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Thread: Fabric quality....

  1. #1
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    Fabric quality....

    I'm cutting fabrics right now for a stash-busting fence rail quilt. I'm amazed at the difference in fabric qualities in my stash. Many of the newer fabrics have a silky quality. My fabrics from 15 years ago are much rougher and more coarsely woven. Most have been purchased from local quilt shops. I don't really care for this quilt, as it's going to be more of a utility quilt. Still, it's been interesting.

    One more thing--I do NOT like the quality of Kona cotton from the local chain fabric store. Is the quality different when ordering from a quilt shop online? My local quilt shop doesn't carry solids. I actually prefer the "hand" of a 1.99 a yard muslin at the chain store, but I'm afraid it might not wear well. It's so much softer, though, that I've been using it to back baby quilts. Thoughts?????

    The upshot of this? I'm going to pay a lot more attention to fabric "hand" instead of just pattern and color. It's so enjoyable to work with a silky cotton. Maybe I notice it so much because I'm a dressmaker at heart--and have been moving into quilting because the kids are grown and I have no one to sew clothes for.

  2. #2
    Super Member Jan in VA's Avatar
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    I've noticed the same thing, but over the years rather than just lately. I actually prefer the fabrics I bought in the 1980a and early 1990s. Their hand, to me, held its shape better and didn't pull out of 'square' as easily as today's fabrics seem to. There have been times I have felt new fabrics at the LQS and said to myself, "That's not 100% cotton," only to read the end of the bolt and find that is IS marked cotton. They felt 'sleazy' to me. The weave seems different, or maybe it's the thread count....I just don't know.

    Jan in VA
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    Living in the foothills
    peacefully colors my world.

  3. #3
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    I am machine quilting a quilt and a LQS expensive background fabric has a few little flaws. I am pulling the little thread snots into the sandwich as I see them. Disappointing, I didn't see them until they were up close and under my Bernina's halogen lights. I have found some of the 100% are good but others feel weird, almost like rayon dress fabric feel?

  4. #4
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    There is also a great difference in where the fabrics are produced now.
    http://www.oregonquilting.net
    I choose to give my life away for things that last forever

  5. #5
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    I sometimes wonder if the fabrics we purchase are treated with a fiber softener prior to be wrapped on a bolt. The reason I wonder is some loose some of the softness of hand when washed. The issue is not the starch that is in some to give body or feel of more substance.
    Going thru my stash I have found some of the premium names were more substantial 15 to 20 years ago. Some of this is a result of screen prints use a higher/finer thread count so the print has a higher clarity, and I have more screen prints now than I ever had in my stash. So when you do some comparisons do note the type of printing used has an impact on what is used for greige goods/base cloth.

  6. #6
    Senior Member Tashana's Avatar
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    Yes the quality of fabric has changed. I stopped buying really well wrapped fat quarters because some were really thin almost like starched cheese cloth. When I pull some fabrics from the early 90s the feel is totally different. They are heavier and denser. Much better quality. Even if you pay premium these days you can still get a dud, as well as really good fabric for a few bucks. I go by feel. That is all I can do but I stay in affordable price range. I cannot and I refuse to pay &12.99 for a piece of cloth.

  7. #7
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    the Kona cotton sold at chain stores is a lesser quality
    I order all my Kona solids from http://www.fabric.com
    Not only is it 1st quality, they have the lowest price I've found on the web.
    And, spend $35 or more and shipping is free.

  8. #8
    Super Member Lisa_wanna_b_quilter's Avatar
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    The best feeling fabric I have had lately is a Dr. Seuss panel made of organic cotton. I would love to have yards and yards of it, but I'm sure that would be cost prohibitive.

  9. #9
    Super Member katier825's Avatar
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    The "kona" at Joann's does NOT say it's by Kaufman. The Kaufman brand you find in the LQS and online is so much nicer. I am spoiled now by the nicer fabrics. I have to buy when on sale though...$12 yd is to much to pay. I am addicted though...so I research before I buy. Have you tried the premium (200 ct) muslin? It is very nice! When on sale, it's pretty reasonable.

  10. #10
    Power Poster BellaBoo's Avatar
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    Organic cotton is the best cotton I have used. I love that stuff but it is expensive. It should be less expensive as no chemicals are added and less processing. Right? Anyway a little of the organic cotton fabric is great to have just to compare other fabrics to see how close it matches the organic cotton.
    Got fabric?

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