There's nothing like a new coat of fabric to reinvent an old piece of furniture. But whether you're sending your antique sectional to a high-end professional upholsterer or attacking a Goodwill chair with a staple gun, you're going to need fabric. If you live someplace where it's hard to come by, the Internet is your friend. Check out the following sites for great deals on spectacular home decor fabrics ...
When I lived in New York, sating my fabric compulsion was as easy as hopping the subway to the garment district and browsing until inspiration struck. When I moved not too long ago, the transition I worried most about was losing the fabric stores. Turns out I didn't need to fret so much, as there are plenty of online sources for great fabric at a fraction of retail. Though I still miss spending hours rifling through physical shops, these places have all served me well. If you're looking for something specific, or just spectacular, check these shops out. And if you know of one we've missed, let us know in the comments. I can always use another fabric store.
• Mood Fabrics — Project Runway made Mood's fashion aisles famous, but their home decor fabrics are nothing to sneeze at, and their site is surprisingly easy to navigate. You can sort by color, pattern, designer, content, type, and price range, and they'll send swatches so you can check your colors before placing an order.
• Design Diva Fabrics — I have to admit that I'm a little obsessed with this site, which is like an online outlet store that stocks discounted bolts of ultra high-end designer home decor fabrics from labels like Scalamandre, Fortuny, Old World Weavers, Versace Home and more. The selection tends to the traditional, but every once in a while something really modern will show up. Special orders are possible, but the best deals are to be had in the "Special Offer" section, where weekly specials are marked down sometimes as much as 90 percent off.
• Imagine Fabric — For brighter colors and more modern fabrics, Imagine stocks prints from Alexander Henry, Amy Butler, Marimekko and more.
• Fashion Fabrics Club — This shop changes its stock constantly, so the selection can be hit or miss, but the prices can't be beat and when you find something good, it's really good. Some fabrics can be swatched, but if a sample isn't available you can order the minimum cut of fabric (often just an eighth of a yard) for usually just a couple dollars. Protip: If you're opposed to synthetic fabrics, enter "100" in the search bar with whatever you're looking for. "100 silk" will return the complete stock of 100-percent silk fabrics.
• Silk Baron — If you're looking for silk dupioni, you're almost guaranteed to find your color here. They have over 200 different colors in stock at about $15/yard. Definitely order swatches, as it's almost impossible to guess colors from your computer monitor. (Besides, it's always fun to get a bouquet of swatches in the mail.)
• Ebay — If you know exactly what you're looking for (designer, style, colorway), there's a decent chance someone is selling it on Ebay. I've found everything from Liberty twill to Tom of Finland toile at one time or another. If you don't know precisely what you're looking for, or it's not available, several sellers have Ebay storefronts where you can find a deal on designer bolts.
• Silk Resource — One of the aforementioned Ebay sellers, Silk Resource is great for high-end, old-school fabrics like Scalamandre, and their shipping is lightning fast.
• Emerald City — Emerald City has a great selection of fun, modern fabrics from designers like Amy Butler and John Dewberry.
• Spoonflower — If you really know exactly what you want, you can get it custom made at Spoonflower on all-natural fabrics. You can also put your design up for sale. Personally, my favorite part is going through the fabrics other people have put up for sale; some of them are truly spectacular, and some of them are just plain crazypants. Want an elegant medieval print? Cartoon dragons? Unicorns stabbing each other? They're all there.
(Image: Dransfield & Ross)