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Frequently Asked Questions About Buying Fabric Online

Posted by John Dawkins on 9th May 2018

If you work with fabric, you might be familiar with the different types of fabric that you can find. Each of these fabric types are designed to meet unique specifications for each project. Thus, it is important that you educate yourself before buying any fabric online.

Why Buy Fabric Online?

In this age of digital shopping, you can buy almost anything online. The same goes with fabrics. You can find several fabric shops and retailers online that provide you with a wide array of brands to choose from. Whether you are looking for upholstery fabric, drapery fabric, trimmings, wall coverings, and other types of fabric for home décor use, you will be able to find most of them online.

There are plenty of reasons why buying fabric online is a smart choice. Aside from the convenience (which is an obvious one with online shopping in general), you will be able to have more variety with your options. While your local fabric retailer might offer limited options, online shops can provide more variety and more types of fabric to suit your project. If you are re-decorating your home and want need curtains, you can find drapery fabric online. If you need to revitalize your outdoor space by installing a deck, you can find outdoor fabric for your awnings, too. Whereas your local supplier might only stock a few fabric types, you will be able to find more options online. This is especially true with rare kinds of fabrics that typically available only in specialty shops.

What Fabric Types Are Available Online?

As mentioned above, one of the reasons to shop fabric online is due to the variety of fabrics to choose from. There are different classifications to choose from but they generally fall under two major categories: upholstery and drapery.

Drapery fabric is one of the most common types of fabric that is shopped for home décor use. It is a medium weight fabric that can also serve multiple purposes. It is heavier than apparel or quilting fabrics although lighter than upholstery fabric. There are also different types of drapery fabric and each has their own unique characteristics. For example, sheer drapery fabric is extremely lightweight while there is also black-out drapery fabric that is thicker and heavier. Aside from being used as curtains, drapery fabric can also be used for pillows, accent chairs, headboards, ottomans, duvet covers, and wall coverings.

Upholstery fabric is another type of fabric that is available for purchase online. When you shop for upholstery fabric, your fabric options include chenille, vinyl, and velvet, among other types of solid fabrics. They are designed to be thicker and more durable since they are used on functional items like dining chairs, couches, and arm chairs.

How to Buy Drapery Fabric Online?

Drapery fabric is one of the most common types of fabric purchased online. The type of drapery used can have a huge impact on the style and mood of a room. If you want to add formal elegance to a room, velvet drapes are your best bet. They texture of the fabric provides that luxurious feel while you can also find them in darker colors, which adds privacy and an understated elegance.

To create a crisp, clean, and light environment, opt for linen drapes or sheer fabric. These types of fabric filter out the light while the texture of the fabric adds subtle interest to the room. Meanwhile, silk drapes are recommended if you want to add rich texture to your home’s interior décor. In addition to the type of fabric, the color and/or pattern you choose can also create a huge impact on your home décor.

How to Buy Upholstery Fabric Online?

There are many options for upholstery fabric online. However, it is not about whether you have enough options but how you choose that matters. Aesthetic factors are often the primary considerations but there are far more important things to look into.

Fabric durability is high up on that list. Since upholstery fabric is to be used on furniture, it should be able to withstand constant wear and tear. The texture and feel of the fabric is also important. You might want to consider this as it can also impact the comfort level of the furniture when used.

Additional factors to consider when you buy upholstery fabric online includes allergies, mildew resistance, and fade resistance.

Is Buying Fabric Online Cheaper?

This will depend on which online store you buy your fabric from. However, online fabric stores typically offer a lower price than local fabric shops do. One of the reasons for this is that they do not have a physical store to maintain; hence, the overhead cost is considerably lower. The market for online fabric stores are also more expansive, which means that online fabric shops are able to generate more sales than a locally-operated shop can. They can leverage this to provide cheaper prices on their fabrics as compared to local shops that aim to hit their target profit margin.

In addition, you will also find plenty of online fabric shops that offer wholesale prices. If you need to buy a large amount of fabric, you can take advantage of the savings by buying wholesale fabric.

How to Shop Fabric Online?

Durability of the fabric is a common issue that shoppers deal with when they buy fabric online. There are some online stores that offer samples. Hence, take advantage of this when available so you can evaluate the quality and durability of the fabric.

You can also look for a double rub. This is an indication of quality of the fabric. An abrasion resistance test can be performed on the fabric to determine if yarns break or if it exhibits signs of noticeable wear upon exposure to friction or tension. This is especially important for upholstery fabric since the fabric will be exposed to abrasion and friction on a regular basis.

In addition to the double rub, there are other elements to look for that indicates quality. These factors include weave, finish, and fiber content. There are some types of fabric that are made with natural or synthetic fibers, while others offer a combination of both. Adding synthetic fiber is known to increase the longevity of the fabric.

When in doubt, it is recommended that you order a sample first. This will provide you with a good idea on the thickness, weight, color, and quality of the fabric.