Hunting for Fabric

I loved the hunt…and it’s a problem.

I remember as a kid, walking between the rows and rows of fabric, hearing the swish as my hands glide through them.  I learned early the feel of good cotton, linen, silks and wools.  Nothing like having champagne taste on a juice diet.  Our favorite shop was a teeny tiny British textile shop in Carmel where Liberty cottons seemed so outrageously luxurious.  Britex in San Francisco and Mode is New York are the only ones I can think of that still have that magically feel.  Sigh….the good old days…Today, most of the bolts are rough feeling quilting cottons or polyester something or other, which means I rarely roam through the aisles anymore. 

But have you been in a decorator fabric store?
Why is there such a difference between the big box stores and decorator fabric stores?
It’s different from childhood memories, but still t
he colors, the textures, and oh, ouch, the prices…Real silks, real linen, cotton… Fortunately, most large metropolitan areas have fabric warehouses where you can find end-of-the-bolt discounted fabrics.  Yeah for me!  The best I’ve found recently are Dallas and Raleigh.  I haven’t been to NY’s fabric district.  I’m sure NY is fabulous.  Don’t tempt me.

I did set a criteria for the hunt:

  • quality decorator or upholstery weight fabrics
  • quality vinyls and micro-suedes
  • strong colors, graphics
  • below a set price/yd (this usually keeps the credit card from screaming and quickly limits my selections, otherwise, I’d have problems with decision-making).

The warehouse disadvantage:

  • quantity, you have to buy the whole bolt or pay more/yard.
  • what you see is what you get (no back stock, no resupply, not one of every color)
  • It’s not well organized.  Hunting takes a lot of time.
  • I usually don’t find exactly what I want, but instead find something for a brand new project.  AND here lies my problem.

Reality hit while I’m walking, struggling with three bolts, out of the last shop in Atlanta struggle. Excited, I’m in love with the new fabrics, and I had enough for 20-25 bags.  Simple math…if I average 5 bags a week, I have work for the next four to five weeks.  BUT I have two projects to finish which will delay the start two weeks and another trip, another two weeks delay.  Oh, man, I can’t even think about working on these new fabrics until middle of November.  AND don’t forget about what was already bought on the last three trips.  Guessing…enough for the next year.


Reds in stash.

Not the same as SABLE (Stash acquisition Beyond Life Expectancy) a knitting term, but close enough.  Hmm…I remember this same knock on the head when I posted all of my yarn stash.

Maybe a NY trip can be a carrot for the end of next year.  Oh, I LIKE that idea!

Now the focus will be turned to efficiencies, modifying the designs, streamlining the process and hunting for hardware.  Hardware…something new to hunt….



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