Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Home Decorating Challenge: Shopping for Home Décor Fabric

I love fabric and one of my favourite things to do is to go shopping for fabric. When my family and I travel to somewhere new, I am sure to look for a fabric store to see what they may have that is different. In the past few years, I have also been exploring a few online fabric stores and I have spent hours browsing through their web pages. However, I am a touch and feel kind of girl, so I always find myself wanting to see and feel the fabric prior to shopping. I prefer natural fabrics, but have found myself falling head over heel for a few synthetics. I am also in love with vintage prints and I have a growing collection of vintage fabric, mostly cotton sheets and pillowcases that I have found at thrift stores.

About two years ago I discovered Spoonflower and it has taken me way too long to look further into their services. I have visited the site and have looked thorough the wonderful collection of fabric. There is such a combination of styles and graphics that one can get lost in the endless possibilities. I am hoping to use their service to print my original fabric for one of the projects in the home decorating challenge. I have received a sample of their colours and swatches of their fabric, and I really like the weight and feel of the cotton. I am working on my design and I am excited to place an order.

In the lakeside "bedroom community" where I live, the choices for fabric stores are very limited. I use to live in Toronto, and I have to say that I miss the abundance of fabric stores. There are lots of wonderful fabric stores to choose from in Toronto and you can surely get lost in many of them. I try to plan my trips to Toronto and when I do make it there, I am like a little child at a toy store.

I have been shopping at some of these fabric shops with my mother and grandmother since I was a child. I can remember it being one of the most exciting parts of my summer visit from Trinidad. My mom would always stock up on a collection of great Caribbean friendly fabrics in Canada to take back to Trinidad, and have her dressmaker craft something for her. I would also get the chance to pick a few pieces for myself as well.

Here is a list of some of my favourite places to go fabric shopping for home décor and other purposes:
  1. Designer Fabric: I have been shopping at this store for as long as I can remember. There is no way that I can enter this store and not have difficulty leaving. I love every section of this store. Located in the heart of Parkdale just west of Dufferin on Queen. There is two floors of fabric to choose from and countless swatches that you can rent and take home to see what works prior to purchasing. If you visit Designer Fabric, do not forget to browse their trims and other notions.

  2. Eurofab: There is a collection of home décor fabric, trims and other notions. The store is walking distance west of Spadina on Queen Street. Their focus is on high-end imported fabrics for home decorating. Provide them with an idea of what you are looking for and they can assist you in finding what you need for your home decorating project.

  3. Fabricland: I am never disappointed by a trip to Fabricland. They have stores across Canada and there is generally some type of sale event. You can purchase a membership (which I have done); however, I find that I just keep an eye open for their sales and then shop till I drop. Most of the stores I have been to have an ample selection of home décor fabrics and trims. You may also find a selection of ready made drapery and bedding. They also sell Butterick, Simplicity, Vogue, McCalls, New Look and Burda sewing patterns. I have always found most of the staff friendly and willing to help.

  4. King Textile: A friend introduced me to King Textiles about thirteen years ago and I have found some beautiful fabric from this supplier. They are located on Spadina just south of Queen Street and have three floors with thousands of fabric to choose from. Again it is one of those fabric stores that you can spend hours in and if your not carful may walk out with a lot more than what you were looking for.

  5. MacFab Fabrics: I was introduced to MacFab Fabrics many years ago when they were located just west of Shaw Street. They have moved since and are now located east on Queen Street near Broadview. I really like the store location and find it easy to get to and a little less hectic that Queen West. The store carries a beautiful selection of high-end fabrics and has a wonderful selection of trims, buttons and other notions at the back of the store. MacFab Fabrics can also custom make home décor items.

I have discovered a few online fabric shops that I really like. I have placed orders with several of them, but I suggest shopping around, compare prices and look at the cost of shipping:

Hawthorne Threads
Nancy's Notions

If I am looking for vintage fabric I find that the best sources for me are thrift stores, yard sales and antique markets. When I am shopping for vintage fabrics I really want to have an opportunity to see and feel the fabric and to examine the condition of the fabric.

  1. Collect a swatch when possible and place it along with your other decorative elements.
  2. Purchase a little more fabric than you think you will need.
  3. Get fabric from the same bolt where possible.
  4. Give yourself time to shop around and compare your options, you may be surprised at what you may find.
  5. Purchase family friendly fabrics that are easy to clean and wear well.

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