Where can I get truly bad-ass fabric for home projects?

March 15 | Guest post by Siouxzi Donnelly offbeatariel

Y'all remember Siouxzie aka Anditron — she had the very first steampunk wedding on Offbeat Bride, and went viral a couple years ago with her pregnant Deathstar costume. Now she's back to give you the low-down on awesome fabric.

I've been super inspired by some of the DIY projects on Offbeat Home, but I have no idea where to get fabric that would make my home decor crafts really fucking awesome.

When I go to Michael's or other big box fabric stores, it seems like I can never find anything that excites me. It all feels so familiar — I want fabrics that no one has ever seen before!

Any suggestions for great online sources for bad-ass fabric? -Becca

Lorelei's Sheets!
Siouxzie showing off the fabric she designed.
My first quick thought on a basic online fabric store is Distinctive Fabric. They have tons of fun fuzzy freaky and basic fabrics.

Saying that, my absolute favorite fabric places are print-on-demand companies. Fabric on Demand is the company where I created my own fabric for my daughter Lorelei's crib sheets. Check out their gallery of custom fabrics!

Their customer service is fantastic and you can order different types of samples to see both the different types of fabric as well as the the colors of their ink on that fabric. But, they don't have it set up to design and then sell your pattern on their site or buy other people's designs.

This leads me to Spoon Flower, which is a beautiful site where you don't have to be a designer to have cool somewhat-custom designed fabric. You can browse through hundreds of designs. I haven't bought anything here yet, but I'm itching to.

And now, let's get some crowd-sourcing up in this bitch — where do you get YOUR amazing fabrics?

  1. I have a sample from Spoonflower, a Mexican Sugar Skull Pattern in a cotton (I'd have to look at the site again to be sure exactly what I have) and it's so soft and vibrant, it would be great to craft with.

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  2. Looooooove spoonflower. Especially since they have tshirt fabric as an option now. It's so easy to make your own fabric with them.

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  3. Officially addicted to looking at fabric on Spoonflower!

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  4. My friend did a custom order on spoonflower and the color came out much different than she intended (she cosplays so the color was pretty imporant to her). That said, they have some really cool stuff in their to order galleries.

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    • Yeah, if you're going to design your own fabrics with Spoonflower its best to get their little colour guide sample swatch, that way you have a better idea of how HTML colours will come out in print. It's often really different. I'd also recommend getting a 8" fabric swatch before you pay out for 3 yards of fabric (I know this from my own painful experience!).

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      • If you design it yourself, I recommend designing in the colorspaces they recommend–RGB and LAB. While this will display differently based on your monitor and will probably print differently (your printer is probably CMYK…) you'll definitely get a much better idea of what colorways are possible.
        Don't know what you're designing in? Send it to someone who can help you out.
        To further complicate matters, I'm sure THEIR printers don't print RBG OR LAB. The inks are quite different. AND different inks absorb differently on different fabrics.
        If color matters that much, order the swatches and never look back.

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        • If you design your fabric in adobe illustrator you can VERY easily select and swap out RGB for CMYK or even just use colors pre selected for print.
          This is just the best thing ever! I can't wait to have some hand drawn fabric prints made! That cat sheet set is badass Hunny!

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  5. Apart from what's already been mentioned, I've used fabric.com. Their stuff isn't totally offbeat, but it's great if you're on a budget, free shipping in the US and they even ship to Canada for me! Their stock turns over quick so its hit or miss, but I've found some great pieces. I always check there first before hitting the others.

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  6. Awesome link to Spoonflower, I think I can get lost in those designs for a bit.

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    • My friend Liz Scott is one of Spoonflower's designers, and I used her fabrics to make pennants and table decorations for my wedding. So fun.

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  7. Funny this post come up; I was just looking up custom fabric-printing yesterday! I discovered KarmaKraft.com, and I read they used reactive dyes that worn leak or fade easily, and allow darker colors to appear much more saturated than just regular pigments. They offer lots of really nice fabrics like habotai silk, but they are a bit more pricey.

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    • Oops, I meant "reactive dyes that *won't* leak or fade easily". Mobile phone won't let me edit my post. :(

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  8. If you're in the Dallas metroplex area, there's a store called The Fabric Yard in Addison that's AMAZING. It has about three different addresses, and I can't remember which one ended up being right so you'll probably end up hunting for it for a while…it's an adventure! You'll feel like you're going to get mugged or kidnapped by the mafia since it's a creepy area, but it's worth it. Their selection is humongous with lots of funky, fun stuff I'd never seen, prices are very reasonable, and the employees were really helpful. I liked seeing the fabrics in person rather than relying on a picture online.

    (Mods, I'm not sure if recommending a business is okay or not. I don't have any personal connection to the place except that I shopped there and liked it. Feel free to remove this if it goes against commenting policy.)

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  9. lots of etsy sellers offer sweet fabrics that cannot be found at big box fabric stores :)

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  10. I don't buy much fabric online but will check all these sites out. I have a few local resources I love.

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  11. For some really fun patterns, check out the quilting sections on fabric.com as well as a lot of other fabric sites and specialty quilting only sites. Quilting cotton isn't great for all projects, but it comes in thousands of patterns, including skulls, flames and thorns (as well as the teddy bears I always pictured). Also, my favorites are in the "retro/mod" section; lots of geometrics, stylized florals and other non-pretty foo foo stuff. They are usually grouped by collection which means you can find fabrics designed to work together in matching and complementary colors and designs. I have made shirts, dresses and skirts from quilting cottons just for the fabulous prints that are much less feminine than garment or home dec fabrics.

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  12. Etsy and Ebay can be great if you're looking for small sections. I picked up some Skelanimals fabric for a decent price.

    Spoonflower is very cool. If you do embroidery, urbanthreads.com has fabric to match some of their embroidery design collections.

    Depending on how much work you want to do and how big the project, you could also alter it yourself with some fabric paint, bleach, or even tie dye, etc. Just be sure that if you want it flexible that you check the paint you're buying. It needs to soak in, not be dimensional paint. But it can be fun to alter fabric to your own desires.

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  13. I work right down the street from Spoonflower! I love their stuff I just wish it wasn't so pricey.

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  14. I see my favorite hasn't been mentioned yet — equilter.com. Equilter has thousands of cotton prints, very well categorized into many, many themes (mermaids! mustaches! cats! skulls!) and easily searchable. $10.95 a yard and under, with frequent sales and close-outs. Check it out!

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