Author Topic: Changes in Fabric and Sewing Industries  (Read 158 times)


  • Full Member
  • ***
  • Posts: 153
  • Home Sewist - Focusing on Tailoring TN - U.S.A.
Changes in Fabric and Sewing Industries
« on: December 07, 2020, 09:09:29 AM »
Decided to post here rather than go off topic on posaune's "little triangle" thread.

She and SF were discussing changes in fabric offerings from Acorn Fabrics, SF mentioning "interesting" fiber contents listed - tongue in cheek. It is apparent that virtually all fabric vendors are offering much lesser quality fabrics these days as more and more fabric manufacturers are incorporating more man made content. Every where one looks, the general public is being taught that "soft is good". "Softness" is the most insidious, fraudulent marketing scam I have seen in the retail clothing industry in the last 40+ years. Picked up a new pair of sweat pants a few days ago - at a retailer lauded for its maintenance of high quality standards - and the sign overhead : "Feel the Softness!". The sticker tag on the garment: Our Softest Ever! The general public doesn't understand this softly spun goo will show signs of pilling at the end of the first wear, and that the first trip into the washer the fabric begins its immediate disintegration- turning to more landfill trash as quickly as possible.

And since mainstreet is only ordering such goo from the manufacturers, it is understandable that we sewists- at all levels - are quickly being denied access to anything better.

Just three years ago, a fabric discounter here in the states, had numerous offerings of decent woolens, 100%, available at $8 - $13 yard. Made in both Japan and Italy. Now the Italian offerings are mostly 50/50 wool/rayon and a few other combinations. Very disheartening. B Black and sons in L.A. is maintaining a good selection, but even they have the polyester and rayon sneaking in. To make it palatable, let's call it "Vegan Suiting"! Jeeesh!

However, I think I have possibly discovered a tiny bright light.

I have mostly avoided home sewing forums the last couple of years. But due to covid - I'm bored. So I've visited a couple of times this past week.  There is an actual "review" section where members can post pics of their accomplishments utilizing commercial home sewing patterns. You can find a specific pattern or look at garments by grouping. This time of year I always peruse the jacket/coat reviews.

When I first visited the site 8-9 years ago, the quality of the workmanship overall was .....not truly desirable. But when I looked at the most recent posts - Wow! What a difference. While not professional tailored quality, there was a marked improvement overall. Anyone wishing to look, can go back and peruse jacket/coat reviews from several years back, just skip back several pages - everything is stored and retrieved chronologically.

Several factors are at work here, but I would suspect online education has played a huge part. There is of course also the fact that styles are finally loosening up and making the issue of fit a bit less trying. (Vast amounts of over fitting in years gone by.)

The question: will online education help to educate and influence the general public, and if so, how long will this take?

Our landfills could use some relief. And wondering if we'll begin to see privately owned fabric stores come about again. Will people continue to practice improving their sewing skills once covid is no longer an issue?


  • Research
  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 909
  • Resembles Human Being
Re: Changes in Fabric and Sewing Industries
« Reply #1 on: December 07, 2020, 11:12:36 PM »
Great observations Spookietoo.


  • Administrator
  • Senior Member
  • *****
  • Posts: 735
  • Bespoke Snippers
Re: Changes in Fabric and Sewing Industries
« Reply #2 on: December 08, 2020, 12:48:39 PM »
Hi Tina,

There is hope or the world when the quality improves, it tells you that people are getting tired of rubbish. Fabric supply has been subject to a multitude of problems, mainly very cheap imports and that either kills off a good product or forces a good product to go downmarket to try an be price competitive.

Market resistance is one of the main factors helping to improve at least some of the things on the market.
The magnificent tools of the professional tailor  ;) ;D


  • Senior Member
  • ****
  • Posts: 314
  • Experienced Professional
Re: Changes in Fabric and Sewing Industries
« Reply #3 on: December 09, 2020, 06:08:17 PM »
Durable long fiber cotton last a long time. Why would anyone want man made garbage woven in it? Cotton returns to soil.