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

D. Wilson Art Pottery & Design
Hartford Courant, October 24th

Wilson finds inspiration in fashion and vintage fabric — an etched bird references a Schumacher pattern — and also architecture. He's especially drawn to fables and fairy tales, from which he gleans quotations to decorate his work. "Art should have a...Read more

Richmond gift shop Lily and the Weasel packed with handcrafted goods
Brisbane Times, October 24th

Gift shops used to be one step up from souvenir kiosks - dusty places filled to the brim with items serving no real purpose, often unattractive or tasteless, and invariably unwelcome to the giftee. But a growing appreciation for good design and the...Read more

ReVision: Inspired Fabric Design Exhibit comes to Yadkin Cultural Arts Center
Elkin Jonesville Tribune, October 23rd

As designers to the furniture and home interiors trades Valdese Weavers continually circles the globe visiting vintage fabric vendors. In search of current or timeless motifs that can be recreated and repurposed Valdese brings the fabrics, called...Read more

Penn X Roup Gallery more 'incubator space' than art gallery
University of Pittsburgh The Pitt News, October 20th

Daily Bread specializes in printed shirts and vintage fabric hats. The company's hats create a rainbow of textures and patterns along the gallery's walls — floral, camouflaged, paisley, striped and cartoon pipe-smokers. Each snapback or camper hat is...Read more

Find the complete product information from our November issue. (T) = Trade only.
House Beautiful (blog), October 17th

Fretwork chair, vintage. Fabric on fretwork chair cushion, Jake Stripe in Mandarin—Perennials (T); perennialsfabrics.com. Console table, George II Claw-Foot Side Table—English Georgian America; englishgeorgianamerica.com. Mirror, White Pediment ...Read more

Vintage fabric fair goes down a treat for charity
New Zealand Herald, October 13th

Turning Point Trust's annual fundraising sale of retro and vintage fabric and clothing plus other assorted nostalgia drew a huge crowd, with shoppers snapping up loads of bargains. Established in 1996, Turning Point Charitable Trust, which operates...Read more

Chagrin Falls crafts author Jennifer Casa breathes life into old textiles in ...
The Plain Dealer - cleveland.com, October 8th

At a recent workshop at a Chagrin Falls yarn store, she taught women how to cover button-sized discs of wood with vintage fabric to make buttons and jewelry, and all it took was dipping brushes into decoupage glue. "You still get a little bit of that...Read more

'American Horror Story: Freak Show' draws from history, scripts for costumes
LSU The Reveille, October 6th

She said some actors will be wearing the same outfit for the entire six months of filming. So, when having to design for a character with needs, like extreme height, Eyrich had to make sure enough vintage fabric could be found. Eyrich said she keeps...Read more