Now, don't get me wrong, maybe it is possible to find good quality fabric for $0.99/yard, but it's rare - very rare. Every once in a blue moon, a designer might commission a textile mill to create a large order of fabric and not all the fabric gets used up. The excess fabric may then be sold off for an exceptional price to a wholesale outlet that unloads this fabulous fabric at an insanely low price (hello, Fabric Mart). So, yes, it is technically possible to find some great deals on amazing fabrics. However, even those fabrics don't tend to sell for $0.99/yard. In my experience, if the fabric costs $0.99/yard, it will be an investment in disappointment. Cheap fabric usually displays one or more of the following dismaying characteristics:
- it ravels at the slightest movement - just the process of moving the pattern pieces from the cutting table to the sewing machine can results in the disintegration of the cut edges
- it hates the iron - ranging from the inability to hold a decent crease to melting at the mere approach of an iron
- on the bolt it looks fine, but after one washing it shrinks horribly (and continues to shrink indefinitely on each subsequent washing) or falls to bits - if it makes it to the dryer, it fills up the lint catcher with oodles of fuzz
- it sews up nicely enough, but the seams shred after one washing or even worse, on the first wearing
- it smells weird - sometimes before washing, sometimes after, sometimes both
- it feels weird - it's picky or sticky or just plain icky
I love creating a garment and the creation of that garment begins with fabric. Fabric should inspire and delight you, not frustrate and repulse you. It should be a sensuous experience for the senses - the texture, the body, the smell, the weight - it should entice you to work with it. Fabric should whisper your name and envelop you in the fantasy of its possibilities. Cheap fabric, no matter how good the price, cannot do this. It's like putting some Playdoh in the hands of a chimp and expecting Michelangelo's David. To put it politely, it ain't gonna happen.
Most of my textile sources typically offer only the best fabrics. I rarely wonder if I will be disappointed in my latest acquisition. It's only when I venture into the bargain basement zone, that I have issues. So, with the new year approaching, I have decided to take a vow of quality. I will respect my talent and I nurture it in the best way possible - by providing it with only the best raw materials. I will listen to my inner voice when it tells me to back away from the bolt. I will seek out beautiful fabric and eschew the 'too good to be true' deals. In a nutshell:
I will only buy high quality fabrics.