A fabric store is an exotic and beautiful place. Even if you can barely sew a button onto a blouse, it is easy to imagine yourself creating wonderful clothes, quilts, costumes, and curtains from silk fabric or cotton when you are surrounded by so much color and so many textures. It is not uncommon for clients to just wander, look, and feel designer fabric during visits to fabric stores without buying, or to spend time doing this before making an unrelated purchase. The dreamlike quality of such a store, with example projects lining the upper walls, is distracting.
What does a fabric store contain? Of course it typically stocks a wide variety of material, many types. These include silk fabric, designer fabric, tulle, denim, cotton, cord, and synthetics. There are many more distinctions too: quilting material, fleece, leather and leather-like materials, gingham. All of these and more will be represented in a well-stocked shop.
They are lined up in bolts according to the type of material and any particular designer fabric line or theme. Children’s patterns are grouped together. Christmas designs or Halloween images are arranged in a circle. Colors for the season will be collected in an area. Sequined stretchy fabric will be separated from heavy drapery material.
There might also be a bargain bin where bolt ends and scraps of denim, cotton, silk fabric and more are sold at a set price. Typically, you would bring the bolt to a counter where the clerk would make a metric measurement and cut what you need. Anything from the bargain bin is pre-measured, priced, and wrapped up so you cannot visually assess the little parcel. Many times, patterns which are no longer popular end up here, making this an ideal place to find material for doll’s clothes.
Knitters will often discover an assortment of knitting materials in a fabric store. This includes pattern books, needles, and yarn.
Also, fabric stores sell accessories to go onto fabrics. These include iron-on patches, buttons, zippers, and buckles. They carry thread in a variety of strengths, colors, and prices. Cotton batten is sold to fill pillows and quilts. Buy sewing machine bobbins and even some replacement parts for your machine if a shop is particularly large.
Another product available in meters is edging for curtains and clothes. This includes ribbon, fringe, sequined strips, and more. Buy elastics, pins, needles, and scissors all in one place. If you are not sure what you need for a project, clerks will guide you. Most fabric stores hire people who are avid seamstresses.
Finally, expect to find a wide array of patterns in fabric stores. They change seasonally to make room for new designs. Some stores offer sewing machine repair services and sewing lessons.