How to shop for fabric + 17 fabric resources

Got this article from The Handmade Home. Check the blog out, amazing stuff inside!
Have you ever wanted to change the color of your walls, but weren’t sure why it wasn’t really working? Or change up a room with seemingly simple fabric switch out, but had problems finding just the right look?
A topic that comes up often, I believe it’s the crowning touch for any great space. We often hear from many of you who are interested in finding some nice fabrics for their spaces, but aren’t sure of where to start…It can be pretty overwhelming, to say the least.
Today, I thought I’d share a few of our Fave Fab Sources: Tips and tricks for hunting down that great fabric pattern + our favorite places to score it.
First things first…Because sometimes the big box stores can leave a lot to be desired in the arena of inspiration and that to-the-trade nonsense really rubs me the wrong way:
1. Be Fearless. Before you dive in head first, it’s good to have a game plan.  In a world of overwhelming possibilities, don’t be afraid to go beyond the typical patterns they “pair up” in stores. A rule of thumb I always follow: it doesn’t necessarily have to ‘match,’ just ‘go.’ That’s the way to create a one of a kind, customized look for your home.
Mix it up. Contrast an organic with a geometic. Throw in some coral pop with that grey and yellow. I’ve been known to shamelessly drag a fabric bolt or two, all the way across the store, only to contemplate all the different combinations. Don’t be afraid to think beyond the forest of depressingly pre-positoned fabric bolts, so you can actually see the possibilities of unexpected combinations.
2. Know your fabrics. {subtitled: and store policies.} Pay attention to the weight of a fabric, and think about what you’ll be using it for. I always check it out before fully committing. B. And speaking of committing… pay attention to those store policies. When desperately trying to work out my colors and ordering online, it’s tempting to spend quadrillion moolahs on samples alone., for example, has free shipping (past a certain amount) and free returns. If I’m fairly sure the fabric will work, I order what I wanted, or order a few different alternatives. I can easily return it if it wasn’t the right fit. Knowing the ‘rules’ can go a long way, for your sanity, and your pocketbook.
3. Etsy is your friend. Utilize Etsy to it’s fullest. Study listings of fabrics to associate yourself with designer’s names, and learn who’s look you love the most. You’ll be surprised how doing something simple like becoming familiar with lines and names can open up the world of possibilities for your home. From Moda fabrics,to Joel Dewberry  Heather BaileySchumacher, and everything in between…just knowing what to search for will completely change your world. You’ll find one designer who is carried in a shop…who also carries another designer…who also carries another designer…and before you know it, you’ve curated your own little love of fabrics into a nice file for future use.
Etsy is also a great source for discontinued and those ever obscure, to the trade fabrics. {See Schumacher, above} For example: I don’t really purchase pillows, because I think they’re the simplest thing to make, and I’d rather pay for the fabric and do it myself. But sometimes I see amazing designs on pillows and wonder where on earth the fabric came from. Sometimes the shop curator will share a little about the fabric, and sometimes they only share a description. Both of those are great opportunities for diving further into the world of the www. It’s a little bit of a process, but it’s a great way to dig up some ‘dirt’ on that next ever elusive fabric name, using search engines to your advantage, to hunt down that perfect pattern for your space.
4. Don’t rule out the little guys. As mentioned above, some of the best artists and designers can be the handmade kind. I absolutely adore block prints and hand printed fabric. Easily found in handmade forums like Etsy. Be sure to search in that realm, as well, for one of a kind fabrics. Spoonflower {listed below} is an amazing resource for that unexpected find. Don’t rule them out!
5. Be resourceful. Well, duh. Isn’t that what we’ve been talking about? Think beyond the mass produced, generic fabric store box. If it were up to the town I live in {no offense to my town, it’s kind of grown on me} all of my fabric would come from two stores. And my home would be covered in silky beige toile circa 1998.
The internet. It’s a beautiful thing. Utilize blogs, sites, magazines, ebay, antiques and vintage to your upmost advantage. Soak it up like a sponge. And beyond that? Once you find that fabric that costs fifty dollars a yard (that you’re already, unfortunately enough, completely smitten with) search for coupons, {} and continue looking for a better deal. Sometimes those extra ten minutes on the laptop can really pay off in your pocket. Sometimes, it’s totally okay to bite that bullet if you just absolutely must have it…but remember there are so many alternatives, ideas, discounts, deals and other options out there…just be sure to think beyond the typical bore-me-now options.
Now that we’ve covered a few of our shopping savvy tips, here’s some of our fave resources when it comes to fabric…
I shop here the most! Search especially for Premier Prints, Duralee, Waverly, Richloom, and P Kaufmann for starters!
a great source for super affordable linens.
A great source for fun trim!
Great source for BEAUTIFUL hand stamped fabric.
**UPDATED** because I’m a dork + totally meant to include them, then stumbled across a pin where this fabulous gal mentioned it: 18 sources!Hawthorne Threads
And that…I think…about wraps it up for today!
I hope we’ve helped inspire your fabric life. What are some of your favorite fabric hunting tips, or resources? Please share!
Happy hunting, everyone!

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