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Thread: How to know it's good fabric!

  1. #1
    Member Ellasgran's Avatar
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    I've been watching the boards for a while and have learned much! Been away from sewing for many years but trying to get back in. Have found a love for quilting in my return to sewing. The fabrics seem to have changed so much. I read where you are all discussing good and bad fabric. How do you know if you're buying good quality fabric? Weight, feel?

  2. #2
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    My opinion only here: I would go to a quilt shop first. Feel your way around the store. They have wonderful fabrics.
    Oops, sorry- forgot to say WELCOME!!! This board is fabulous!!
    You will learn sooooooo much :D

  3. #3
    Moderator Jim's Gem's Avatar
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    Welcome to the board from Southern California!!
    I will feel it, if it has a good feel, not too thin or too stiff. Hold it up to the light, can you see through it? You don't want it real thin.
    Stretch it a little, does it really stretch a lot?
    Is it printed on the grain or is the printing really off?
    Rub it between your fingers, or on a small white cloth, is there any color transfer? if so, put it back.
    What is the price? If the regular price is $2-3 per yard, most likely it is not good quality greige goods. If it's on sale for that, that's a whole different story. I love a good sale!!!
    I have several brands that I really like and trust and there are some brands out there that I don't even look at any more.

  4. #4
    Power Poster CarrieAnne's Avatar
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    Welcome!

  5. #5
    Super Member feline fanatic's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim's Gem
    I have several brands that I really like and trust and there are some brands out there that I don't even look at any more.

    I agree, getting to know brand names gave me the courage to buy on line as well. I have gotten some great deals on line and have always been more then satisfied when my package arrived.

    Welcome to the board!

  6. #6
    Super Member sweet's Avatar
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    Welcome to the board.
    I fall in love with certain fabric lines. I like going to a good online fabric site and checking out all of their new fabrics. You get used to certain manufacturers and it gets easier!

  7. #7
    Member Ellasgran's Avatar
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    Thank you for your advice. I just took a class at my LQS, so think I'll buy a bit there and buy a bit from big box store, bring them home and play around and compare, wash, etc. I have SO much to learn!

  8. #8
    Member Ellasgran's Avatar
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    Also, am I seeing a connection between cat lovers and quilters?

  9. #9
    Power Poster sueisallaboutquilts's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Jim's Gem
    Welcome to the board from Southern California!!
    I will feel it, if it has a good feel, not too thin or too stiff. Hold it up to the light, can you see through it? You don't want it real thin.
    Stretch it a little, does it really stretch a lot?
    Is it printed on the grain or is the printing really off?
    Rub it between your fingers, or on a small white cloth, is there any color transfer? if so, put it back.
    What is the price? If the regular price is $2-3 per yard, most likely it is not good quality greige goods. If it's on sale for that, that's a whole different story. I love a good sale!!!
    I have several brands that I really like and trust and there are some brands out there that I don't even look at any more.
    Gayle, your advice was a lot more informative than mine !!! :thumbup:
    And yes, eliasgran, there seem to be a lot of us who love cats and quilts !! Doggies too!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :mrgreen:

  10. #10
    Snoozle's Avatar
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    Welcome aboard. I'm new here too.
    Having worked in 2 quilt shops for over 20+ years in Pa. then Iowa I know that only a "real" quilt shop sells quality fabric. Some manufacturers you love and trust and others...not so much! The same applies to quilt shops! (Joann's, Hobby Lobby and Walmart are NOT quilt shops.)Manufactures produce fabric specifically for "quilt shops" and "not to be sold at chain stores".
    I prewash and dry all of my fabrics. Good fabric does not fray and tangle excessively when it comes out of the washer.Cheap greige goods come out in a wadded ball of threads. Bare in mind that manufacturers use different quality greige goods for different "fabric lines" so while you may not like one line another may be just what your looking for.

  11. #11
    Snoozle's Avatar
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    Youbetchya! Cats and quilts...

  12. #12
    Member Ellasgran's Avatar
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    This is so cool! I feel like my circle of friends has just exploded - I love it - thanks!!

  13. #13
    Super Member susie0808's Avatar
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    Welcome! You can tell the difference by the way some fabric feels. Some are woven very tight and stiff. Thats pretty good fabric. Woven loosely is cheap. But it's your preference is what counts.

  14. #14
    Moderator littlehud's Avatar
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    Welcome from SW Iowa. I feel the fabric. Is it thin. No way. Is it beautiful. Go for it. Find what you like and go with that.

  15. #15
    Power Poster ann clare's Avatar
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    Welcome from Ireland

  16. #16
    Super Member ICU_FOSTERMOM's Avatar
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    HI and WELcome..! ! ! !!

    I am new here too and I could SIT here all day and read....but I want to QUilt...but I want to read....etc.

    You catch my drift. YOull see....It will getcha. ! !

    Welcome again from massachusetts

  17. #17
    Power Poster dkabasketlady's Avatar
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    Hi and welcome from the sunny state of Florida!!

  18. #18
    Senior Member kathyd's Avatar
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    My best advice is you get what you pay for. Cheap fabric usually won't hold it's color for long, is too thin or too stiff. So far what I have read from the other posts, is right on in my book! For me just feeling the fabric is a good indicator of quality fabric. If you are wanting to make something that will be here for years to come or a baby quilt that will get washed numerous times, go for quality (read more $$$).
    Oh yeah. Welcome. You're right, the friendship list just got waaayy bigger!

  19. #19
    Power Poster amma's Avatar
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    Hello and Welcome to the board :D:D:D

  20. #20
    Dix
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    Welcome from Oklahoma. I would take a good quilting friend and go to Hobby Lobby or Hancocks. Look around and feel the difference in the fabrics. Both of these places have several grades of fabric. Check the feel, the dye in the piece and the price.
    I really only go to the quilt shops, I know they are more expensive, but when I make the quilt and hand quilt it, I want to know it will last!

  21. #21
    Super Member MistyMarie's Avatar
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    Absolutely, on the connection between cats and quilters. I have three. They are my companions when I sew. Guess they LOVE the thread and all my scraps. I frequently have to go track them down to get back a piece of fabric they have carried off.

    As for fabric... if in doubt of something you have purchased, wash it before you use it!

  22. #22
    Super Member roseOfsharon's Avatar
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    I was at a quilting show here, this past weekend and the lady giving the demo was saying of checking the selvage and the number of color dots on it was a sign, the more the better. I don't know anything of that, but that is what she said.

  23. #23
    Junior Member Irishlady's Avatar
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    Hello and welcome. When I first started making quilts a few years ago the price of fabric in my LQS was very off putting, then a friend suggested buying online. Well, when I saw the low prices I was overjoyed, but, its true, you get what you pay for, and some of that fabric wasn't even fit for dusters. Now that I am more familiar with good quality manufacturers I will only buy their fabric on line, and then usually when its on sale. That way I have managed to build my stash up to a decent level with fabric I can trust.

  24. #24
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    Quote Originally Posted by sueisallaboutquilts
    Quote Originally Posted by Jim's Gem
    Welcome to the board from Southern California!!
    I will feel it, if it has a good feel, not too thin or too stiff. Hold it up to the light, can you see through it? You don't want it real thin.
    Stretch it a little, does it really stretch a lot?
    Is it printed on the grain or is the printing really off?
    Rub it between your fingers, or on a small white cloth, is there any color transfer? if so, put it back.
    What is the price? If the regular price is $2-3 per yard, most likely it is not good quality greige goods. If it's on sale for that, that's a whole different story. I love a good sale!!!
    I have several brands that I really like and trust and there are some brands out there that I don't even look at any more.
    Gayle, your advice was a lot more informative than mine !!! :thumbup:
    And yes, eliasgran, there seem to be a lot of us who love cats and quilts !! Doggies too!!!!!!!!!!!!!! :mrgreen:
    Yes to dogs AND cats. One of my cats was helping me work on a double wedding ring last night; like I wasn't having enough trouble anyway!

    :-o :-o

  25. #25
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    I thought it was only my cat that liked to lay on the quilts that I am putting the binding on. When I am finished, I hang the quilt up in a wide doorway and vacuum off the cats hairs. Some people are allergic to cats. From the looks of the pictures, there are a lot of other people whose cats like the quilts. I got my cat (Callie) after my husband passed away and my daughter thought I needed company. She was right, the cat lays next to whatever I am hand quilting.

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