WHERE TO BUY FABRIC
One of the best things about sewing your own clothes is choosing fabric you want. The colour, the print, the fibre type - it’s all up to you to stamp your personal style on your wardrobe.
When you buy fabric, the first priority is to choose one that works with the garment you are making, and that you will love and want to wear forever. Another (sustainable) option is second hand. There are lots of charity shops, vintage shops, and online marketplaces (e.g. eBay, Etsy) where you can buy fabric, or clothing that you can take apart and upcycle.
But if you just want to buy a new piece of fabric that is designed for sewing clothes, there’s plenty of places you can buy online. To get you started, here’s a small list of shops, most of which have some kind of sustainability angle.
Four Pairs of the Miller Trouser. Details of fabric sourced from L-R: Oat coloured Irish Linen from the Cloth House, Black Linen from Woolcrest Textiles, White denim from The Organic Textiles company, Cream cotton canvas from Woolcrest Textiles.
Organic Textiles Company - organic cottons, wovens and jerseys. Online only.
Merchant and Mills - linen, imported Japanese fabrics, haberdashery. Their store is in Rye.
Ray Stitch - wide range of different fabrics including linen, organic cotton and Japanese fabrics as well as haberdashery. The store is in North London.
New Craft House - deadstock sourced directly from fashion studios and designers. The store is in East London
Cloth House - top notch range of natural fibre fabrics including some less readily available types such as coated cottons. Only only.
Macculloch & Wallis - if you are after something special, try this store for lush silks, leather, velvet, linings, technical fabrics as well as all your interfacing, haberdashery and interlining needs. The store is in Central London.
Offset Warehouse - interesting range of sustainably produced fabrics. Plenty of organic cottons and more unusual fibres such as milk fibres, recycled polyester satin. Online only.
Sew Me Sunshine - a lot of European designer fabric brands, some of which include organic cotton and fabrics made from the more sustainably produced Tencel™ and EcoVero™ fibres. The store is mostly online, but they have frequent open days for their West London based store.
Selvedge and Bolts - bold and colourful prints and a very fancy selection of European ex designer fabrics from the likes of Gucci, D&G, Maxmara etc. Online only.
Liberty of London - best known for their printed cotton lawns. Liberty has joined the Better Cotton Initiative in 2017 which promotes better cotton farming practices. The store is in Central London
Bawn Textiles - based in Scotland, a relatively new shop who stock only sustainable fabrics - they even have ethical elastic! The store is in Glasgow.
Like Sew Amazing - The store is based in Bristol with a large selection, great jersey especially and even some deadstock.
Simply Fabrics Brixton - A south London favourite. As well as a great selection of ex designer fabrics they work with other small businesses to design and produce some of their own prints and lace fabrics, some of which are locally made.
Fabric Godmother - have a huge range of all sorts of fabrics. Plus lots of deadstock, GOTS, Tencel™, and Oeko-Tex certified fabrics. Online only.
The Drapers Daughter - a carefully edited range of good quality, natural and organic fabrics, sewing accessories, trims and stitch kits. Lots of Nani Iro! Online only but does have open days for her shop.
Faberwood - A really unique selection of graphic design led prints by established and emerging contemporary fabric designers, almost all organic (some beautiful Ikats) Online only.
Kasia wears the Miller trousers in organic denim from the Organic Textile Company
Meter Meter (Denmark) - fabric for all your sewing needs, including linens, cottons, deadstock, Japanese fabric. Also a large range of fabric made with the more sustainably produced Tencel™ and EcoVero™ fibres.
Siebenblau (Germany) - all kinds of organic cotton (sweatshirting, jerseys, wovens) as well as some fabric with hemp, linen, Tencel™ and recycled fibres.
Amandine Cha (France) - different kinds of organic cotton - chambray, denim, double gauze, poplin - woven, dyed and printed in France.
Spoonflower (print on demand) - you can choose a design (or upload your own) and print it on the fabric of your choice. Includes organic cotton double gauze, sateen and interlock. Ships from Germany.
Some of the Tencel™ colours from Meter Meter (image courtesy of Meter Meter)
The Fabric Store - a big selection of ethical merino jerseys and linens in all imaginable colours. Also sells deadstock and has stores in New Zealand.
Tessuti - a wide range of wools, silks, linen, cottons and laces, as well as mesh, swimwear, velvet, metallic fabrics.
Louise wears the LB Pullover from The Fabric Store (image courtesy of The Fabric Store)
Mood fabrics - a huge range of fabric to suit any sewing need, including a lot of deadstock.
Fabrics-store.com - dedicated to linens, I have personally used a lot of their linen and they have all washed really well!
Spoonflower (print on demand) - ships from North Carolina. You can choose a design (or upload your own) and print it on the fabric of your choice. Includes organic cotton double gauze, sateen and interlock.
Matchpoint fabric - a curated selection of deadstock and sustainably produced basic fabrics.
Blackbird fabrics - a sewing community favourite, includes organics and deadstocks.
Finally, it is always worth checking to see if you can get fabric samples, so you can be sure the hand feel and colour is exactly what you want. And check the website description for shrinkage (or put the sample in the wash) in case you need to buy a little extra to have enough for your project.
If you’d like to share your projects and inspire others to get sewing, use the hashtag #papertheorypatterns.
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You may want to consider adding Alabama Chanin to your source of sustainable fabrics in the United States. They specialize in organic cotton knits and hand sewing techniques.
I’m a big fan of Textile Mountain, a shop in Prague selling vintage cloth from closed Czech factories, retired designers, and professors. I can get there by tram 🙂, but they also sell online, via their website: textilemountain.cz – would love to see them be supported through these hard times!
Oak fabrics is in Chicago, USA. They carry some patterns and fabrics from Merchant and Mills. I buy online but I really miss touching and seeing how the fabric feels.