Monday, April 4, 2011

a note about buying fabric



The mailman just dropped this lovely bundle of fabrics on my doorstep. I've placed many orders from Kathy at Pink Chalk Fabrics over the years and I plan to make many more. Some of these fabrics were on sale, many were out of stock in other shops, and others are simply stash builders. The solids on the top are part of the new Monthly Solids Club that Kathy has started. I love that there are Free Spirit solids in this mix, as I've never bought them before.

I mention Kathy specifically because she is the absolute best when it comes to customer service. I've chimed in on a couple of discussions recently on flickr regarding the atrocious packaging from a certain online fabric mega-store. I've only ordered from them twice, but have been appalled at the way they run their business. The fabric I've received has been incorrect, rolled into a ball, and shipped in a trash can liner. I've heard similar stories from many others. Sure, they've replaced my missing fabric and let me keep the wrong ones, and their prices are often hard to resist. But I want to receive the fabric I've ordered the first time. I want the fabric, which I've spent a lot of money on, to be packaged properly. That's why I have made a commitment to buy from smaller businesses like Pink Chalk Fabrics, and others who provide great customer service. This includes supporting my local quilt shops too. Some of my favorites:

Pink Chalk Fabrics
Sew Mama Sew
Purl Soho
Lily Bella Fabrics
Fabric Shoppe
Wondrous Woven Fabrics

Which online fabric shops do you love? We all spend a lot on our fabric, so I think we should spread the word about stores that treat us right and give them our business.

25 comments:

BaileyGirl5 said...

I buy a lot from Fabric Shack. They have a great price on kona solids, a big selection and super cheap shipping costs. Very fast shipping too and they always include a little gift. Always been very pleased.

ninjadesigns said...

I have to say that I love Pink Chalk (I can't wait for my monthly solids to arrive... I don't suppose you could spread those out a little so I can see what the colors this month are, could ya? it takes soooo long for them to get to canada!)

My other favorite is Hawthorne Threads, though I just made an order and 8 yards of minky costs almost 50$ to ship to Canada!

Also I've never had a problem with Fabric.com . One time I ordered some laminates and they arrived via ups (because ups was cheaper than usps AND about 5 times faster) and each one was carefully rolled onto its own roll and secured, and then the entire order of 6 rolls was secured together and wrapped in heavy duty plastic, and arrived in perfect condition.

ninjadesigns said...

oh yeah! and fort worth fabric studio!!! twice now they've ordered fabric in especially for me (first ruby star rising and then michael miller prints in the new color stories), they're always packages perfectly AND there's always hot chocolate in the box :D

Dianne said...

Canton Village Quilt Works - her customer service is superb!! Also Hawthorne Threads have provided me with excellent service.

Poppyprint said...

Love Pink Chalk. I once bought from an etsy seller who sponsors several blogs and my fabric arrived in a used grocery store bag, not even tied closed. The box was filled up with balled newspaper which was in contact with some fabric. Won't be returning there!

I'm trying hard to resist all of the newsletter deals, enabling fellow bloggers and spring promotions!!

Melissa_Loves_Broccoli said...

In a ball in a trash liner? Ahh. I've window shopped at fabric.com but I think better service comes from fellow crafters, also many etsy shops are more considerate of reasonable postage. I'm planning a quilt for my sons new big boy bed, so these links are in perfect timing, any advice on Alexander Henry, specifically?

Cotton Sparrow said...

love love love pink chalk...also can't wait for my solids to come. Hawthorne Threads had a great selection also...i have a soft spot for them!

Anna said...

i love pink chalk, she has such a great varity, different from a lot of other stores. :) and I'm in the solids club, it's so nice to have someone else pick out a few solids for me to try, I think I just get overwhelmed by the amount of choices when it comes to solids!

Cathy said...

Quilted Castle has been awesome!

Mason's Mama said...

Nido has fabulous customer service and super cute packaging.

pklaw said...

Hawthorne Threads is a favorite of mine. Everything is shipped quickly and professionally!

Lindsay Conner said...

Sew Fresh Fabrics!

emedoodle said...

I agree with all the above reccomendations! I just got an order in from fabric.com that should have been here a week ago... and they didn't have the amount I ordered so I opted for the amount they had. No problems with that but their online tally of how many yards were available was at about twice what I needed when I ordered it. Annoying (I was ordering 35 yds). lol.

felicity said...

Funny timing - I just got a package from that large online retailer. This was the second attempt at delivery - the first one was simply lost (how does UPS lose a tracked package??). The one I got today had tears in the (plastic) bag, the fabric inside was just...there, and one of the selections wasn't what I ordered. The sticker had the correct info but the fabric it was attached to wasn't what I ordered. Sigh. Lesson learned.
I've had marvelous service from Pink Chalk. Another good one is deltapatchwork.com. LOVELY packaging (like a gift -- wrapped in lovely tissue!) and great sale prices.

Angela D. said...

I've ordered from:
*fabric.com - great prices, always can find a discount code, free shipping, but seems a little slow, good customer service, fabric arrives folded haphazardly, but safely in a plastic bag inside the shipping box.
*hawthorne threads - great selection, great customer service, fabric arrives beautifully packaged.
*quilt home - another great place to buy fabric. check out their specials page - it changes daily. free shipping with $50 spent.
*fabric shack - good selection. cheap shipping. super fast.
*hancocks of paducah - good sale selection. great kona/bella solids selection. SLOW to arrive.
and a variety of ebay and etsy sellers.

It does seem that the independents take more care in packaging and getting it to me quickly.

diana said...

I love ordering from PickChalkFabrics and the FabricShack. The half price shipping and huge selection makes me forget about the one problem I had with them. But I love most LilyBellaFabrics because she manages to put so much fabric in a flat rate envelope. And she always is incredibly nice. I wish she had more fabrics, but I love her anyway :)))

I also order from Hancocks of Paducah from time to time, especially when they have free shipping :D. International shipping is such a pain :))

Anjeanette said...

I like Hawthorne Threads. I love that I can find a fabric I love and I can click on the color swatch and find other fabrics in my colorway. Their service has always been great too. I have a couple of Etsy people that I like to order from as well.

I do love to read about where other people get their fabric from. Thanks for sharing.

Kelly O. said...

I have had great success with fabric.com but do most of my shopping on etsy...I love to get my mom to go to Joann's for my solids (I live in Canada and she's in the U.S.) but I may have to check out this solids club..

Valerie said...

I like Burgundy Buttons, Keepsake Quilting, and Connecting Threads (for notions and such).

sharon said...

Love Sew Mama Sew, Hawthorne Threads and Pink Chalk. I recently found quilthome.com and placed a order. Everything arrived perfectly wrapped and in great condition. Last week they had 20% off Kaffe Fassett so I ordered some shot cottons.They also have a great selection of modern fabs. Weekly sales are listed in the newsletter along with coupon codes.

Doris said...

Very well said, Krista. Good customer service should count for a lot, and should be rewarded. Kathy is indeed the creme d'la creme!

Ginny Axtell said...

I have had great service from Fabric Worm, J and O Fabrics, and e-quilter. The service is prompt and the information on their websites is wonderful!

Frankie Wallace said...

Oh my goodness!!... Were you spying on me when I received my order from said online fabric store? I opened my box so excited to see my new purchases and then my bubble was burst, not only by seeing a trash bag but by seeing two cuts of fabric that not only did I not order but would probably never order or use when they told me to keep them free of charge. I don't see how this can be good business... Not only have I not ordered anything else from them but I will never refer them to someone else either.

Kathy - Pink Chalk Studio said...

We LOVE happy customers Krista, thank you for such a lovely post, quite a few big smiles here :) :) :)

Sascha said...

Most of the places I buy from people mentioned already. I love online retailers that offer fractions like in brick and mortar. That's why I buy from Hawthorne the most. I do buy a lot of knits from Fashion Fabrics Club and they take a long time to ship and the packing is dismal. Fabric.com I do order from for some basics but the trash can liner does kind of bother me. If I paid for shipping from them I'd be more bothered. I like fabricworm but since it is in my state I don't prefer to pay tax and shipping. It makes yardage that much more. Anyhoo, customer service is definitely a thing missing in a lot of businesses these days. I do love Pink Chalk for that.