How to Be Online Fabric Shopping Savvy

The Plano ASG Chapter met on Saturday, Oct 27. If you missed the annual luncheon, you missed a wonderful event! We were fortunate to have Rosalind Gaither of Sew Much Fabric (,) Katy, Texas, as our speaker. She has been in business since 1987.

Rosalind shared four important things to know when “Online Fabric Shopping.” Her goal was to ensure we knew what to look for when shopping online, as well as knowing how to know when your personal info is properly protected.

The first point was to create a “fabric library”. Make a note of where the fabric was purchased, type and color (attach a swatch), amount purchased, and note any issues you had when sewing the fabric. SM Fabric includes a note card with each fabric purchased! The card will already be partially completed (fabric type, color, SMFabric) when it is delivered, making it easy to track. As Rosalind was talking, she also passed out several swatches of different fabrics. One of Rosalind’s favorite fabric books is Fabric Savvy by Sandra Betzina.

The second point was about fabric color. Did you know you can re-calibrate your monitor? It won’t guarantee the exact color but can help a bit. SMFabric displays fabric online with Gutermann threads that match the closest. If you are out shopping, you can look at corresponding Gutermann thread to get a close match. You can also use a Pantone Book (rather expensive). Rosalind said it is always best to order a swatch!

Point three was about fabric description. Different stores offer different descriptions of fabric, stretch, four-way stretch, weight by oz or linear oz, blouse weight, tunic weight, dress weight, etc. SMFabrics will have an online dictionary to better describe and understand fabrics. Fabric description is so important when shopping for the perfect fabric!

Point four was to always order a swatch! Order 1/8, ¼ or even ½ yard if necessary. A swatch in hand is the best way to know if you have the fabric you need. Rosalind said that when she is packing fabric for shipping and a “swatch order” has come in, she immediately stops and sends out the swatch order. She wants to make sure you get that swatch before the fabric sells out!

After her speech, Rosalind drew a lucky winner for the Sandra Betzina book!! Congratulations to the lucky winner, Cathy Jordan!

Post by Terri Baker


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