Upcycling textiles and clothes is an ideal way to help reduce the enormous amount of clothes that end on the landfills. Once you made the decision to try to incorporate upcycled fabrics into your sewing or artistic projects, you are confronted with the question :’Where do I find these?’
In this blogpost I will cover 10 places where you will find fabrics to upcycle.
1. Our wardrobe.
Are there items we don’t use anymore? Do I have bedsheets growing thin in the middle? Those tablecloths I used years ago, could they be the base for my next textileart project? What about socks with too many holes at the heel and toes. Yes, even socks can be reused.
2. Friends and relatives.
Not everyone is into sewing or upcycling. Everyone does make a winter-spring or summer-autumn change of clothes. This is often the time when garments are disgarded An ideal moment to sent your loved ones a liitle note.
3 The thriftstore.
We all have one nearby. When I go to the thriftstore to look for fabric, my number one area is the fabric area. Sometimes I’m lucky to find big pieces of nice fabric to upcycle but not always. The second area I look is the corner where sheets and curtains are hanging. I was able to make several quilts using these fabrics. Finally I will go over to the clothes section. Only if I find a really nice fabric in a garment, will I buy it.
4. Second hand store.
Here the clothes are way more expensive than in the thriftstore. On the other hand, you can find fabrics and garments that never make it to the thriftstore, like silk ones and other.
5. Online second hand platforms.
Here is another opportunity to find fabrics. You have to be lucky. I have been at times. Twice I found fabrics relatives sold when their mother or aunt could not longer sew. I could buy a lot of pure wool high quality jersey fabrics, quality threads and zippers.
6. A sewist.
Somebody who is a sewist always has leftover fabrics and not the extra time to make something out of it. You might be able to make a deal!
7. Local fabric store.
Fabric stores sell their leftovers for a reasonable price, often as coupons. If you only need small pieces, most stores sell the smallest leftovers in bags for a small amount.
If you decide to specialize in one kind of fabric, take linen, as an example. You might look for a factory specializing in linens and ask to buy their leftovers. Threadandsprout has made beautiful clothes and wallhangings, using this way of upcycling.
9. Flee markets.
Places like flee markets always hold many surprises and sometimes rare treasures. Do not forget to negotiate to get a good price.
When you have a special project in mind that requires unique upcycled fabric, check Etsy shops. You will find vintage fabrics. You can even ask for the specific fabric you have in mind. They try to find it for you. Voladora Vintage is an example of such a shop.
Finding fabrics for your upcycling projects doesn’t have to be difficult anymore. With a clear vision in mind, determination to find the right fabric, you will soon be on your way to make a one-of-a-kind masterpiece!