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

Bird Boutique Debuts Sundresses Collection, So Get Your Wallet Ready
Bustle, June 25th

According to Bird's creator, Jen Mankins, the impetus for the collection was vintage fabric snippet that evokes the very feel of a cool summer eve. “I had found this Indian Madras fabric 10 years ago and bought a stash of it because I loved it and I...Read more

Childhood leads Meissner to discover fabric as art
Homer News, June 18th

Meissner works in vintage fabric, buying material at thrift stores or wherever she can find it. “They just arrive in my life. It's very strange. I'm given fabrics,” she said. “They just start coming. That part is pretty interesting and feels sort of...Read more

Hutt eco garments toe ethical as well as fashionable lines
The Dominion Post, June 14th

"I only use vintage fabric or pieces I can find in op shops," Parr said. Her outfits are all one-off designs with no mass production and are made to last as older material is made better and has longevity, she said. Parr also took part in the 2013...Read more

Denver Fashion Truck: Small business success story with lots of style from ...
The Denver Channel, June 13th

Check out gorgeous jewelry by Blade & Knoll, "upcycled" summer dresses handmade from vintage fabric by GiddyUp, brass adventure bracelets by Sparkle and Stone, plus tons of Colorado pride items - from Coloradical T-shirts to throw pillows. The business ...Read more

Faeryland and Toadstools Arrive in Chelsea, Courtesy of Mister Finch
New York Observer, June 10th

velvets, bits of silk, and anything with a “fungal” texture, while other hand-sewn sculptures—his insects, spiders and birds—for example, are made of new and vintage fabric scraps, plastic, paper, wire, fake flower petals, clay, floral tape, and...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

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