Antique and vintage fabric runs the gamut from Middle Eastern silk to 1950s atomic prints to 1970s classics by (for example) Finland's Marimekko. Vintage fabric is popular among fashion and sewing enthusiasts, as there’s nothing quite like making a traditional-styled garment out of traditional fabric!

Vintage fabric can be used for multiple purposes, from crafts (such as fashion, home décor, and quilting) to education, teaching about the periods in which the material was made and used.

Some 19th century (and earlier) fabrics that are popular to collect and still available to find include calico, gingham, muslin, and linen, as well as home-spun materials. From the first half of the 20th century, collectors seek cotton, plisse, and cloques, among others. Metallic, novelty, floral, and themed prints are also popular, and during the mid-1900s, bark cloth and rayon blends were common.

Collecting vintage fabric can be a fun and affordable hobby, but beware: it can be dangerous when combined with vintage patterns!

Best of the Web (“Hall of Fame”)

Sewing Machine Collector

Sewing Machine Collector

Geoff and Norma Dickens' reference site on vintage toy sewing machines from the late 1800s. Browse the images alpha… [read review or visit site]

LACMA Luxury Textiles

LACMA Luxury Textiles

Textile collectors shouldn't miss this microsite from the LA County Museum of Art, a great reference on European an… [read review or visit site]

Sensibility Vintage Images

Sensibility Vintage Images

An extensive collection of photos and ephemera illustrating changing fashion styles from 1795 to 1959. Includes por… [read review or visit site]

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Other Great Reference Sites

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Recent News: Fabric

Source: Google News

William Ivey Long and David Korins Talk Costumes, Sets, for 'Grease: Live'
WWD, January 30th

Long purchased bolts of vintage fabric to create the new dresses worn by the women. “Normally you don't get to use vintage fabrics on Broadway because they are delicate, rare and you need duplicates, but we are only using these once,” he noted. “I can...Read more

How to Make a Sachet: 21 Projects
Crafting A Green World, January 29th

Sachets are one of the easiest ways to add a nice scent to a little pocket of your home, whether it's in your underwear drawer or your coat closet or your nightstand. They're useful, too, since a sachet filled with cedar chips will keep moths out of...Read more

Bohemian Adventure: Kristen & Mark
Winston-Salem Journal, January 27th

The reception took place in the nearby barn, where the couple continued their simplistic style with white linens, rustic centerpieces, vintage fabric garlands, and pops of pink and mint color. About 130 friends and family sat down to enjoy a Southern...Read more

Noah's Ark Rises in Kentucky, Dinosaurs and All
Newsweek, January 16th

Marsh considers the lumber, the vintage fabric, computers, a 3-D printer—even the craftspeople—God's blessings. “Travis here, he was just a homeschool kid when I got him right out of high school,” Marsh says of a young designer nearby. “God has...Read more

Everything old is new again with vintage fabric
Greensburg Daily News, January 13th

Great vintage fabric abounds on eBay, especially in the "craft" categories. A large, and ever-changing selection of vintage textiles are offered from around the world. At the time of my research for this column there were over 659,000 auctions listed...Read more

Floppy Gold to rival Baggy Green?, January 12th

Australia's George Bailey says the gold coloured wide-brim hat he sported in the first Victoria Bitter One-Day International in Perth will one day be held in the same regard at the iconic Baggy Green cap. And the Tasmanian has gone one step further...Read more

New vintage craft store opening in Oak Park this fall
Sactown Magazine, May 18th

The former librarian is opening Make/Do Sacramento, a vintage, fabric and handmade goods shop, this fall in Oak Park. The cozy boutique will feature rare and vintage fabrics, antiques, craft materials and locally handmade products including jewelry, ...Read more

The Best | Vintage fabric cleaner
The Courier-Journal, March 13th

We all have a beloved quilt that was made by Grandma. But when you got it, it had stains from use and it was yellowed. And it didn't come clean when you soaked and washed it. Retro Clean will renew your treasured heirloom to its original color. Their...Read more