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4 Simple Questions to Ask When Buying Secondhand Fabric

Four Simple Questions to Ask When Buying Secondhand Fabric on FeelGood Fibers

If you’re new to the world of buying secondhand, it can feel a bit daunting at first. But being a savvy secondhand shopper is not only smart but easy with these four simple questions! 

We could go on about how shopping secondhand is more sustainable and better for the environment than buying new. Or tell you how shopping secondhand can result in scoring a deal on fabrics that you might not have been able to afford the first time around. Or gush about how shopping secondhand will result in your quilts being completely, uniquely YOU when you incorporate that out-of-print fabric into your design!

Yup, we’re completely sold on the idea of secondhand shopping, and we think you will be, too. Which is why we want to make it as easy as possible for you to jump right in.

Here are four simple questions to ask yourself before buying fabric secondhand:

Is it Quality Fabric?

Quality fabric may cost a little more than a lesser quality counterpart, but in the end, when making a project that takes as much time, effort, and energy as a quilt, isn’t it worth using good-quality materials? Working with quality fabric will make your project last longer and wash with less shrinkage. When it comes to quilting fabric, we opt for quality over quantity.

Is it Unique?

Shopping secondhand is a great way to find some undiscovered or forgotten fabric gems: those one or two pieces of fabric that make a quilt distinctly unique.  We, at FeelGood Fibers, consider quilting to be a form of artistic expression.  So using out-of-print or a prior season’s designer fabric is a great way to make your quilt stand out as distinctly yours. By incorporating something old, your quilt will be new and fresh — compared to others that are being made with the current fabrics trending at the moment. We think that’s pretty special.

Is it Priced to Sell?

At the end of the day, we are all looking for a good deal. Look for fabric that is priced appropriately for your needs. This is what makes secondhand shopping so much fun! Some items are unique, limited, or hard-to-find, which means they will be priced higher than other quilting fabrics. Alternatively, the seller may be willing to let their product sit on the market a little longer waiting for just the right buyer. Only you can decide if a fabric is worth your purchasing power at that moment. This leads to question number four. . . 

Does it Make You Happy?

If a secondhand fabric brings you joy, then you know it’s the right match for you! Can you imagine working with that fabric in a future project? Does it bring you delight to think of that fabric as a part of your stash? The most important decision when purchasing something to come into your home is whether or not it will bring you joy. If you get excited thinking about owning a particular fabric, we have three words for you: Add. To. Cart! 

Remember, shopping secondhand is as much about the process of finding great fabrics as it is about making your quilt or garment itself. Savor the hunt!

Besides these four simple questions, do you have any tips on shopping secondhand? Share them in the comments below!


Want more tips on being a savvy secondhand shopper? Click here.

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