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

How To Get Mark Ronson's Style
D'Marge, November 25th

A blue boy, the DJ favours retro print button-downs in silk or rayon, the vintage fabric worn open, usually displaying a canvas-to-the-pattern via a basic t-shirt. For smarter errands, Ronson's relaxed blazer in soft velour is a vintage dream over a...Read more

Alternative gifts: Tips for meaningful holiday giving
San Jose Mercury News, November 25th

For a friend who loves succulents, Ramirez bought a "cactus" in a pot made of vintage fabric. Aaron Nipper received her whimsical ski mask with unicorn horns for Christmas and loves the idea of supporting local artists: "When you buy local, you're...Read more

Country Crafts Guild to hold fall show Nov. 27-28
The Star Democrat, November 21st

New crafts this year include “upcycled” lamps, needle felted animals and ornaments, watercolor cards, Marylou Troutman's Chesapeake-inspired paintings and prints, vintage fabric art, snowmen and Santa vignettes, burlap wreaths, lampwork bead jewelry, ...Read more

'Star Wars' Costume Exhibit Reveals Creativity Behind Force Fashion
Yahoo News, November 13th

The vintage fabric, the couture-level garments, you can't replicate that. Even if you tried, it would never look as good. So we really wanted to show the real deal." French emphasized that the exhibit is more than a showcase of the costumes: The...Read more

Greenblat leaves Elite Leather, launches Bespoke Furniture LLC
Furniture Today, November 13th

Greenblat said the new entity, based here, is a resource for vintage fabric and leather upholstery, with an emphasis on custom orders. Production will be in China. He said the new company has no connection with the Bespoke division of Elite Leather...Read more

Downtown Neighbors: Serendipity Antiques offers intriguing mix of sights and ...
Chippewa Herald, November 12th

Among the antiques and potpourri are also a number of one-of-a-kind items created by local makers. Next to a shelf of handmade pottery — including unique coffee mugs — is a child's crib full of locally-crafted bunnies made from vintage fabric. “These...Read more

50 ways to tame holiday consumption, save the earth, and experience peace
Southside Pride, November 2nd

If you're like the majority of our readership, you try to limit your footprint on the earth. Maybe you drive a hybrid car, maybe you bike instead when you can. You try to shop locally, grow some of your own food, buy organic, not use plastic, all that...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