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

Amsterdam premium denim label, Denham, opens the brand's first store in Leeds
Retail Times, August 3rd

Amsterdam premium denim label, Denham, has officially opened the brand's first store in Leeds within the heart of the city's thriving Briggate retail district. The brand's founder Jason Denham used a pair of his own vintage fabric scissors to cut the...Read more

Medina square offers local shopping opportunities: What's Brewing
cleveland.com, July 31st

Linda's favorites were new dresses sewn from vintage patterns with vintage fabric. The shop is lovely with lots of room to move around and purses, hats, furs, dresses, bathing suits and jewelry artistically displayed. We stopped next at One Lucky Dog...Read more

How a cancer diagnosis inspired Lady Gaga's new favorite hat
California Turkish Times, July 26th

She'd only made four of the hats — a ladylike topper called the Monica Boater and made from vintage fabric — and she didn't know how it'd ended up on the pop star's head, but she was thrilled it was there. “Lady Gaga has always been my dream customer...Read more

How to make your house feel like a home
Vogue Australia, July 21st

“My goal is to design beautiful rooms for the way people today actually use them, regardless of their intended purpose, breaking the rules as to how a room 'should' function. “What struck me the most was the extent to which many of my clients were...Read more

Upcycled: The art of turning old clothes into new fashion garments
ABC Online, July 20th

Clothing that has been upcycled is becoming popular as fashionistas seek out new designers breaking away from traditional fabric sources. Three Australian women are part of a growing trend to turn old, discarded items in to new fashion garments or ...Read more

Direct from Market: Atlanta Summer 2015, Part 2
Gifts & Decorative Accessories, July 16th

Distressed finishes on woods and metals, driftwood and vintage fabric treatments were in abundance in many showrooms. There was also a more sophisticated side to the rustic trend with vendors turning to agate, marble and wood. Creative Co-Op offered a ...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