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

Inside Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross's Wedding
People Magazine, September 1st

The couple's free spirit sensibility was further captured in their Bohemian chic-themed reception, which was designed by wedding planner Mindy Weiss and featured dreamcatchers and vintage fabric covering the tent walls. Inside, guests munched on a...Read more

Ashlee Simpson and Evan Ross
People Magazine, September 1st

The couple's free spirit sensibility was further captured in their Bohemian chic-themed reception, which was designed by wedding planner Mindy Weiss and featured dreamcatchers and vintage fabric covering the tent walls. Inside, guests munched on a...Read more

Howden-le-Wear couple are runners up in national vintage style contest
The Northern Echo, August 27th

at first but I really enjoyed it. It was lovely meeting the other finalists and seeing all the clothes from the different eras. “We had a fantastic time and the judges said it was very difficult decision.” The couple received £100 each and vintage...Read more

The Farmers behind the Farmers Market
Napa Valley Register, August 25th

Napa Valley Products Services Industries, a Napa nonprofit that provides work training, work opportunities and job placement for adults with disabilities, is back at the market along with Oh Sew Penny, featuring hand-sewn aprons made of vintage fabric...Read more

How These Products Become a Dominant Brand By Specializing in Just One Thing
Business 2 Community, August 16th

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

Men's Shirtless Denim Fashion Show
Access Hollywood, August 15th

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

'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