(My apologies in advance for this long & link-riddled post. It just got to me!)
As many American home sewers know, Hancock Fabrics closed all it’s stores in late July.
What are our options now? For me, just Jo-Ann’s, and a very real chance that whatever fabric type I’d like won’t be there.
And what about quality? Could I find a Pendleton-quality wool or Polartec® fleece or berber? Why not? They’re milled in the U.S., or used to be. Have all the mills closed as well?
Am I among the few who’ve experienced shopping at an independent fabric store with exquisite mill end fabrics at mostly reasonable, if high, prices?
I still have at least six pieces from one, and wear what I’ve made up because it’s in perfect condition after nearly two decades. (See my rayon duster in the photo.)
I, and the majority of U.S. home sewers, are forced to either purchase fabrics sight unseen from online vendors, or from conglomerates like Walmart and Jo-Ann’s.
If you live in a metropolitan area with a connection to the fashion industry (New York, Chicago, Los Angeles, San Francisco), there are other options, generally with prices that have to reflect the higher cost of doing business in those areas.
There are many excellent quilting stores around the country, and I don’t mean to dismiss them! I just don’t fancy an all-quilting cotton wardrobe.
Lovely and Gentle Readers, am I the only sewer missing a real fabric store with consistent quality fabrics?
new development on friday, includes 15 August deadline:
- Hancock’s online “Important Notice Regarding the Sale of Your Personal Information and Your Right to Opt-out” “We are excited to share with you that the legacy of Hancock Fabrics will continue, as the Bankruptcy Court has approved the sale of the on-line business of Hancock Fabrics, Inc. and its affiliated entities to Michaels Stores…” Michaels’ site
- Nitty-gritty data numbers and brand names involved are here (millions)
Don’t get too excited, as Michaels currently sells fabric online. Only.
For those who’d like a bit more about Hancock’s, here are some articles I found interesting:
- A newspaper article (Apr 2016) from the state where Hancock’s was founded 6 decades ago
- See where Burlington’s mills existing 6 decades ago, from dear friend Lizzie Bramlett’s blog, The Vintage Traveler
- Finally, how American is American RTW? A look at a U.K. example, also from The Vintage Traveler, but a more direct link
Okay. Off my soapbox.
Sewing may resume, with much gratitude for all my fabric stash!