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

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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

Easy Accessorising for Summer
GroundReport, August 19th

From silk beaded bracelets with handcrafted metal charms to bracelets made from vintage fabric featuring glass or resin cabochons, fabric jewellery is fantastic for the summer months – with most designs you can even wear them in the sea! Funky detailed ...Read more

Access Hollywood Live: August 15, 2014
Access Hollywood, August 16th

They use scrap from authentic military stuff or vintage fabric. That's a great tote back for the weekend. Last look number 4. Motocross. Inspired by motocross if you women. I got it. First of all give a hand to the grit model. Let's do it. And I love...Read more

The Many Circles of Secondhand
The SandPaper, August 15th

For folks longing for 1970s leather boots, a 1960s wool wiggle dress, or handmade swim tops made of vintage fabric from 1950s sewing patterns, School of Vintage is where to turn. Twice As Nice in Manahawkin has more than a thousand pieces – children's, ...Read more

How These Products Become a Dominant Brand By Specializing in Just One Thing
Business 2 Community, August 11th

Forage is a Philadelphia-based company (that started as an Etsy shop) that makes handmade ties and bow ties from vintage fabric. In a few short years, their neckties have become wildly popular in an already competitive market. The key was using...Read more

'We've had bricks and eggs thrown at our house over how we dress': Couple ...
Daily Mail, August 10th

Melanie also buys vintage fabric and makes her own clothes. The couple will now move forward to the finals of Mr Vintage UK and Miss Vintage UK later this month. Recently she spotted the UK vintage fashion competition on Facebook and decided to enter ...Read more

Souldier Straps Sold at Lollapalooza Are 100 Percent Chicago Made
DNAinfo, July 31st

Then, she realized her hand-sewn straps made of recycled seatbelts, old vintage fabric no one wants and damaged leather hides made Souldier just the kind of “green” company that Lollapalooza promoters were looking for at the Green Street Market...Read more

There's more to Milton than meets the eye
Foster's Daily Democrat, July 30th

A riot of bold and vibrant quilts, table runners and pillows, many created with vintage fabric, is a good place to start. An active member of the League of New Hampshire Craftsmen, Susann is juried as a fiber/stitchery artist known for her quilted art...Read more

Decked Out: Mary Elizabeth Winstead's Polished Vintage Vibe
Hollywood Reporter, July 23rd

One thing that started to change is — there's something about vintage fabric that isn't very forgiving in terms of the heat, for example. There's a lot of polyester and thick wool. I used to be able to bear through that and be like, 'It's cute. I'm...Read more