Wal-Mart Fabric Returns

SoundStitches shopping cartSince last fall, various blogs have posted that Wal-Mart was removing fabric bolts from its stores. Then rumors circulated soon afterwards that WalMart was bringing back the fabric. Yet my family living in the rural Midwest was still complaining about the lack of fabric. Alas, a Wal-Mart spokeswoman was quoted in the most recent American Sewing Guild member newsletter, indicating that fabric would return “in some markets.” While not very informative, it does indicate an official response, whereas the blogs and Web sites are filled with eye-witness customer accounts of fabric/no fabric.

I want to disclose that I am no fan of Wal-Mart, and happily I never have to shop there for fabric or anything else. There are no Wal-Mart stores close by, and I would pass up dozens of other better stores on the way. However, I see myself as an advocate for sewers/sewists, and for sewing choices. I’m aware that some customers have no other choice for starting or continuing quilting and sewing projects. For that reason, I hope that Wal-Mart restocks — and expands — its fabric and sewing notions department. I’m glad to hear that the company recognizes a market to serve, and hope they have listened to their customers.

Do you shop for fabric at Wal-Mart? Has the selection expanded or shrunk over the last few years? If fabric has disappeared at your local Wal-Mart, have you asked about any plans to reestablish the department? What do you think about Wal-Mart fabric quality? If you’ve got answers or experience to share, others would love to hear them. (I continue to get so many comments on my Sewing News: Jo-Ann Fabrics Sold story, so you can be sure that others are listening!)

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8 thoughts on “Wal-Mart Fabric Returns

  1. I also do not care for Walmart, and do not shop there. However, us sewers could always use a few more choices, and a lil competition, can be good for the economy. I’m guessin some ‘suit’ looked at the numbers and thought the sales in that department didn’t justify the space, but guess what? Having stuff we want gets us in the door, and once we are in the door, we are likely to buy stuff from other departements, so . . it doesn’t take a genious, or a suit, to figger out that’s it’s a good idea to stock fabric.
    I recently posted my Walmart fabric buying expericence in my blog.

    1. Somehow shopping for fabric and lettuce and fabric softener under one roof doesn’t work for me. Thanks for your comments, and I’ll have a look at your blog.

  2. Many people think of Massachusetts as very up to date and well stocked, but when it comes to fabric store choices-guess what? Few and far between! In many areas it is JoAnn or nothing or travel 45min to an hour i n traffic. The small independent shops are lacking here. It would be nice to see more so that we have a choice. Online shops are nice but nothing beats the live feel of fabric and its textures

  3. Yvonne is ABSOLUTELY right… When it comes to living in smaller towns and more rural areas, fabric is hard to find, so having a selection (even a small one) at Wal Mart is extremely helpful! When I lived in Los Angeles, there were fabric places galore, and now that I’m in a smaller town in Texas, finding fabric is WAY more difficult. If my local Wal Mart got rid of its fabric department I would almost NEVER be able to sew because the bigger fabric stores are 35 minutes away (and that’s in GOOD traffic conditions). Like a lot of people, I work full time, so making a long drive for a few yards of fabric gets really annoying, and Wal mart is extremely convenient.

  4. I purchased 15 yards of Walmart Red Buffalo check fabric – half of the whole bolt was at an angle! So far off bias I could hardly work with it. I was making kitchen curtains and had to struggle to make them look straight. I made them double fullness to hide the crooked lines. I will never buy Walmart fabric again!

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