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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Recent News: Fabric

Source: Google News

Matchmaker of Crafting
Peninsula Pulse, December 18th

Vintage collector, stylist and crafter Katie Starr has been adding new holiday-themed pieces to "Re-acquainted," her collection of assemblage art at Sturgeon Bay's Greco Gallery. Starr combines and reimagines all sorts of vintage objects, creating...Read more

“Inherent Vice” Costume Designer Mark Bridges Talks '70s Style
Style.com, December 17th

For Jade, we got her cheongsam from Chinatown here in L.A. For Reese's things, we made them with vintage fabric. We made Dr. Rudy Blatnoyd's clothes. We made the incredible black bathing suit that Sloan Wolfmann wears, which is cut with no back...Read more

Rubbish gift? Site sells waste as designer goods
Energy Live News - Energy Made Easy, December 13th

How about a designer dress styled from vintage fabric? Then look no further – a new website championing designer goods made from recycled items launched this week. The Remade in Britain site also lists items such as furniture made out of discarded ...Read more

New Products for Saturday, Dec. 13, 2014
nwitimes.com, December 12th

From Granny's well-worn apron to making a usable quilt from vintage fabric like old tea towels and scraps of cloth that matter. The 144-page paperback includes both sewing and "no-sew" projects and helpful explanations for how to help the materials...Read more

Cofounder ready for 9th Detroit Urban Craft Fair
Detroit Free Press, December 2nd

I sew, too, so there are stacks of vintage fabric in my studio with all varieties of paper cutters, trimmers and supplies. I sell vintage clothing that I eventually find a new use for. My studio is kind of like walking back in time to a craft studio...Read more

Vintage-fabric ornaments are full of Old World charm
NOLA.com, December 2nd

Vintage-fabric ornaments are full of Old World charm. wish.morefab.jpg. B Viz stocking ornaments are made from antique fabrics that Becky Vizard finds all over the world. Print · NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune By NOLA.com | The Times-Picayune The ...Read more

12 Days of Artsy Christmas: Our guide to buying gifts made by South Sound artists
TheNewsTribune.com, November 28th

There's Jacqueline Pahutski, who fills broken vintage watches with glittery starfish, Eiffel Towers and more; and Dawn Curran (EarthNerd), whose sterling silver pendants include a gracefully arching antler, and who makes earrings from vintage fabric...Read more

Shop Local at Hob Nob: A touch of class – present and past
Chestnut Hill Local, November 26th

For many years, while she and her husband raised their two children, Angela followed her calling with her signature vintage fabric handbags, sold locally in Chestnut Hill. Four years ago, her voice and her passion blossomed into the little shop at the...Read more