Shopping online for fabrics can be a bit discouraging. More specifically when you are looking for something that your local store cannot provide. As when we buy fabric from fabric stores we prefer to check its quality by touch and feel it. There are some things about the fabric you must be aware of before proceeding with tips to buying fabrics online. Most fabrics can be classified as knit and woven. The woven fabrics are considered useful because of their shape-retaining property. Whereas, knit fabrics are supposed to be stretchy and flexible.
Types of fabrics available online
There are broadly three categories of materials from which the fabric is made. These are natural fibers, synthetic, or semi-synthetic. Let’s discuss them one by one.
Natural fibers are reaped and cut to be woven or knit to make fabric. The most familiar one in fashion is Cotton fabrics. Some of the common cotton fabrics are:
- Quilting cotton, which is 100% tightly woven cotton.
- Twill cotton is very similar to denim.
- Cotton canvas, which is a very thick form of cotton fabric.
- Lightweight cotton fabrics include cotton lawn and cotton batiste. These are soft and floaty types of cotton.
- The next type is cotton knit. It can be 100% cotton or cotton and spandex blended.
Synthetic fibers are manufactured chemically. There are different varieties of such fibers depending upon the way it’s manufactured. The common ones are nylon, polyester, acrylic, and indigo fabric.
- Nylon is the most common and used fiber in India for various dresses and clothing. It is next followed by the Indigo fabric.
- Indigo word originated from the Roman word indicum, which is referred to as a product of India. It’s another form of cotton and the dye used for indigo fabrics is extracted from the plant family.
- Polyester is made up of polyethylene terephthalate which makes them more durable.
Another type is semi-synthetic fibers. This includes rayon or lyocell, lyocell is also a form of rayon. Rayon fabric is a lightweight fabric and comes in different sorts of vibrant colors and imprints. On the other hand, Rayon is a rayon chalice which is a soft drapey beautiful fabric, and rayon knits, in which you’ll find bamboo knit. Bamboo is technically a rayon because it’s made in the same process just out of bamboo instead of out of a tree. So it’s a bit more sustainable.
Things you should keep in mind before buying fabrics online
Type of fabric: Firstly you should make sure what type of fabric you are purchasing whether it’s leather, denim, cotton, or satin. We have discussed the different types of fabrics and you might have got an idea about the fabric type you want. So, ask yourself if you want natural, synthetic, or fabrics that are a combination of both.
Quality of fabric: The fabric must be spot-free. There should not be any blemish when it comes to print, dye, fibers, and so on. The fabric quality should be flawless because fabric with blemishes, will picture those imperfections in it.
Suitability: Think about the garment or product you are probably buying the fabric for and you have to know if the fabric will suit that.
Colorfastness: Inspect the fabric firmly and look for any symptoms of irregular dyeing patterns. When you observe anything like color fade, you should switch to another one and if you see dull patches in any parts of the fabric except that it is an intentional design of the fabric, it’s not good to go for it. As it’s a sign that the color will run out when washed. To check its colorfastness, a ball of cotton or white cloth moisten and then rub it down against one small side of the fabric, if the color runs out then it is of low or average quality.
Pattern: If you are interested in buying patterned fabric then you should be aware of coordinating fabrics together of different patterns. You should decide if you want a good linear shape or a floral design. There should be few elements that tie the fabrics together. Make sure that the fabric doesn’t become distorted when aligned to create the garment. For coordinating patterns, pick out the one that suits the best trendy appearance you want to get with the garment.
Shipping Options: Ordering online the cotton fabric for clothing is a simple task but the shipping cost or return policies also play an important role. It is a good practice to double-check the extra cost of shipping. Make sure that you have done some research before getting excited and ordering at first without thinking. You can check for the discounts available on different sites.
Some tips you can follow while buying fabric online.
- The initial step you would be performing is to search for a well-established website and have good customer reviews and the brand is in business for a consistent period then it’s worth buying from them.
- Enquire with your friends and known ones because word of mouth is considered an important aspect in the selection of any product.
- You should be aware of the name of that particular fabric when you opt for buying it online.
- Go through the product description and know about it thoroughly.
- The precuts that some websites offer are convenient. As it becomes really simple because they are already cut and ready to go. Otherwise, you are cutting the amount of fabric you are ordering and the amount based on the garment you are making.
- Read the website return policies as sometimes there are no options available to return, which can cause an issue sometimes.
- There are some websites that can send you small samples like small swatches so that you can test them for colorfastness and compare it for the product you want that fabric.
- If you are looking for fabrics in low-budget or cheap ones then you can opt for synthetic fabrics. As natural fabrics are supposed to be more expensive than synthetic fibers. So you can decide according to your budget.
- Try some small-scale providers of fabric or artists making their own fabric that can offer good quality fabric at a low cost.
If you don’t have much of time, then we recommend you to make your fabric purchase from the Fabcurate.