Sunday, 30 June 2013

Recycling Samples

I am always on the look out for new fabrics to use.  I have to admit it is a slight obsession as no matter where I go, I keep on the look out for fabrics in any form, from new to old, remnants to clothing.

If you don't need large pieces of fabric for sewing projects fabric sample books are a really good source.  Once a range of fabric has been discontinued, the stores no longer need the fabric sample books and often sell them off cheaply.  Needless to say good ones get snapped up quickly, so it helps if you have a good contact in a store.

Yesterday, I spent a fabulous half hour or so rummaging in a shed at the back of a furnishing store - with their permission obviously!  There were shelves and boxes full of old sample books for sale.  When it comes to fabric, I know instantly what I like and also, more importantly, what I will use a particular fabric for.  Some samples are too small to be of use to me and other fabric have a design that is too big, so they get discarded as well.

I ended up with six sample books all with completely different patterns and colours of furnishing fabric.  Looking at the price lists in the back, some of the fabrics were really expensive.  I certainly would never have even considered buying them off the roll as they would not be economic to use.  The sum total for my six books was the bargain price of £20 though.

The best bit but also the hardest bit is taking the books apart.  You can simply cut the fabric out but you lose a few centimetres doing that.  If the samples are small to start with, you don't really want to lose any more that you have to.  I prefer to rip the binding apart and gradually rip the fabrics out.  Most are stuck in with really strong glue, so it's not easy.  I ended up with a large stack of gorgeous fabrics though which will last me a while, so it was definitely worth the effort.

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