Buying Fabric on eBay
If you’re a crafty little wench like me, you may be partial to a wee spot o’ fabric buying. Ahh there be nothin’ like wandering around a haberdashers running your fingers through fabric and buttons. Mmmm buttons.
Whilst getting out there and seeing the stuff for real is the best option, sometimes it isn’t the easiest option. I like to shop late at night and y’know these haberdashers, right? They like to sleep, how very inconvenient. So buying fabric online has become my main way to source it and mainly on eBay at that.
HOW TO BUY FABRIC ON EBAY
Know what you’re searching for
eBay isn’t fantastic for browsing, so I tend to do my browsing elsewhere then make my way over to the auction site. I hunt around online fabric stores because their images tend to be of better quality compared to most on eBay. I then make sure I have an note of the name, style, colourway and number (if applicable) and make my way across to eBay for a search. Searching this way just makes it a damn sight easier in my books.
As with every eBay purchase it is so, so important to check out the seller’s feedback. Check customers are happy – in particular once their items have arrived if they have been happy with the quality of texture, colour, cut and pattern.
Most times the colour you see won’t be the true colour. Every computer seems to show a very slightly different shade and cameras can’t always pick up a true colour match. Usually a colour will just be a shade or two lighter/darker and often a seller will make you aware of this (so have a good read of the description). However it is worth keeping in mind that the colours may not be spot on, especially if you have a specific project in mind. For this very reason I only buy from a seller with a good returns policy.
Bye, Bye Standardisation
When buying fabric in a shop they tend to sell it either by the meter or yardage – depending on what you ask for. However each fabric seller on eBay seems to have a different set of guidelines they work to, so please check which measurements you’re buying – never assume. Assumption doesn’t work on eBay.
If you need something very specific ask the seller what their smallest size is or even if they do samples before delving into buy a huge swathe of fabric.
Great terms to search for
If you’re not sure what you’re looking for I’d suggest searching one of the following terms
‘Vintage fabric lot’
‘Vintage French linen’
‘Dress making fabric’
It is also well worth search the listings for curtains as they often have great yardage too.