I’ve had a few people specifically request this post lately, so I want to share my favorite online fabric resources specifically for home decor fabrics. In my city, and probably many others around the country, brick and mortar fabric stores are disappearing. We still have Joann Fabric, and Hobby Lobby also carries a good selection of home decor fabrics. But Hancocks is going out of business, and our awesome locally-owned store went out of business about two years ago. So with the dwindling number of actual stores, I find myself doing my fabric shopping online about 80% of the time.
Shopping online for fabric can be tricky. And for me, it isn’t nearly as satisfying as going into a store, looking at and feeling the fabrics, having it cut right in front of you, and walking out of the store with your fabric in hand. But the great thing about shopping for fabric online is that the options are far greater than anything you would find in your local stores (literally thousands upon thousands upon thousands of options out there!), and you can generally find a much better price online than you’d ever find locally.
So before we get to the list of online stores, first here are a few of my tips for shopping for fabrics online:
* ALWAYS order samples before placing your fabric order! This just has to become standard practice when shopping for fabric online. There’s really no way around it unless you’ve already seen the fabric in person and know exactly what it looks and feels like. Most online stores will offer samples of their fabrics for anywhere from $1 to $5 each, and considering that computer monitors all vary greatly in how they display colors, that price is so worth it. For example, do you remember the Robert Allen Run Along Sunburst fabric that I chose for my two host dining chairs? Well, here’s how that fabric looks online:
That looks like some sort of hideous burnt orange/brown fabric. But in person, the colors are much brighter, and much more coral/orange.
Those don’t even look like the same fabrics to me. Or they look like the same fabric in two different colorways.
* Once you find a fabric you like, search for that fabric by name and color to find the best price. In other words, just because you found a fabric at Store A and purchased a sample from Store A, don’t just automatically purchase your fabric from Store A. Now that you’ve found your fabric, and have the company name, fabric name, and color name, do an online search for that specific fabric to see of you can find it cheaper at another store. Then you can either ask Store A if they’ll meet that price, or you can purchase from Store B.
* Always do a search for online coupons. If you’re ordering from a store like Joann Fabric, and you’re on their mailing list, then you will probably always have a coupon handy. They send them in the mail, via email, and via text. It seems like I never have a shortage of Joann coupons, and while most of them can be used both in store and online, sometimes they’ll send online-only coupons. For other stores, simply do an online search for a coupon for that specific store.
* Sign up for mailing lists. I know that signing up for a bunch of store mailing lists can be annoying when they start emailing you every single day. But it’s also the best way to find out about sales. I find it helpful to create a folder in my email account specifically for online stores that I like, and then have their emails sent directly to that folder rather than to my inbox. That way, when I’m curious, or when I need to do some online shopping, I can go to that folder and see if there are any sales that will help me. But that way I can keep the annoying daily emails out of my main inbox.
Those are my tips. Now on to my favorite online stores. (And these are available to anyone. I haven’t included any “available to the trade only” stores on this list, because those don’t do most people any good, right?)
Online Fabric Store: This is, without a doubt, my absolute favorite online store for browsing fabrics. Not only do they have thousands of fabrics, including my favorite brands (Braemore, P. Kaumann, Braemore, Richloom, etc.), and have great search options on their site, but they also have the best photos of the fabrics of any online store I’ve ever come across. They show about five different pictures of each fabric, including one showing the repeat, one zoomed in where you can see the fabric texture, one with the fabric gathered (like it might look for draperies), etc. It is, by far, the best online store for shopping and browsing for fabrics. As far as pricing goes, I find that they have the best prices about half the time. The other half of the time, I end up finding better prices elsewhere.
Joann Fabric: If you have a Joann Fabric store in your area, it’s much better to just go into the store and browse their fabrics. But if you happen to find one of their special order fabrics that you want, you can just order it right online rather than placing your order in the store. And again, don’t forget those coupons! You can almost always get their decorator fabrics for at least 40% off (either on sale or with a coupon), but sometimes they go on sale for 50% or even 60% off. I actually just bought my Robert Allen fabric (above) online during their 60% off sale.
Fabric.com: This is another huge online store that carries great brands at really great prices. But the main thing I love about fabric.com is that they seem to have the most extensive selection of Premier Prints fabric of any online store I’ve found. I really like Premier Prints because they have quality fabric (mostly 100% cotton decorator fabrics that isn’t too thin, and isn’t too thick) in all kinds of patterns and colorways, and almost all of them seem to be under $10/yard at fabric.com. But of course, they have loads of other brands, too.
Mary Jo’s Cloth Store: This store is the online version of a small, locally-owned fabric store. Only it’s not small. And it’s only truly local to those of you in the Gastonia, North Carolina area. (Lucky you!) If you’re in that area, you can enjoy their massive 32,000 square foot store where they also offer sewing classes, quilting classes, and more. For those of us not in the area, we can still benefit from the huge fabric selection and great prices, and their customer service is excellent. I don’t find that it’s the best store for online browsing, but if I know the brand, fabric name, and color that I want, I very often find the best pricing at Mary Jo’s.
Hancock’s of Paducah: This is another online store with that small, locally-owned feel. But again…not small, and only local to those of you in Paducah, Kentucky. And to be clear, this store isn’t affiliated with the national chain that’s going out of business. Now to be really honest, I don’t like their website at all. I find it frustrating to use and search for fabrics. (I like online stores that have one main section for Decor Fabric, that’s then broken down into drapery, all-purpose, upholstery, etc., and theirs isn’t like that.) But again, if I know what fabric I want, I can search here and very often find the best price. This is another store with great customer service.
Fabric Guru: This store generally has really great prices, they carry many of the major brands, and they have thousands of fabrics. And while they don’t have as many pictures of each fabric as you’ll find on Online Fabric Store (above), the ones they do have are generally very clear and large. The one thing I don’t like about this store (and it’s a minor complain, and really just makes me giggle) is that the first time I happened upon this store, I was SO EXCITED to see that they carry brands such as Schumacher, Scalamandre, and Thibaut. I was hoping for amazing designer fabrics at deeply discounted prices. But they seem to carry the absolute most boring fabrics from each of those companies, and most of the time the selection is minimal for those companies. For example, right now under the Thibaut section, there are three fabrics available, and none of them are exciting at all. They have fifteen selection under the Schumacher category, and most of them are boring solids. But that’s okay, because they’re still a great resource for a few of my favorite brands, and their prices are very competitive.
Decorator’s Best: This is another great resource with thousands of fabrics at good prices. They carry all of the standard brands, plus some. I don’t like their pictures, but they do have great search options and samples available on just about every single fabric. And if you really ARE looking for the best price on those really nice designer fabrics (Schumacher, Scalamandre, etc.), this store has them. You’ll still pay a pretty penny for them, but from what I’ve seen, their prices are pretty much in line with what I pay with my trade discounts (which are generally around 50% of the retail price).
Gray Line Linen: If you are looking specifically for 100% linen, this is the place. They have great quality linen, and lots of color choices, and amazing prices. I generally stick with the Barry Linen or Judy Linen (both are great weight for draperies), and they’re both $9.95/yard. That’s an unbelievable price for 100% linen!
So those are the online fabric stores that are at the top of my go-to list when I’m shopping online for home decor fabrics. This is by no means an exhaustive list of online fabric stores. These are stores where I personally have purchased fabrics, so I can give you my honest opinions about them, and recommend them based on my own experiences. But there are thousands of others out there.
And that’s where you come in. If you have a favorite where you’ve purchased fabric, and can vouch for their products and customer service, please share! 🙂