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

Colorful quilts net $16543 for Life Skills
Le Mars Daily Sentinel, July 28th

A quilt, "Old Fashion Stars," by Becky Wiersma, of Le Mars, featured a feather star surrounded by more stars in vintage fabric. It sold for $550 and was purchased by Ron Erichsen. The auction featured a number of baby and children's quilts, which were...Read more

Little Old Woman: Take a ride with me on my magical musical carpet
Morning Star, July 25th

Since I often associate the music with whatever I was wearing, I “see” myself in the 1920s dress I found at the bottom of a paper bag of free vintage fabric at a garage sale. Al is sporting his authentic straw hat from that period and we are dancing...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

It's right up our street – Ireland the perfect backdrop for hit TV shows
Irish Examiner, July 16th

There has been a move away from rigid interpretations of history on television and Lorna's designs combine historical research with modern elements. The costumes work within the fast-paced plotlines and action sequences. “I use a lot of vintage fabric...Read more

Style Session with Tara Skelley, Dilettante Collection
Memphis Flyer, July 11th

Yes, the floral dress is a new, one-of-a-kind piece from the Dilettante Custom Collection created from a sourced vintage fabric. I love creating unique pieces for special occasions! But I'm a consistent fan of florals and envision creating new fabric...Read more

Friends in artistic places
Weld for Birmingham (blog), July 9th

One of the values the collective agreed upon was a commitment to repurposing materials to create one-of-a-kind pieces. From scrap wood to vintage fabric, from shotgun shells to snake bones, each piece is made to tell a story. “As a result of developing...Read more

Bridal shop, fashion boutique dress up downtown
Forest Lake Times, July 9th

“I redesign them and take elements that can be used maybe from another dress or a vintage fabric I have and just make it more modern.” Ramlet also sells vintage dresses as-is and dresses newly made in the U.S. In addition, she can create custom dresses ...Read more

Weekendish: Hay fever discovered and Ganges swimming
BBC News, July 4th

His one concession is a fridge, which is carefully hidden behind some vintage fabric. "I used to hope that one day I'd have someone live with me and we'd be compatible," he says. "But I think my interests are so extreme that my partner has a modern...Read more