Buying Fabric on eBay

how to buy 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.

Feedback

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.

ebay fabric

Colour

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.

fabric on ebay

Samples

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’
‘Fabric lot’
‘Vintage French linen’
‘Vintage barkcloth’
‘Dress making fabric’
It is also well worth search the listings for curtains as they often have great yardage too.

Some of my favourite eBay fabric sellers are -

This seller has great feedback and sells great bright colours and lots of shabby chic style prints. Their huge, big fat quarter bundles are so, so handy for lots of variety and you buy huge amounts for great prices. I’ve bought a lot of their heavy ginghams and found them great quality but my favourites has to be the English Vintage Rose print – someone talented please make me a dress in the fabric!
I love these people! They’ve fast become my go to for all things crafty, I buy an insane amount of binding and webbing from them because it is so well priced. Their striped fabric is excellently priced and has helped me no end in my current beach hut themed gift basket project, also surely I can’t be alone in loving an animal print on stretch jersey? – Look, look!
Hell yeah I like Russian doll oilcloth, that’s all there is to say really.
Have you bought fabric on eBay? Any bargains or great sellers we should all know about? Feel free to share your fabric links in the comments below.
You might also find useful:
TTFN,

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A Thrifty Mrs

El aka A Thrifty Mrs is a freelance journalist and founder of athriftymrs.com When not sharing thrifty tips and the best of British sales she enjoys trash TV, mooching around charity shops and trying out every mascara on the market.

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Comments

  1. I bought from Fabrics Fantastic on eBay recently and was very pleased with the quality and speedy service – their products are especially good for those making vintage-inspired items. https://www.facebook.com/#!/pages/Fabrics-Fantastic/287519934611302

  2. Great tips! I’ve been looking for fabric recently to make some dresses and table clothes. Haven’t found anything on Ebay, but I have found some lovely fabric pillowcases really cheap in charity shops!

    karen joanne xx

  3. I sometimes buy fabric there after checking it out elsewhere first – you have to, as almost no eBay fabric seller shows scale. Drives me nuts, lol!

    By the way, after receiving it myself, I’ve just passed The Versatile Blogger award to you – if you’d like to accept it, simply check out the rules here: http://baggieaggie.blogspot.co.uk/

    Rosie. x

  4. Love this post :) I’m hoping to give a few crafty things a try such as purses and cushions so it’d be nice to get some fabric :)Thank-you :) x

  5. I am in LOVE with the fabric on top of the pile on your last photo! SCHERWOOOOON!

    I have just spent a full 10 mins looking at FavouriteFabrics1. Lots of things now added to my watch list. Plenty of inspiration.

    I can make you a dress – but it might be more shabby, than chic *wink*

  6. Ooow I love getting fabric ff of eBay, thankyou for the links to those sellers and the tips, really useful! xx

  7. Fab post, thanks. Ive had a couple of go’s buying fabric on ebay, one sucessful the other not so much (but this as due to my not reading the description properley). AS you say, its certainly worth a go. :O)

  8. OOh savin’ this one (you pop up regularly in my favourites list). VERY useful advice. Indeed. I luvs fabric, luvs the EBay = brill post.

  9. Thank you SO MUCH for this post. I live in Wales and although I love it here there is an element of “hicks ville” about the shopping at times. There are 3 fabric shops within a 50 mile radius and no haberdashers so it is really hard to source exactly what I want. You have just made my life so much easier xx

  10. Great post, I’ve never really thought about buying fabric on EBay, but I’m soon to inherit a sewing machine and plan on learning to make some cool threads, so thanks for opening my eyes to this potential source of material! x

  11. Great post – I’ve never thought about buying fabric on eBay, really need to get back into eBay me thinks! x

  12. Once again, you’ve saved the day! My wedding budget is very grateful! X

  13. Once again you’ve saved the day! My wedding budget is very grateful! X

  14. I am a big fan of lucky fabrics and wind the bobbin

  15. I am a big fan of lucky fabrics and wind the bobbin on ebay. both are great sellers at good prices.

  16. Anonymous says:

    Oh. No. Now you gorn and dun it!!! :-) Jude.x

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