21 February 2014

Where to Buy Knit Fabric


Where do you buy knit fabric? Some of you have asked for suggestions for where to find knit fabric to make your Coco sewing pattern. So I've put together a list of fabric shops that I know of that sell knits. Inevitably the majority of the list is based in the UK, as that's what I know best, plus a few in the US. And this is where you come in! If you know somewhere that stocks nice knit fabrics where you are, please add to the list by leaving a comment so we can turn this into a really useful international resource.

I bought the fabric for my Cocos from Tissu Fabrics / The Cloth House / Simply Fabrics
Before launching into the list, let me just remind you what kind of fabric you'll be looking for to make Coco - medium weight knit fabric with very little stretch. So what exactly is that? Knit fabric is formed in a different way to woven fabric, with a looping thread structure that results in its flexible, stretchy nature. And not all knits are created equal - there's the kind of thin jersey used to make t-shirts, super-stretchy rayon knits that you sometimes get in wrap dresses, tricot knit that your swimsuit may be made of, rib knits used in sweatshirt cuff bands... But the kind we want is firmer, slightly heavier than regular t-shirt fabric, and not very stretchy. Firstly because this type of material will be waaaay easier to handle, particularly if you're new to sewing knits - really easy in fact! - and secondly because the design of the garment calls for a fabric that will help hold its shape. Look out for fabrics with names like double knit, interlock knit, ponte di roma (AKA ponte knit) – or have a feel of the fabric in the shop to check it’s not too fine or stretchy. If you’re shopping online, the listing may include a percentage of stretch or Lycra or spandex included (Lycra is a brand name for spandex) – if it does, I’d go for something with definitely less than 5%, maybe about 3%, the lower the better.

Righto, so where can you buy knit fabrics like these?

Please bear in mind that I haven’t bought fabric from all the online shops personally, so it’s a really good idea to order a swatch before buying so you can check the fabric isn't too thin or stretchy (plus it's just generally useful to see a sample before buying to check colour, quality etc). And this list is by no means comprehensive, so please do chip in below with your own suggestions! Oh and BTW, I'm not being paid to recommend these shops, in fact they have no idea I'm doing it. (Of course if they want to send me some fabric in return, I won't complain...)

Sources [clockwise from top left]: Dragonfly Fabrics / Stone Fabrics / The Village Haberdashery /
My Fabrics / Ray StitchStone Fabrics
UK knit fabric suppliers:

Tissu Fabrics - This is where I bought the fabric for my funnel neck Coco, and I must say it's lovely. I'll definitely be going back there for more. They've got interlock in loads of colours, as well as prints.

Plush Addict has a fab range of interlock knit in lots of lovely colours.

Minerva stocks a wide range of colours of ponte, as well as this rather lovely houndstooth knit.

The Village Haberdashery have some lovely striped interlock, these super cute Woodland Knits from Monaluna, plus keep you're eye out because they're soon to get in these gorgeous Flight knits from The Grove.

Dragonfly Fabrics has a lurrrvely stock of stripey knits. As I said, do remember to request a swatch first as I haven't tried them out myself.

If you're a Liberty lover, they have a small range of interlock knits, such as this one from Sewbox.

Ray Stitch also have some Liberty interlocks, as well as these stunning Elk Grove chevrons - gah! I'd love some of this!

Fabric Godmother has some interesting looking knits, including this lovely red Roma (which I'm assuming is the same as ponte di roma).

Backstitch have got some ponte roma in, including glittery stuff, mmm...


Stone Fabrics have some interesting stuff, including this ladybird spot fabric which I've used to make the simple Coco top above (I got mine from Goldhawk Road), red and black houndstooth, polka dot ponte and galaxy print ponte - yes, galaxy print ponte - amongst others.

Calico Laine has some double knits. I'd love to make a Coco dress in that white one.

There are some interlocks and ponte knits at MyFabrics.co.uk. Fancy something gold and glittery? How about this!

If you're based in London, I've found some great knit fabric at The Cloth House (particularly good for stripes), Simply Fabrics and Unique Fabrics on Goldhawk Road.

And some US ones:

Fabric Mart have loads of ponte, interlock and double knits.

Britex has a wide selection of various types of knits.

Fabric Worm stock the lovely Elk Grove interlock knits from Birch Fabrics.

I stumbled across Girl Charlee and their beautiful selection.

******


I hope that's enough to be getting on with, and please do share your own recommendations for where to buy great knit fabric.

Once you've bought your fabric, prewash and dry it at least once before you cut it, as they can shrink - much better to get shrinkage out of the way now before you make your clothes to fit!

While you're sourcing fabric, don't forget to gather the other supplies you need to make Coco:

  • matching thread
  • stretch or ballpoint needle for your sewing machine
  • ribbon (30cm x 6-8mm wide) or stay tape

And a few extra bits that aren't essential but are really nice to have:
  • rotary cutter and cutting mat are really useful
  • twin stretch or ballpoint needle for your sewing machine if you fancy trying that out
  • hemming tape can be good too

I'll explain more about these supplies and how to use them as we make our Cocos. Next week I'll cover choosing your size and adjusting your pattern, cutting knit fabrics, and an introduction to sewing knit fabrics on a regular sewing machine. In the meantime, let's go shopping!

65 comments:

  1. I've been eagerly awaiting this post.....I've followed the links and fabrics are bought already. Sooooo many to choose from!

    ReplyDelete
  2. OOH, these fabrics look lovely! I love your coco pattern and I can't wait to try it out!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thanks for this post Tilly, I can't wait to get started! x

    ReplyDelete
  4. I like http://www.jerseyfashion.nl/ for buying knits online (European based, you can look at their site in different languages). Their fabric is pricey but it's good quality.

    ReplyDelete
  5. www.kitschycoo.blogspot.com also sell knits in plain colours and some pretty wild patterns. It's probably worth getting samples as some of the jersey I've bought from there might be too thin for Coco but I'd suggest taking a look anyway x

    ReplyDelete
  6. I was going to add Kitschycoo too! She does sell some interlock. I've also bought from Croft Mill and Minerva. I agree that the interlock from Tissu Fabrics is lovely but I've been less impressed with their jersey.

    ReplyDelete
  7. Dotsnstripes.co.uk have some lovely knit fabric and good service!

    ReplyDelete
  8. I am totally in love with Emma One Sock's (www.emmaonesock.com) knits - she buys rolls from the factories that are manufacturing for designers, so its' totally RTW quality and often with great prints.

    Here are a few wrap dresses I've made already with her knits -
    http://cashmerette.blogspot.mx/2013/05/blossoms-blouses-and-wrap-dresses.html

    ReplyDelete
  9. Thanks so much for the links. I have the hardest time finding nice knit fabric in spanish shops. But I know the following online shop has nice knit fabric selection: Telaria.
    I have to get my hands on the Coco top! My french side is screaming for a marinière dress and my Breton other side is saying breton top...

    ReplyDelete
  10. Tilly, I just want to say how impressed I am by the whole thing related to Coco. Yours posts (and I know there are more to come) are so comprehensive and cover everything the beginner sewist should know so that they are never fazed at any stage of the project. It's all very cleverly thought out and explained in a crystal clear way.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks David, I really appreciate that.

      Delete
  11. This is so helpful, thank you:) I'm eagerly awaiting my pattern in the post, how much fabric would I need though, on your website it says 2m of 60 inch is this enough to make the dress I'm a uk 8 -10

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Yes, 2m is enough for any of the designs. Enjoy!

      Delete
  12. Fantastic! Thanks Tilly for such a great resource.

    ReplyDelete
  13. My daughter received her Coco pattern yesterday so this is just the help we needed to locate some fabric. We are a bit stuck on adding the stay tape though so looking forward to sew along. Everything else is superb design, printing, quality etc. Thank you.

    ReplyDelete
  14. Just to say top made and sorted out how to use stay tape. Happy.

    ReplyDelete
  15. For the US, Hart's Fabric in Santa Cruz, CA has interlock and ponte knits, http://www.hartsfabric.com/fashion-apparel-knit-fabrics-interlock-knits.html. I ordered fabric for my Coco(s) from there (I went a bit nuts)! Can't wait to get them and get started!!

    ReplyDelete
  16. Do you know where the red and white houndstooth was purchased? I've been looking for red and white houndstooth for a while and I would love to get some.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I bought the red and white houndstooth from Simply Fabrics in Brixton. I'm not sure if you're near there?

      Delete
  17. Thank you for these links! I could add mamzellefourmi.com, based in France, ships worldwide, I just bought some knits there and they are really good quality :)

    ReplyDelete
  18. Hi Lovely Tilly, apologies for being absent this week but it has been a busy one. I love the fabrics and the dresses and tops. Your information is so so useful and, as always Tilly, a fabulous post. Thank you so much. Hope you are keeping well and happy, will be catching up with your posts over the next few days. Big hugs and loves
    Dorothy
    :-)xxxxxxxxxxxxxx

    ReplyDelete
  19. Tessuti Fabrics, based in Australia always have an excellent selection and they ship internationally! website is www.tessuti.com.au

    ReplyDelete
  20. Two suppliers based in Australia:
    www.knitwit.com.au - wide selection of plain coloured knits. Not so good for patterns. They will send you swatches and samples.
    www.craftymamasfabrics.com.au - European fabrics - fun prints, stripes, dots etc.

    ReplyDelete
  21. I've had two excellent knit-fabric-ordering experiences lately (in the US).
    First from the Fabric Fairy ( http://thefabricfairy.com/ ), they have everything from organic cotton knits to swimwear fabric, and I'm really happy with the fabric I ordered, it seems to be good quality so far.
    Second, an Australia/NZ based store called The Fabric Store has just opened a branch in LA ( http://www.thefabricstoreusa.com ). They don't have a lot on their website, but they will send generous swatches for free, and I ordered some really lovely wool knits from them. They even have organic merino!

    ReplyDelete
  22. I've purchased knits from nearly all of the US retailers mentioned thus far, but I think that Banberry Place Fabrics has yet to be mentioned --- they have ooodles of knits to choose from and I've found the quality of all knits I've bought from Banberry to be excellent. http://www.banberryplace.com/

    ReplyDelete
  23. Fabric Outlet in San Francisco has excellent knits! They're got 100% cotton and some lycra blends at really good prices AND be on the lookout for their 40% off sales that happen a couple times a year! http://www.fabricoutletsf.com/

    ReplyDelete
  24. I've used Tissu lots of times for fabric and I agree their quality and price is really very good - great service too!

    ReplyDelete
  25. Organic Cotton Plus has nice quality interlock and rib knits
    http://organiccottonplus.com/collections/knits-interlock

    ReplyDelete
  26. In the US, Nearseanaturals.com has some fabulous organic knits- although they are having some internet difficulties at the moment. They are comparable to organic cotton plus, mentioned above. Mood fabrics has a good selection of Ponte.

    ReplyDelete
  27. I'm totally new to sewing with knits, I find myself out of my comfort zone!!
    So thank you Tilly for all your advice.
    I'm really searching for a stripe fabric to use but are struggling to find one that sounds like it would be heavy enough.
    I have found these plain double knit jersey fabric's that look good, I think!! http://www.fabric-world.com/index.php?cPath=1_103&&page=1
    myfabrics.co.uk have a huge range of jersey fabrics and I especially like this one http://www.myfabrics.co.uk/81-3676-027_jersey-drop-stripes-23.html?$category=hi4teckq69m
    but again I'm not sure whether I am looking at the right type of fabrics.
    I appreciate Tilly you can't answer ever comment, but any advice to whether I am in the right direction would be great!!
    Thank you Jenny

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. The double knits from Fabric World look spot on - although it's a good idea to get a swatch first if you can (and if you can muster the patience!) just to check quality, colour etc. The striped one looks like it'll be too fine and drapey for this pattern.

      Delete
  28. Thank you for such a list of where to find knits, I've never tried sewing with them before.

    Thanks
    Forget-me-knot
    Louisa
    http://knottednelly.blogspot.co.uk/

    ReplyDelete
  29. Hi Tilly,
    I've just received your coco pattern, yay! really looking forward to making my dress although still trying to find the right stripy fabric. Do you think the stripped cotton interlocked jersey fabric from Tissu will be heavy enough? Not too drapey? I know you used this for your fabulous top but wondered if it'll be okay for the dress????? I really appreciate all your advice and support on this sewing journey! Thanks Kim

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Kim, I haven't tried the striped one, so maybe see if they'll send you a swatch so you can check the quality before ordering lots of it. The one I bought would be great for a dress, I'll definitely order more from them.

      Delete
  30. Western Canada I go to Fabricland for my fabric, it's a chain of stores that's across all of western canada and has a great selection and helpful staff ^^ they hire home sewers so practically any question they'll have an answer if you're new. I've been going there since high school and there's been one nearby (next city at least) everywhere I've moved since 2005.

    ReplyDelete
  31. Western Canada I go to Fabricland for my fabric, it's a chain of stores that's across all of western canada and has a great selection and helpful staff ^^ they hire home sewers so practically any question they'll have an answer if you're new. I've been going there since high school and there's been one nearby (next city at least) everywhere I've moved since 2005.

    ReplyDelete
  32. I can add some German online shops that have a great selection of high quality knits:

    www.die-traumwerkstatt.de (they stock HILCO, SWAFING, LILLESTOFF, STENZO TEXTILES)
    www.frautulpe.de (this is a Berlin-based shop - I believe they also have a IRL-shop in Berlin)
    www.minimenschundco.com (this is the official webshop of LILLESTOFF - they also have a redirect for retailers)

    I love the idea of having a big list of shops to browse through because I feel it is kind of hard sometimes to find them just by searching google. I was actually trying to find a knit like to ladybug-dots in one of the pics above but I was not able to find any so I just bought read knit and made fingerprint stamp black dots on it ...
    I

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thanks for this list; I'm living in Germany now. Any idea what is ponte knit called in German?

      Delete
  33. I just checked the shops I listed above: They are German only sites but I guess one could navigate and buy with a little help from google translator (or dict.leo.org). Also not sure if they ship internationally...

    ReplyDelete
  34. You can also try http://www.girlcharlee.com an online fabric store in the U.S.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Girl Charlee is now in the UK, shipping high quality exclusive knit fabrics to the whole of Europe! You can find us at www.girlcharlee.co.uk We offer 10% off your first order and free shipping to the UK for orders over £50!

      Delete
  35. Great pattern, and love the blog tips as well - they're really helpful. I do have one daft question though - when choosing the material, I know you mentioned to choose something with not too much spandex, but does it matter whether you choose cotton, viscose, polyester, etc? Still trying to get my head around all the different types of fabric available - I've only worked with simple cottons previously.

    I was thinking about getting some of this fabric, but wasn't sure whether it would work?: http://www.fabricgodmother.co.uk/milano-jersey-aubergine/

    ReplyDelete
  36. Hello TATB-ers,
    I am new. I have just bought the coco pattern to dip my toe back into the world of dress-making. I really really really want to make it in a fabric like this jumper, linky http://www.johnlewis.com/boutique-by-jaeger-anchor-breton-jumper-navy-red/p1097092?kpid=232986436&s_kenid=0112bf9d-f96c-8889-5bef-00007650b284&s_kwcid=106x50306&tmad=c&tmcampid=73
    I am UK based, can anyone recommend anywhere that does a navy/red stripe breton jersey?
    Thanks

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh how I've searched high and low for navy and red stripe breton jersey! Let me know if you find any ;)

      Delete
    2. You can create your own design if you don't find what you are looking for and print it at wovenmonkey.com or at spoonflower.com. Just chose the fabric what you want the print on. The prices are almost the same as the other online shops.

      Delete
  37. Just commenting again to get notifications :o)

    ReplyDelete
  38. Hi Tilly,
    Thank you very much for the link to Stone Fabrics , your advice about sourcing the right kind of knit is spot on, we are massive fans of jersey here and appreciate anyone spreading the love.
    Keep up the great work!
    Bess

    ReplyDelete
  39. Thank you for these links!Fantastic! Thanks Tilly for such an excellent source.

    ReplyDelete
  40. Thank you for such and amazing shopping resource Tilly. I just wondered if anyone had found a UK source for suitable organic jerseys?

    ReplyDelete
  41. Hi all,
    I know the post is on knits, but... has anyone tried the Coco pattern in light cotton?
    I was thinking on keeping the bodice the same and add a gathered low waist skirt.
    Would it work?

    ReplyDelete
  42. In Australia, it's almost impossible to find knit fabric not made in China. The Ottobre etsy shop and a couple of UK and European online shops sell lovely stripy fabric made by Hilco in Europe. It's called "Campan stripes" or "Campanello stripes". It seems similar to the fabric used in Marimekko stripy dresses to me, although I don't know for a fact that Hilco make that fabric.

    Not cheap of course, but worth it for me to avoid "sweatshop" fabric.

    ReplyDelete
  43. Girlcharlee ...an american website is amazing and stocks super duper knits. The pantone section is gorgeous and have wide variety of stripes and chevrons

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Girl Charlee is now in the UK, shipping high quality exclusive knit fabrics to the whole of Europe! You can find us at www.girlcharlee.co.uk We offer 10% off your first order and free shipping to the UK for orders over £50!

      Delete
  44. I'm the Marketing Manager at Girl Charlee Fabrics, and I wanted to say thank you for linking to us! We're glad you enjoy our fabrics! :)

    www.GirlCharlee.com

    ReplyDelete
  45. AND some exciting news to share...Girl Charlee UK is coming in early 2015!! We will keep you posted and thank you again Tilly for adding us to your guide.

    Heather
    www.girlcharlee.com

    ReplyDelete
  46. Goodness my gosh!! I get so amped up for the new fabrics! I simply love the pictures and am uncontrollably enlivened.

    ReplyDelete
  47. I'd like to add www.only-organic-fabric-shop.com : they sell and ship worldwide valuable GOTS certified organic fabrics and have a drop price policy

    ReplyDelete
  48. Can i mention Levana fabrics made in Levin New Zealand. They make beautiful merino, merino blends, cotton and cotton blends. They have a shop you can visit and they have very reasonable prices.
    Shona

    ReplyDelete
  49. Lovly Tilly,

    I love your look!
    Is it possible to use cotton for coco?

    kind regards from Germany

    Katrin

    ReplyDelete
  50. Hello Tilly and fellow UK and Europe Sewists! Girl Charlee UK & Europe is now open for business :) Come and browse our amazing knit fabrics that ship directly from Newbury Town, UK. www.girlcharlee.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  51. Another site with lots of knits online is www.califabrics.com! They're a mom and pop fabric shop, based in San Francisco.

    ReplyDelete
  52. Hello! We have just opened an online fabric shop, Brave Fabrics, based in Australia and ship worldwide :) we have a great range of knits, come and check us out! www.bravefabrics.com xx

    ReplyDelete
  53. I found an online store in Poland- have low prices and ship all over Europe http://www.tkaninowyzakatek.pl

    ReplyDelete
  54. Hi Tilly. I've just stumbled on your list. If your still updating it, we would love to be added. We have both standard and organic cotton Jersey prints at www.sewingbeefabrics.co.uk Thank you :-)

    ReplyDelete

Feel free to chip in! Please don't comment anonymously though - you can leave your email if you don't have an OpenID. Comments on older posts are moderated for spam so won't show up immediately.