How to Find Discontinued Fabrics

By Laurie Rappeport
Bolts of colorful fabric in a textile shop.

If you’ve ever tried to match the fabric of a valued bedcover, a favorite clothing item or some vintage drapes, you know the frustration of trying to locate discontinued fabrics. Fabrics go in and out of style, but if you need a particular fabric to repair or renovate a valued item, you will need to search for the matching material. Specialty fabric stores and online services offer opportunities for you to locate a discontinued fabric.

Look at an online fabric store that specializes in supplying discontinued fabrics. These shops offer customers the opportunity to locate a discontinued fabric through their own inventory as well as through their connections with manufacturers and suppliers. Wesco Fabrics maintains a searchable database of discontinued fabrics that it can supply. Elkabee’s Fabric Paradise allows you to view its inventory, according to fabric manufacturer, to determine if it can supply the discontinued fabric you want to find. The Fabric Finder encourages customers to write in and describe the fabric they wish to find, promising they will attempt to help locate the discontinued fabric.

Check an online auction house to determine if they have the discontinued fabric you want to find. You may not match a fabric, but some of the discontinued fabrics featured for sale through online auction houses may fit a project that you plan to undertake. WeBidz, OnlineAuction and eBay display discontinued fabrics that you may find difficult to locate elsewhere. The online auction houses allow you to place your bid based on the suggested starting bid. When the item’s auction ends, you will receive notification as to whether your bid sufficed to let you buy the fabric.

Contact fabric manufacturers to ascertain whether they carry a discontinued fabric. You may not know which company manufactured a specific fabric, but some textile manufacturers specialize in specific types of fabrics, which may assist you in tracking down the discontinued fabric you want to locate. Camelot Fabrics has a wide range of art design and comic book fabrics. Robert Kaufman Fabrics specializes in quilting fabrics with geometric shapes and period styles. Free Spirit Fabrics produces whimsical fabrics, including pinwheels and collage-like fabrics.

Visit your local fabric store to consult with the staff. This is particularly helpful if you don't know the name and manufacturer of a particular fabric. Salespeople often can recognize a discontinued fabric by the description and give you some ideas that will allow you to track it down, either directly from the manufacturer or at another store.

Tip

Depending on your budget and how much fabric you need, you may be able to request that a manufacturer make your desired fabric specifically for you.

If your search comes up empty, consult with a fabric store salesperson on what existing fabric may serve as the most suitable replacement.

About the Author

Laurie Rappeport is a writer and blogger with more than 10 years of experience. Her areas of expertise are in education, child development, travel, pets, nutrition and health for Demand Studios and a major travel website. Rappeport holds a Master of Arts degree from Wayne State University.