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Tuesday, September 6, 2016

5 Best Places to Buy Sewing Supplies for Your Business

Creative Chics has been in business since 2009. That has given us ample opportunity to buy more "stuff" than any of us care to admit. As with any business, once you start selling enough volume, you look for ways to reduce your material costs in order to increase your profits.

Most wholesale companies have minimum purchase requirements, which can make it tricky for small start-up businesses. Before we were eligible (aka selling enough aprons) for wholesale accounts, we purchased our materials at the typical Hobby Lobby, JoAnn's, and local quilt shops at premium fabric pricing!

Thankfully our business has taken off and we are now able to leverage having wholesale accounts. Our top 5 vendors that we highly recommend are:

FABRIC: Checker's Distributors is our "go to" place for fabric. They carry most major quilting manufacturer's lines. The major exception is Moda which is a bummer as I think their fabric is gorgeous.

Pros: Great pricing on bolts, ability to preorder new lines, incredibly fast shipping, great customer service. They continue to add more fabric manufacturers to their offering as well with Riley Blake being the newest to join the Checker's family. It is also easy to pick up fabrics for as little as $3.95/yard pricing in their sale section which is always being refreshed.

Cons: You must buy in bolts so if you are searching for small quantities of fabrics, this is not the answer for you.

FABRIC: Riley Blake Designs

Pros: Nice selection of basic prints (solids, dots, stripes) as well as new lines being introduced all the time. The fabric quality is quite nice. Fast shipping and great customer service. When fabric lines are being discontinued, you can pick up bolts at a great discounted price.

Cons: Their website is terribly cumbersome to navigate and review fabrics. With a new web site design just released it has improved but still has room for improvement. Bolt pricing only.


Pros: If you have patience and time and savvy at knowing how to search for what you are looking for, it is a great way to shop around for small quantities of premium fabrics at great prices. When looking for out of print fabrics that I need just a little bit more of to complete my project, I can find it through one of the smaller quilt shops. Quilt shops also neatly fold and ship fabric so it arrives ready to use.

Cons: Many fabric shops label their fabrics on "sale" even though the price is still in the $10-12 yard range. Some of the older quilt shops operate out of their home and fabrics can have a "musty" smell to them when they arrive. I've only experienced this at a few shops though. Shipping is not always timely and in many of the smaller shops they do not provide shipping/tracking details for your package.

THREAD: Wawak Sewing Supplies is our vendor of choice for Gutermann all purpose thread.

Pros: Large selection of thread colors, free shipping for orders over $100, and the best price on spools of 1,097 yards at less than $2.50 per spool. They also sell a wide variety of other sewing items such as elastic, zippers, needles and a wide array of sewing notions and supplies.

Cons: At $2.50 per spool, you have to purchase a lot of thread to receive free shipping :)

BIAS TAPE: J. Hittle Sewing is a family owned and operated business located in the Louisville, Kentucky. We use a lot of bias tape on our aprons and they provide a great selection at great prices.

Pros: You can purchase in 10 yard for $4 or 100 yard rolls for $32, or premium color 145 yard rolls for $60, the price is hard to beat. They also sell Wrights bias tape in all sizes in packages at better prices than any of the big chain fabric stores. Free shipping on orders over $125.00 in the USA. Great customer service.

Cons: Would like to see more color selections in the 100-145 yard rolls.

And there you have it! If you have resources you'd like to share, send the info to us for inclusion in a future article!

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