
MNnancy:I'm always concerned that groups don't get enough traffic. We see the question about whether it's safe to order fabric online all the time as new people join the club. If this topic was a regular in the forums, the new members would probably find it more easily. We can probably just keep the conversation going here. Tell me if you disagree. Is there a benefit to the groups area that I'm missing?
I think it more people would see it in the forums. If it were limited to groups, the question would probably still come up in the forums anyway.
MNnancy:I'm always concerned that groups don't get enough traffic.
I have also thought about this. The groups are great as it consolidates topics for easier reference. But, since they don't post on the main page of QCA many people that may be interested never see them. I'm not sure what the solution is. Once in a while someone will post something in the general chat area about a particular group and it will catch my eye. Like the scrappy group. I joined that one earlier this year because of a posting in the general area.
It might be nice if whoever is starting a new project in a group would put a simple blurb in the general chat area inviting people to come check out, for example, the paper piecing group.
In the beautiful Pacific Northwest!
How does something like this look? Do we need any other descriptors/columns? I can put something like this in the first post so that people see it at the very start of the thread. The first two reviews are mine based on my recent purchase for the applique layer cake swap. I'll keep the fabric manufacturers in alphabetical order.
I like it . barbara
That looks good.