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Shopping by color - looking for advice

Shopping by color - looking for advice

Old 03-23-2011, 06:50 AM
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Location: Orchard Park, NY (near Buffalo, which is near Niagara Falls)
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What's worked in the past probably isn't a "good fit" anymore...
so I need some advice!

Back a few years ago, when I set up our shop's website, I divided all the fabrics up into 14 color groupings. And that was fine when we didn't have quite so many fabrics.

Now some of the color groupings are too crowded (too many blues, too many neutrals). And some I was never sure what to do with (does a black-white-and-red fabric *really* belong in the black group? or white? or red?)... you get the idea.

Do you have any suggestions as to a better method of organization? I'd like it to be as user-friendly and intuitive/easy-to-use as possible.

I know many of you shop online at a wide variety of sites, and I'd love to know what you have found to be the best ways of organizing the colors/prints... and what it is that you like about them.

Thank you all, in advance, for your thoughts! I'm looking forward to what you have to say.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:09 AM
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Hmm, I see what you mean. I usually search by either design, ie "florals", "stripes", "border prints", "lilacs"; and by color, "blue", "red", etc. I may search for a particular shade, like "malachite" or "emerald", but I haven't had as much success with those as with the generic "green". So, where would I search for "coral" or "salmon"? In orange? Pink? I guess if I'm looking for a particular shade and the search doesn't bring up that description, I'm going to scroll through all the related colors to see what I find.

I have found on e-bay that if I want a particular shade, there is a box to check to search descriptions as well as titles. That does help. So if I were to search for a black print, and check "search descriptions", everything that has a significant amount of black in the description would pop up. Does that make sense? I've just finished a 12 hour night shift and am tired, so it may not! LOL
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:19 AM
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I occasionally will look for specific colors, but mostly I look for specific manufacturers. I have my favorites, and I go to them first.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:28 AM
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Being new at quilting & not familiar yet with the various fabric manufacturers I find myself looking mostly by color. Sometimes by type of print, if I know what print I might be interested in. But mostly by color. I can understand not knowing where to classify a print with multiple colors. I like gaigai's suggestion of being able to search for key words in fabric descriptions. This would pull up prints with say 'red'.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:30 AM
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I am no expert by any means but here is MVHO:

Collections by colorway
Children's Lines
Misc. Florals, Stripes, Geometrics
Holidays - Christmas, Easter, Valentines etc.
Wide Backs

I'm sure there are others but this is what I can think of at the moment. You could also link by color to each of the established categories.

Personally if I don't have enough fabrics for a quilt I prefer to look at specific categories and go from there. I will also add that for me trying to find a specific solid or tot on the internet is not easy as the color shown on a computer may not be the color I am seeking for my quilt but might possibly look like it will work when it actually won't. That is a real challenge as there are so many variations of reds, blues, greens, and so on. That's why collections work for me when ordering online as I know they will all work together. That said I do take a lot of chances and eventually will use them with fabrics in my stash that I would have never thought of if I was just looking for a particular fabric. I do have favorite manufacturers and designers and look for them first....

Hope this helps you some.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:44 AM
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look at Hawthorne Threads web site it is very easy to find what you want and you can order by fabric line or color. Equilt.com also has a good search feature when you need something like "dog" fabric. I use them alot. post a link to your web site so we can check it out.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:48 AM
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I tend to be looking for a type (style) of fabric. Childrens, food, landscape, seasonal, etc and I believe that you already have your site with this type of search available.
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Old 03-23-2011, 07:55 AM
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By type, then color, then value. Licensed fabrics separate from the rest, collections separate also. ect.
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:08 AM
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Truthfully, I'm a new user to your website, and I LOVE searching there by color. It's also how I search at HoP and at Craft Connection most of the time, my two main online sources of fabric. If I'm looking for a specific fabric, I search the web for it, not a particular retailer.

My suggestions for the 'shop by color' section would be:
-just include TOTs, blenders, the basics (SSI Compliments for example), and the like
-put all the marbles together under collections instead of color, same with solids
-divide your colors by the 12 step wheel (red, red-orange, orange, orange-yellow, yellow, yellow-green, etc)
-also have neutrals (tans, beiges, etc), and then, depending on the quantity of each, black (include gray), white (include ecru) and "black, white, and..." for the mixes

Your sense of color is excellent and I know the suggested 'go-withs' is a feature that is uniquely you and is very useful to your customers. Go with your instincts. ;-)
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Old 03-23-2011, 08:11 AM
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I like thousands of Bolts search feature. It is one of the most encompassing search features.
The only problem I see with that sites search function is it is not proment and can be easliy over looked. I also like the color matching function. It has kept me from a few mistakes... I use it if I am not quite sure what the color really is , I get a nice isolated little cube of the color.
I do like your search by theme feature, It gets me quickly to the fabrics I want to pick from for a project.
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