So, you would think that I would have no need to venture into the world-wide-web to feed my fabric buying habit. But I do buy fabric on the internet. In fact, I buy quite a lot of fabric on the internet.
Shopping in a real, bricks and mortar, store is, without a doubt, a very enjoyable experience. For me the main advantage of buying fabric this way is the obvious one - you can actually feel the fabric so you can judge how it is going to drape and behave as a garment and you can be certain of the exact colour and texture. And there is, of course, the pleasure of that instant gratification - you walk away with a bag in your hand and your head full of sewing plans for your lovely new fabric.
|"I'll just take a quick look in here!"|
However, I think that there can be a downside to shopping in a store. The array of fabrics piled high can be quite overwhelming so that it can be difficult to consider options and decide on the best purchase. When time is limited it is easy, on impulse, to buy something pretty and colourful although you would really be far better off picking out a less flamboyant, but more useful, solid wool. Another problem that I sometimes encounter is the pushy sales assistant. In some stores the assistants will happily leave you alone to browse but in others I have found that from the minute I step through the door I am accompanied by a person who is keen to show me anything and everything they can. As soon as I touch (or even let my eyes linger on) a roll of fabric, the fabric is pulled out, unrolled and its virtues exclaimed upon. In this situation I tend to feel that I have two choices - buy a lot of fabric that I'm not absolutely sure about or flee empty handed.
When shopping on the internet, although I am denied the opportunity of touching the fabric, I can spend as many hours as I like, at any time of day or night, checking out the stock. Some internet sites, such as Gorgeous Fabrics, and Vogue Fabrics (which are two of my favourite sites) have a 'wish list' facility which allows me to gather together fabrics I like on one page. I can then see how they look together. I can get out patterns, think through what fabric will work with what style and I can check exactly how much yardage I will need. I don't have to press the 'buy' button until I'm good and ready.
Another plus side of internet shopping is that the reputable online stores give you accurate information about the fibre content of the fabric and the recommended care instructions. In real life stores, especially the discount ones, you usually don't get any of this information - the fabric is rarely labelled and the sales assistants can sometimes be, quite frankly, woefully uninformed or wilfully vague.
Of course, when ordering on the internet you have shipping costs to pay (and possibly customs duties if ordering from abroad) so these have to be factored in when considering the cost of the fabric. And then you have to wait for your fabric to arrive at your door.
|"What was it that I ordered ... I seem to have forgotten?"|
However, I don't mind the wait so much because when my parcel does arrive, it's very exciting - it's like getting a present from somebody who has perfect taste and knows exactly what you want!
So, I enjoy shopping in both real and virtual stores. I guess what I am saying is that I just love to buy fabric! But what about you? Do you like to order on the internet or do you have to feel the fabric before you can commit? I'd love to know ....