Once you set out on the journey of sewing your own clothes, it’s no secret you’ll soon develop a penchant for pretty fabrics. Whether you’re a restrained buy-as-needed fabric shopper or a seasoned stasher (we see you over there with your ‘fabric room’), choosing fabric for your handmade garments is half the fun!
For today’s maker, sewing your values has never been easier with all the options available; you could create a handmade wardrobe sewn entirely from upcycled or secondhand fabric, or choose to buy new fabric or a mix of both.
At Peppermint, there’s nothing we love more than discovering independent local businesses doing good things. And we love sewing – so we thought why not combine the best of both worlds and share some of the unique and memorable indie fabric shops in Australia we’ve discovered lately. You’re welcome. Your wallet, however, may not thank us.
It’s by no means an exhaustive list, rather a small curation of some of the incredible fabric stores out there – a list that’s growing by the day! And if you need an excuse to indulge these lovely fabric businesses, here’s our free patterns to get you started…
The only thing better than textile designer Jane Newham’s bright and euphoric printed garments gracing our feed, is those same prints available in fabric form! Home grown in the Byron Bay hinterland and inspired by the “happy chaos” of raising kids, Doops Designs eye-popping designs are digitally printed onto natural fabrics using water-based, 100% solvent-free inks. Win and win!
Ink and Spindle
Best known for their collection of bespoke, organic and sustainably printed fabrics inspired by Australian flora and fauna, Ink and Spindle have long been a household name in the sustainable textile scene. Having perfected the art of large-scale screen printing, the iconic designs are available in meterage and printed on a selection of sustainable base fabrics using certified organic inks.
Sew your values and support Australia’s First Nations designers at the same time with an eye-catching print designed by Indigenous artists from the Ikuntji Artists community. Situated in Haasts Bluff, NT, the not-for-profit art centre provides a platform for local artists to promote their works; a selection of which have been hand screen-printed onto natural fabrics and made available in small quantities.
The sustainable haberdashery we’ve all been waiting for! Circular Sourcing Etsy store (founded by Courtney Holm of A.BCH) is home to a small curation of sustainable fabric, trims and notions for all your home sewing projects. Think formaldehyde-free organic cotton fusing (yes, it exists!), pure rubber elastic and 100% Tencel sewing thread (made from eucalyptus pulp) available in a range of core colours.
We can’t share a list of Australian fabric stores without a mention of Tessuti Fabrics – founded in 1992 by mother-daughter team Silva and Colette, they’re still bringing home sewists gourmet fabrics from around the world to this day! You’ll find a sizeable selection of Liberty of London prints, designer ends, wool coatings and luxury European silks in their online store and Melbourne and Sydney outlets.
The Fabric Store
Home to a curated range of designer ends, mill overruns and exclusive milled linen and merino wool, The Fabric Store is the go-to for all your handmade wardrobe needs. Hunt down fabric finds from the convenience of the online store or pet all the fabrics in person at bricks-and-mortar locations in Brisbane, Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and New Zealand.
Weft and Warp
After nearly 30 years of traveling the globe seeking out the finest fabrics and the most mysterious sewing secrets, Rebecca and Matthew have compiled their experience into creating the ultimate welcoming local sewing space filled with “the world’s most beautiful and ethical apparel fabrics”. Whether shopping online or in their Canberra based brick-and-mortar, Weft and Warp stocks everything you need to make your sewing dreams come true.
Potter & Co
While it may not be the “only place to buy linen”, it is one of the best! Proudly based in WA, Potter & Co boasts a stunning collection of linen fabric in all the colours of the rainbow (think mouth-watering colourways like ‘papaya’ and ‘blossom’). Come for the linen and stay for the textured cottons, gingham prints and dreamy double gauze.
Heralding from their bricks-and-mortar store in Adelaide, The Drapery specialise in natural and sustainable fabrics like linen, hemp, wool and organic cotton and an offering of independent patterns and high quality notions. Created from the ethos that sewing and crafting is the “antidote to a throwaway” society, it’s the place to buy “beautiful fabrics that last”.
Nerida Hansen Fabrics
Nerida Hansen prints just make us sew happy! Combining a love of design and textiles, Nerida Hansen Fabrics was created to support like-minded independent surface designers and make the designs available to the home sewist, on a range of ethically printed, quality fabrics. Shop by your favourite Aussie designer or by fibre type – either way you won’t be disappointed!
Ellie Whittaker Studio
“Fabric that brings smiles to faces” – we couldn’t have said it better ourselves! Hailing from the sunshine state, Ellie Whittaker and her prints are a celebration of all good summertime festivities. We’re particularly fond of the ‘Troppo’ design, starring tropical fruits and printed on 100% organic cotton sateen, it’s a must-have for picnic season.
“Modern fabrics for modern makers” is a movement we can get behind! And that’s exactly what Maii Design is bringing to the sewing community – modern fabrics from household names on the indie sewing scene like Lady McElroy, Mind The Maker and Atelier Brunette. With a strong emphasis on natural fabrics, you’ll find everything from quality cottons and denim to tencel and cupro in their line up.
Self-confessed purveyors of “beautiful textiles for the creative community”, Drapers Fabrics are winning hearts with their collection of designer deadstock, organic fibres and ethically made fabrics. The organic cotton shirtings and pin-stripes deserve a special mention, but it would be lax of us not to include the Linen Eucalyptus Twill or GOTS-certified linen knit in our official wish list.
A relatively new kid on the sewing block, Yay Stitch has got us all hot and bothered over their impressive collection of Merchant and Mills textiles, curated eco-friendly fibres and just generally a whole lot of fabric we want to ‘add to cart’ stat. We’re looking at you Fluro Linen Checks!
The Remnant Warehouse
Your one-stop-shop for trims, notions and buttons and a selection of Australian designer dead stock from local fashion manufacturers – their range is made up of 95% designer remnants! You’ll find plenty of knit fabrics at The Remnant Warehouse for all those stretch sewing projects and a sizeable collection of basics in solid colours to build a wardrobe of wearable staples.
A & R Fabrics
Whether you’re on the hunt for a rigid denim, 100% Australian Merino Wool jersey or slubby silk noil, A & R Fabrics are here to celebrate natural fibres. Their modest collection of mindfully curated textiles is what handmade wardrobe dreams are made of!