Oh, man! I hope everyone’s okay with this heat-wave we’re having.
And, thank you so much for all of your kind comments for Sunday’s post about iconic designer fabrics.
I see that a good many of you would love to have some ideas and sources for budget fabrics.
But, of course, you don’t want the fabrics to look cheap.
Well, there’s good news. It used to confound me why the cheap fabrics were almost always such awful prints in bizarre colors. It seemed as if the manufacturers were making a point of saying, “Yes, it’s cheap fabric, and just to make sure you realize that, we’ve made it as offensive and tasteless as possible.”
As we all know, money and taste do not always go together.
And, even if one has a healthy budget, a designer fabric used for custom draperies could easily run $15,000.00 or more– just for the fabric!
However, some manufacturers finally woke up and began creating budget fabrics with exquisite designs and colors. Some of them are so well-done, you really cannot tell the difference.
So, what IS the difference? The difference is mainly in the way the fabric is manufactured. In an expensive print, you’ll usually see a key on the selvage of the fabric which shares all of the colors used. Those colors are hand-screened onto the cloth.
For budget fabrics, all of the colors are only done by machine.
Part of the difference is also the actual cloth used.
And, like clothing, some of it is merely in the brand name.
But, regarding window treatments and budget fabrics, here’s something I realized many years ago.
That is; when it came to selecting the fabrics. The expensive fabrics didn’t look any better than the budget fabrics! The most important thing is that the material drapes well. And, a good heavy thermal lining gives the impression of luxury. For much more information about what you need to know about window treatments, I recommend this post first.
But, there is also this post, which effectively is a free window treatment guide, linking to numerous posts.
However, if you want even more information:
Please consider purchasing 333 Decorating Rules & Tips You Need to Know. In this 200+ page guide, there’s a 50-page chapter on window treatments with about 25% non-blog published information, as well as an extensive 9-page window treatment glossary of all of dozens of terms you need to know.
And, guess what? Today is the beginning of an exceedingly rare THE-HEAT-IS-GETTING-TO-ME FLASH SALE of all of my products!
20% off of everything!
For more information about the flash sale, the products, plus the dates, please go here.
Okay, let’s get back to our budget fabrics – (that don’t look it.)
The first point I’d like to make is if you only wish to do pillows, the expensive fabric pillows, in some cases aren’t a whole lot more money. However, the fabric will only be on one side of the pillow.
The other thing is that you can do a mix. For instance, you could splurge on two really fabulous pillows that are more money. And, then for the rest, do budget pillows.
Another point is, do you want the fabric so that you can create something for yourself, or do you want the items made for you? I know that many of you are super-talented and able to sew. And, you enjoy it, too. If so, then of course, you can save a bunch by creating your own pillows, curtains, slipcovers, etc.
So, can we do high-low fabrics? Well, if I had about 100 hours, maybe. Some of these are reminiscent of a high-end fabric. But, many stand on their own. In other words, most of these aren’t direct copycats of the expensive fabrics.
As for the price, how much are these budget fabrics?
Most of them are under $30.00 And, many are under $25.00. There are a few that are a little more expensive, but only a few and, they’re really lovely. Still, if you need 50 yards for window treatments, you might want to go with something else.
But, speaking of window treatments, here’s what I did at least 50% of the time.
I did a plain white or slightly off-white linen or even a plain white cotton duck (canvas). Usually, there was a trim or banding of some sort.
However, the rest of the time, we did a floral print or a geometric. Well, for the most part. I’ve also done paisleys, plaids, checks, trellises. And that goes for both draperies and Roman shades. It all depended on the room, style, client’s budget, and preference.
Laurel, I’m nervous about buying fabric online. What if I don’t like it?
That’s a good question. You should always get a sample. You really can’t see the colors accurately on your screen. Some vendors do a better job than others of photographing and color-correcting their images. But, many don’t bother.
Laurel, I noticed that you don’t have any solid budget fabrics. I’m not too wild about prints. But, I need some solid budget fabrics. Could you include some sources?
Okay, I understand. Many of these sources on Etsy also have solid fabrics. I’m not including them because all you’re looking at is a solid block of fabric.
In addition, I have a load of budget fabric sources in Laurel’s Rolodex, (it’s also part of the FLASH SALE) including one of my favorite companies that is to the trade only. (it’s in the back of the guide hi-lighted under the sources I can’t live without.) If you’re in the design trade and you don’t know about this fabric vendor, you are leaving a crapload of money on the table.
I guess what I’m trying to say is that if you’re in the trade or even thinking about it, Laurel’s Rolodex is an invaluable tool I wish I had in the early years of my career. I felt like such an idiot when after years of paying a middleman, realized I had direct access to many of those vendors all along. Thus, I was able to save my clients money, while also putting more money in my own pocket.
For you design enthusiasts, the majority of the sources in Laurel’s Rolodex also have retail stores for those who are not in the trade.
Therefore, for the purposes of this post about budget fabrics, I am sticking primarily to fabrics with pattern that are sold by the yard. However, some of the fabrics will be in the form of pillow covers.
One note I want to add which came up in the comments from Sunday’s post is about the knife-edge of most of the pillows on Etsy.
Most of the vendors on Etsy will happily accommodate custom orders. So, if you want a 1/4″ welt of the same fabric or a contrast fabric, that is often possible. Of course, there will be an upcharge for the custom order.
Okay, I’ll stop yakking and start the show and tell portion. haha
The first thing I want to share with you are the names of some of the budget fabric brands.
- P Kaufmann
- Robert Allen (sorry, now out of business, but some fabrics might still exist online)
- Waverly (has been around forever)
And Vern Yip has an exquisite collection of slightly more expensive fabrics, manufactured by Fabricut.
Most are $50.00 and below!
However, Decorator’s Best has the entire line by Fabricut. They are a source in Laurel’s Rolodex and one I ordered from numerous times. And, get this, they have well over 6,000 fabrics that are $50.00 and below.
Oh, wait. I found Vern’s fabrics at Fabricut. There are a couple hundred $50.00 and under! Some are trims too. Some do go over $50.00. But, the most expensive is $80.00. That link puts the fabrics in order from least expensive to most expensive.
And, below are some of my favorite budget fabric vendors on Etsy.
ShopMyFabrics – Extensive and gorgeous line of budget fabrics
ColorLoom – Oh my!!! These are fantastic!
Fabric samples from ColorLoom are $1.00 each.
ReneesFabrics – An incredibly charming line you’re going to love.
FabricBeyond – Lovely line of fabrics and pillows
DesignAndDecor1004 – Window Valances Pillow Covers Designer Home Fabrics
Fabrics4All – Many wonderful prints and solids too!
CreativeInteriorsMS – Beautiful fabrics and pillows
StitchandBrush – less expensive pillows
SpoonFlower – Very interesting line with choices of cloth and more.
TheFabricCo – pillow covers and also some high-end remnants.
LinenMeStore – Linens!!!
UptownFabric – Uptown fabrics and Downtown prices.
Finally, like Sunday, I have created color-coordinated mini widgets for dozens of budget fabrics.
(for more information, click on any image.)
Interrupting myself. Above you’ll see a budget fabric substitute for Schumacher’s beautiful Chenonceau. (below)
You can get Chenonceau here and other colorways, too.
Below is a graphic to pin to pinterest
I hope you guys enjoyed these budget fabrics.
Have to say I’m surprised at how much I found.
I’m planning on sticking to this budget theme for a while.
And, for more savings, please check out the flash sale.
Also, please check out the newly updated HOT SALES.
PS: Some people have been asking for info about upholstery fabrics. That is a post about the best upholstery fabrics for slobs (like me) and people with pets.