Online shopping is so commonplace that you can buy almost any supply you need in just a click of a button. And if you sew as a hobby or as a trade, online fabric shops have become the go-to for hard to find items. Buying from an online shop is not only convenient, but you get access to more variety without the hassle of hopping from one store to another.

Although many sewing enthusiasts today frequently order online, some still hesitate to buy online. In order to help make your experience smooth and foolproof, here is our guide on how to buy fabric online.

Buy swatches first to test the quality of the fabric 

If you are buying from an online fabric shop for the first time, purchase swatches first to avoid problems. For fabrics like knits, the actual product may be thinner than you expect; hence, the convenience of having swatches to prevent wasting several yards of fabric you can’t use for your project. Swatches can also help you determine the true quality of the item before ordering bulk quantities.

Learn as much as you can about the fabric you want to buy 

Just because you sew, it doesn’t mean you are also an expert on fabrics. Buying online can leave you overwhelmed because of the abundance of options. But if you an unfamiliar with a certain fabric, make sure to learn more about it first before

purchasing. In the meantime, stick with what you know and have worked with before instead of experimenting with unfamiliar textiles.

Look for tutorials and online videos

 Some online fabric stores post tutorial videos online to help buyers navigate their choices. There are also blog posts that suggest ideas on what to do with certain fabrics. These videos are a great resource for tips on what the store has on offer and what useful projects suit them.

Similarly, you can also look for independent bloggers who make recommendations based on the favourite online fabric shops. If you don’t know where to start, these bloggers can give you the confidence and point you in the right direction.

Verify fabric quantity sold by the store

 Some stores sell by the yard, while some sell in metres. Product descriptions typically indicate the cost based on the amount bought. You must know these specifications so that you don’t end up with too much or too little fabric for your sewing project.

Check the shipping options offered by the store

 Another essential consideration when buying fabric online is shipping. The additional cost of shipping may not be worth it if you are only purchasing a small quantity. It is always a good practice to check how much your package will cost before getting too excited about your purchase.

Some online stores offer a discount on shipping if you buy a certain amount. As with any online purchase, you are likely going to get more value for your money when you get a bigger parcel shipped rather than a small one.




Founder of in 1998 and constantly strives to change peoples attitudes to the town, Brian is a self described Paisley Digital Champion who promotes Paisley via any means necessary. You can also follow me on X