There has been a discussion recently at Stitcher’s Guild on fabric collecting. I have made some mistakes that I shared there, but thought it would be a good topic for the blog.
When I was teaching, I spent summers working at fabric stores. In 30 years, I built up a huge stash of fabric. I am very grateful for that fabric now that my income is limited, but I did not spend my money wisely, and I do not want you to make the same mistakes. So here are my tips.
If you are going to buy fabric for later use, buy only the best fabric in your favorite neutral colors. As you get older, you will want better fabrics. Neutrals will always work, no matter what the trends.
Limit the number of prints that you purchase. I have found prints go in and out of style. The big graphic prints that are popular now may look very dated a few years from now.
If you move around a lot, remember the regional differences in fabrics. I have wool that I will never use here in Florida, but it moved with me the farther south I moved. Fabric has always been used to pad fragile items when moving, so it always moves with me.
Do not buy more than you can store in the available space. I ended up renting a storage shed for my fabric at one point in my life. That is too much fabric!
Establish a system of organization from your first piece of fabric. If you put it on your computer, make sure to update regularly and back it up.
The fabrics that I wouldn’t wear now get used for muslins, but I do wish now I hadn’t bought so much, or had been more selective in what I purchased.