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Where do you find your fabrics?

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  • Where do you find your fabrics?

    I have recently moved to England from South Africa. I'm struggling to find pretty fabrics - for clothes, mainly childrens stuff. In SA I got so used to enormous haberdashery stores on every corner and in every mall but I just can't seem to find those shops here.

    I live in Dunstable in Bedfordshire and found a few Indian shops in Luton but they just don't have the variety I'm looking for and sell mainly ready made wedding saris. Does any one know of great fabric suppliers in the south Bedfordshire / Hertfordshire area?

  • #2
    I have had the same problem.Being from the states with a fabric shop on every cornor its been really hard.Being in the Hightlands of Scotland fabric shops are nill. I go to the states and buy while I am there.Even ship it back when my cases are full.
    Good luck on your search but don't get your hopes up.Unless you order fabric on the web and pay out the nose you want find what you are use to. I also buy clothes at the thrift shops and cut them up for my smaller things.
    Shabby Neesey

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    • #3
      Originally posted by Peggyb View Post
      I have recently moved to England from South Africa. I'm struggling to find pretty fabrics - for clothes, mainly childrens stuff. In SA I got so used to enormous haberdashery stores on every corner and in every mall but I just can't seem to find those shops here.

      I live in Dunstable in Bedfordshire and found a few Indian shops in Luton but they just don't have the variety I'm looking for and sell mainly ready made wedding saris. Does any one know of great fabric suppliers in the south Bedfordshire / Hertfordshire area?
      Unfortunately haberdasherys are becoming a thing of the past. You could try searching on yell.com to see if there are any local to you. You may have a John Lewis near you that has a habedashery section. If you are willing to travel I would strongly recommend Birmingham a stones throw from New Street station is 'fabirc heaven' lol plenty of shops, indoor and outdoor markets and plenty of choice.

      Hope that helps
      Im down with Fraggle Rock

      Fraggies Fripperies

      http://fraggiesfripperies.blogspot.com

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      • #4
        eBay

        I'm a great lover of eBay and get most of my fabrics from there.

        It's not as thrilling as a fabric shop though. My mother in Law has a fabric shop but I find her selection very....how can I say this?.......dull. It seems to be geared up for the 'ladies of a certain age' group.

        So, living near a large town, and twenty miles from a large city you'd expect that I'm not short of fabric shops but this isn't the case. The lack of fabric shops is huge, the choice of what few we do have is dire. The best one is a quilting shop, and they get their fabrics from USA. However, they too are very old fashioned in their outlook and the fabric is mainly tonals, blenders & florals. And it's hugely expensive...nothing under £9 a metre.

        So I'll stick to eBay. I mostly get the fabrics from USA, and search through 'worldwide' for my needs. The fabric is half the price, the shipping is an excellent price and choice is infinite. Also, you can usually go directly to the Ebay seller's personal (not ebay) fabric store in the US and buy from there. The customer service is usually extremely good too, and I've made some great friends.

        Try here; Claudette is great!

        http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Fabrics-From-The-Heart


        It's worth getting knobbled by Customs & Excise occasionally, just to get the choice and save all those pennies!

        Jules
        Apple Tree Crafts
        www.appletreecraftfairs.com

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        • #5
          you know I have often thought of bring back fabric to sale on.When I go to the states I go to all the fabric outlets and can get fabric really cheap. Being from the southern states where most of the mills are I go to the factory outlets and can get fabric for $1 a yard.
          The only thing that has stopped me was all the paperwork in selling it. I can't make head or tails out of all the red tape.
          Well anyway its been something I have been thinking about,and sence I will be going back in the spring I may look around and see whats going on.
          Shabby Neesey

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          • #6
            I wish we had haberdashery stores on every corner : (
            I've been everywhere around me - Nottingham, Leicester, Birmingham etc, but I just can't find any decent places for fabric.

            John lewis is great if your near one, but i'd wait for them to have a sale on as they can be a bit expensive. (cheap for calico though)

            Here are a few more ebay ones that might come in handy...

            http://stores.ebay.co.uk/Blowing-Bubbles-Boutique-Sale

            http://stores.ebay.co.uk/FAVOURITE-FABRICS
            Last edited by incywincy; 06-02-2008, 01:57 PM.
            incywincystitches.com - Fabric buttons, button supplies and handmade accessories
            ___

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            • #7
              [quote=Peggyb;64171]I have recently moved to England from South Africa. I'm struggling to find pretty fabrics - for clothes, mainly childrens stuff.


              Hi Peggy,

              I recently inherited a fabric stash from a lady who lived in SA. The fabrics are beautiful & I can see your fustration at not beihg able to buy the same thing.

              I wonder if you`re planning to make a start on the smocked dresses?? For silk satins etc I find Hillside textiles (online) very good. Fancy Silk store in Birmingham is great for cotton lawn & heirloom stuff and for everything else too Also Giesse ****polini in Birmngham is great. Coming up soon is the sewing for pleasure exhibition at the NEC Birmingham which is an absolute haven for habby & fabric suppliers. It`s worth it just to source suppliers of stuff but there are many good deals to be had on the day.

              Do you buy "Sewing World"? It`s a magazine which I love. It features fabric retailers every month. Many of them operate on a club basis so you pay a few pounds per year and then they send samples on a frequent basis.

              HTH


              Clare


              Clare

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              • #8
                I used to get my fabric from either Fabricland or John Lewis. I don't know if you have such shops in your area.

                Another great place to look is the charity shop.
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                • #9
                  Jules, do you have to pay import tax on fabrics bought from the states? Say on 10 yards/meters.

                  I am soooo new to all this kind of thing, I sometimes feel way out of my depth!!

                  Thanks
                  www.redshandcraftshobby.blogspot.com/

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by Redmaxi View Post
                    Jules, do you have to pay import tax on fabrics bought from the states? Say on 10 yards/meters.

                    I am soooo new to all this kind of thing, I sometimes feel way out of my depth!!

                    Thanks
                    Chances are you will if it's over £18 worth - I think that's the amount now anyway. I think there is a government website that you can look at to tell you but I can't remember which one sorry. If you type in customs charges then I'm sure you will find it!
                    Visit my Etsy store http://swirlyarts.etsy.com
                    My daily thoughts! http://swirlyarts.blogspot.com
                    My blog of cute stuff http://cuteable.com


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                    • #11
                      Depending on how friendly your supplier is, you can ask them to mark it down as a "gift" on the customs declaration form. You don`t get taxed then.

                      Bit naughty, but hey ho.

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                      • #12
                        EBay fabrics

                        I would agree with Apple Tree Crafts. Ebay is a good source.
                        I recently bought a range of Designers Guild fabrics for curtains from this member :: anniem8617. Just type it in the ebay search bar and then "See all Items from this seller".
                        Some real bargains on pretty fabrics and delivery was quick.

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                        • #13
                          Tax....

                          ....C&E choose packages at random and if it happenes to be your package you get knobbled. They seem to ignore their own rules about the over £18 limit though....and I've had to claim back payments in the past. However, this doesn't happen often.

                          I'd never ask a supplier to mark the customs form as 'gift', this is breaking the law and it's seriously unfair to ask the seller to risk themselves. The best way to do it through eBay is to ascertain whether the seller uses Global Priority Flat rate envelopes. These come in different sizes. Some will take up to 8 yards of cotton fabric, others will take larger amounts. For the 8yd flat rate envelope you can expect to pay about £6 postage. The good thing about the flat rate envelopes is their size....if your package is fairly small you have a good chance of it not being knobbled!

                          For example I've just bought fabric from Claudette (mentioned in my earlier post) and she split my order into two 8 yard packs. Even though the fabric in total was worth over £30, by putting it in 2 parcels C&E wer'en't interested.

                          Reading that back I think I may just have succeeded in confusing everyone.....

                          Jules
                          Apple Tree Crafts
                          www.appletreecraftfairs.com

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                          • #14
                            Originally posted by incywincy View Post

                            Oooh, *squeal* I use both of those ebay shops too!

                            I source my fabrics from all over the place, but unlike Jules, I don't import from the States. (Not for any particular reason, just seem to get enough over here)

                            There are also some good online shops

                            http://www.cheapfabrics.co.uk/
                            http://www.fabricland.co.uk/
                            http://www.efabrics.co.uk/
                            http://www.hillsidetextiles.co.uk/

                            I'm lucky to have a military Thrift Shop just round the corner from me, and am constantly raiding them of their 20p jeans to make my denim button bags from. I also go to Dunelm a lot because they have some fantastic bargains. (My Dunelm is slap bang next door to Hobbycraft too!) I will also use curtains or bedding, so am always rummaging in the sale bins in places like Roseby's etc. I LOVE carboot sales in the summer, you can get some fantastic fabric bargains - especially from things like curtains.

                            The only thing I would say is, it does depend on what you are using your fabric for. There is another thread on the fourm which talks about having to have flammability certificates if you are making and selling toys. I don't know if this is also true of kid's clothes?

                            Hope this helps
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                            • #15
                              I reccomend trying really large Indian fabric shops, they often carry larger fabric varities!
                              check out my blog
                              http://lornasyson.blogspot.com/
                              check out my website
                              www.lornasyson.co.uk
                              follow me on twitter as lornasyson!

                              thanks
                              Have a great day!

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