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Thread: Buying fabric online???

  1. #1
    Senior Member Rubesgirl's Avatar
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    Buying fabric online???

    I've noticed that many of you purchase fabrics online from several sites. I've looked at some of them but find it a bit intimidating. My question is, how do you know exactly what the color will be since color can vary from monitor to monitor, and how do you know what it will feel like? Do you "pre-shop" at a store but purchase online? Any advise/answers would be welcome. Thanks!

  2. #2
    Member jeemmerling621's Avatar
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    If the manufacturer is not one I am familiar with, I will either pre-shop at my LQS or buy a small amount online to get the look and feel. If its a manufacturer I am comfortable with, like Moda, Robert Kaufman, etc., I know the quality is top notch. When it comes to color, I never trust my monitor to give me a true representation of the colors. Hope this helps.

  3. #3
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    Well, I have bought several things online... basically because I couldn't find what I needed in my small town and shipping was cheaper than gas prices to drive to the nearest large city! Also, I figured I would NOT try to specifically match something up based on the color on the monitor. Now, having said that, I was looking at some charm packs by Moda for a baby quilt I made... I was under the impression that the base of the fabric I was looking at was white, but when I got it, it was a cream color. My mistake for not asking the seller specifically about the color.

    Anyway... I have found some great deals on Ebay and here on this board, too! When in doubt, ask for color descriptions / comparisons!

    Good luck!

  4. #4
    Super Member ghostrider's Avatar
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    Some answers from my experiences.

    You don't know 'exactly' what the color will be, but if the fabrics coordinate online, they will generally coordinate in person even if they are slightly different from the monitor image. I never try to match something on the monitor with something I have in my hand. If I'm trying to match a fabric I already have, I shop in person.

    As for the 'feel' (aka, the hand) of a fabric, you get to know what specific manufacturers fabrics feel like and if you shop those lines online, you'll generally be happy with what you get. Word spreads here pretty fast if something is thinner or looser than usual, and, of course, you can always ask. A lot of times the members who are store owners are gracious enough to let us know when a manufacturer has switched to a thinner weight, even if only for one or two of their lines, because they frequently see things before they hit the retail market. We're lucky to have them.

    Personally, I never pre-shop at an LQS and then go buy what I was looking at online instead. I think that's really a stinky thing to do and I just plain won't do it. To each their own, but I couldn't live with myself.
    The Earth without art is just "Eh".

  5. #5
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I rarely get a fabric that the color is not really what I anticipate. It happens , but always enlarge the sample before buying. If you are buying from as manufactures group they are made to coodinate. There have been a few times I have called and gotten a sample as the match was critical.
    I don't preshop at a LQS then go on line.. I thing its taking advantage of the resource( LQS) with out contributing ($$).

  6. #6
    Super Member GingerK's Avatar
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    Honestly, I wish I had a true colour monitor because the prices I get online are half or less than what I would pay at a LQS (if I had one within 30 miles!!!) I am lucky that I have a DH that works in the US and does not mind being my fabric mule LOL.

    But back to the origional question--I am usually looking for a specific colour or design, so I shop at least, by manufacturer, and, if possible, by product number. I have found that most online fabric stores are more that readly to give additional info if asked. I added a request for small cream blender civil-war-type print to an order for fat quarters, and could not have picked better myself. They want your business so email and ask questions or even request a small sample.
    Never argue with an idiot. They'll drag you down the their level and beat you with experience.

  7. #7
    Senior Member Rubesgirl's Avatar
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    Thanks to all of you. I will feel better about shopping online taking into account your advice. Also, I agree about pre-shopping being a no -no. I just asked because of the colors. My LQS is wonderful but doesn't always have what I'm looking for at the moment. :-)

  8. #8
    Member Tollergirl's Avatar
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    I have bought fabrics online by the same company/designer to be sure of color matching. Never tried to match colors from different lines. I HAVE bought a focus fabric online, then went to my LQS to get the coordinating fabrics. Then I can be sure of creating what I like.

  9. #9
    Super Member ckcowl's Avatar
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    i've been fabric shopping on line for 15 years now---most of the shops i shop with most often offer swatches (sometimes for 75 cents, sometimes for free) when i really need a true match color i order a swatch---but generally i buy the fabric i like and if it comes and is a bit different than i thought it's not a big deal. and if it's a (new to me) shop that i have not ordered from before i do not order alot the first time- i order one piece of fabric- or maybe a fq bundle to see what their fabric is like- if i am impressed i order more- if i find it less quality than i expect i make note to not shop there---there are enough on line shops it's easy to be choosy- but over the years i have found the ones i go back to consistantly when i need anything- there are 4 or 5 of them---if while doing the shop hop i come across a shop that looks really good- good prices, good shipping policy (which means i can get free or very inexpensive) and good selection of fabrics that i do not see at my favorite shops i will order from the new one to check them out. i do about 95% of my fabric shopping on line. have for a long-long time (over 15 years)
    hiding away in my stash where i'm warm, safe and happy

  10. #10
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    I shop on line and never had a problem. just bought on line yesterday because shipping is cheaper then running to town. I mainly buy my focus fabric on line.
    Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear and the blind see.
    mark Twain

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