How do you buy fabric?

15 08 2010

My recent survey attracted a lot of responses and some surprising results.  In relation to the question of what people are likely to purchase, fabric came in third.  The top two were easy for me to process, but fabric made me think and that just lead to more questions.  One should never think too hard.  At uni, when doing my law degree, they taught us that when in court we should never to ask a question without knowing what the answer is.  These surveys have shown me I have little idea of what the answer is, which probably explains why I never saw the inside of a court room.  Anyway, back on task, fabric intrigues me.  There was a time when I had many thousand bolts of commercial patchwork fabric and I spent over a year selling out of these, but I miss it.  I miss having a stash the size of a shop.  It is a real luxury to be looking for something just right and having dozens of options at your finger tips by the bolt.  However  I will never go back into the full on patchwork fabric but feel it is time to expand my fabrics.  I already dye a lot of cotton fabric for kits and packs and classes, but have avoided going down that path in a commercial sense for a range of reasons.   I also already dye non cotton fabrics such as velvets, silks, wools and felts.  I also am very attracted to the textural impact of Batiks, especially when mixed with hand dyes and have found myself over dyeing batiks for personal projects.   Anything I do in this space will need to fit in with what I am already doing, so I continue to toss ideas around in my head, which makes me think and leads me to questions.

So, I am again calling on the generous participation of my cyber friends.  I have three questions, well two plus an enticement.  If you don’t mind answering the two questions and would then like to add your email address into the third question, you can go in the draw for 3 metres worth of the most popular hand dyed fabric option.  Won’t it be fascinating to see what that turns out to be?  So here are the questions:

I will draw the winner of the fabric in four weeks time, Sunday 12 September.

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11 responses

15 08 2010
Joy V

Thanks for the ‘competition’ Cecile. I could have put an answer to each option as my stash is now quite large and I only purchase what I need for a specific project – if it is not in my stash.

15 08 2010
uniquestitching

no problems Joy. I will be very curious to see how it all rolls out.
Cecile

16 08 2010
Lesley

Hi Cecile just thought I’d let you know that I buy my fabric in any of the first three categories of your survey.

16 08 2010
uniquestitching

Thanks Lesley. I appreciate the time everyone took to do this and it was obviously harder than first appears!
Cecile

16 08 2010
annecoconnor

agree with joy. sometimes I buy 2.7- 3.5m if I want to do borders or sashing, mostly 1/2 metres if something I like, but not enough to buy yardage. Like to do scrap quilts. again with how I like the hand-dyes, it is diff. horses for courses. Sometimes just want the colour and the gradations of that, sometimes like to have a starburst of diff. colour.

16 08 2010
uniquestitching

Thanks Anne
I think most people have different approaches, depending on the project, the fabric and the options available to them.
Cecile

16 08 2010
cathy smith

these are really hard to vote for. I buy fabric quite a number of different ways, so my answers will refer to hand dyes. Sizes: preferences would be 1/2 to 1m pieces with graduations of one or a couple of colours (eg greens moving into browns) , packs of fat eights in tints of one colour or blended colours, FQs that are beautiful and “must have”, charm square packs 6 1/2 or 10 inches.

16 08 2010
uniquestitching

Thanks Cathy,
you are not alone in finding it hard. I should have given everyone more options. The one thing that has become very clear is what people are NOT buying. Fascinating. Thanks to you and everyone else who participated.
Cecile

24 08 2010
Fern

I like to buy fabric that actually arrives when ordered. Like my friend who ordered fabric and paid for fabric from you at one of your craft shows and that fabric never arrived. Despite repeated attempts to email you and call you. You have ignored all attempts for her to actually receive her paid for goods.

So I will hesitate to buy your fabric again. She will never deal with you again and I doubt any of our numerous craft friends will purchase with ease again.

24 08 2010
uniquestitching

Thank you for your comment. Interesting and I am not afraid to approve it. I notice that you did not put your name to this email or any detail as to who you or your friend is. It makes it impossible to rectify an issue if you are unwilling to identify what the problem is. I post many hundred of packages a month, many months over 1000. Of that number once or twice a month a package will be delayed or disappear. Over all, most make it to where they should with no drama. A minor miracle and certainly an act of faith, I think. When an issue is brought to my attention I will always in the first instance send a replacement and then try to track down the original. Most of the time they show up eventually. I am currently aware of two lost/delayed packages – neither of which are fabric. If I don’t know a problem exists then I am unable to fix it. Ringing me will almost never get me. I make that clear on my website. However, I always respond to emails even if I am in the middle of no where, which I often am. I would appreciate it if your friend resent any email he/she believes I have ignored.
Cecile

26 08 2010
Fern

I would like to respond to this last posting if I may. First my name and contact details were included in this email, as has been evidenced by the fact that you have contacted me regarding this issue.

Being a public forum I did not think it appropriate to include my friends contact details in the missive. However, to your credit (in my opinion) you allowed the post to go public and you have followed up with me and subsequently with my friend finally to try and find a resolution to this problem.

I dont know why you didnt follow up before, with all her numerous emails and various attempts to reach you, but suffice to say it is happening now and I am hopeful that you both will sort this out.

Thank you for your attention to this issue and I wish you well in your business.

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