How to Buy Fabric Wholesale

By Andrea Snow ; Updated September 15, 2017
Fabric by the bolt can save money.

Whether planning a big home improvement project or constructing matching costumes for your local theater group, buying fabric wholesale is a popular practice for saving money on large amounts of fabric.

Fabric Types and Sizes

Wholesale fabric is sold in bolts that range from 15 to 20 yards, although some companies sell bolts as large as 100 yards. Woven and knits are usually 45 or 60 inches wide, though sometimes quilting fabric is sold as 36 inches wide. When buying wholesale it is important to check the fabric for the same qualities you check when shopping in smaller qualities: crispness, drape, color and stretch.

Online Suppliers

The easiest way to find wholesale fabric is to do an online search for stores that carry them. When working with online suppliers, you have a wide choice of fabrics and easy delivery options. Upholstery fabrics are particularly popular on these Internet shops. Request fabric swatches (small sample squares) before ordering entire bolts, because computer monitors are inconsistent in representing color.

Shopping the Garment District

Manhattan's Garment District offers many wholesale fabric buying options. Wholesale fabric stores line 37th and 38th Streets between 5th and 8th Avenue. The selection varies, but most stores feature a good choice of knit and woven apparel fabric. Go into the garment district with specific ideas and speak directly with a sales associate when possible. Otherwise, these stores can be overwhelming with their long rows of fabric.

About the Author

Writing since 2005 for a variety of media, Andrea Snow has written on topics ranging from pop culture and film to technology and home-related how-to articles. Her published works include music reviews at "The Owl Mag." She holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in English literature and film and TV production from New York University.