Fabric Forecast 2009

To help kick off the new year here on True Up, I asked many fabric sellers, designers, and manufacturers one question:

Where is the fabric world (or your corner of it) going in 2009?

Over the next week I’ll be posting the responses. Many told me shared news of their upcoming projects, and others talked about the trends they’re seeing and their wishes for the industry. We’ll start with some of the former today … a little global perspective from two shop owners, one in Portugal and one in the U.S.

Rosa Pomar, of the blog a ervilha cor de rosa and Portugal-based online fabric, yarn, and notions shop Retrosaria, said:

I suppose digital printing will become more and more important in the next few years, with local versions of Spoonflower making their appearance (hopefully in Europe too). I don’t know how that will influence the quilting fabric industry but I’m very curious.

As for quilting fabric design, Freespirit looks like the strongest brand to me right now. Personally, I can’t wait for the new Heather Ross collections to come out and dream of inviting her to design a ribbon for my Retrosaria as I did with Camilla Engman.


fabric by Akaiza Mota

I would love to see more woven quilting fabrics (woven with different color threads as opposed to printed fabrics). There’s a lot of potential in woven patterns that hasn’t been explored yet (I started thinking about that after working with the amazing Guatemalan hand-woven cottons and seeing the work of African-Portuguese designer Akaiza Mota for Paul Smith. I would also like to see more ethnical/regional fabrics online. I’m trying to do that with the Portuguese chitas/chintzes and would love to see what other countries have to offer.

Happy 2009!

Diane Hoffman of Bee Square Fabrics wrote:

Where is the fabric world going in 2009 – that is a difficult one! I think there are going to be some major changes in the shopping habits of us fabric lovers. I am anticipating some selective shopping and some stash depleting. In the U.S., sewing will be a welcome respite to this roller coaster economy. With the anticipation of a new President, and a new direction for our country, I think the idea of hand making something tangible will keep us grounded as change and growth happens around us. As far as design trends go, I have a feeling that there will be a bit of going back to traditional ideas and elements of design while keeping with bold colors and strokes.


Apples Alphabet in green, a Japanese fabric from Kokka available from Bee Square Fabrics

The cute/kawaii trend will only grow in the U.S. since all of those designs just make you smile. And who doesn’t want to smile in 2009? I do, and I think we have a lot to look forward to in the coming year.


  1. Love the way you are thinking about new directions…I think it’s a fascinating time for us in the fabric world…I’ll be anxious to see…Jennifer

  2. I’m not too sure what the next big thing in vintage will be, but I would love to see the fun “sketchy” (black out-line) florals of the 50′s be rediscovered.
    I’m excited to see what’s in store for the fabric industry as a whole this coming year.

    Kimberly :)

  3. The trend in the next two years will change because of the economic turmoil. More resurgence of sewing, and fabric lines will reflect that. Because we “think” about the 30′s depression, sewers will love “handmade” more and more. Quilting will decrease a bit. I also see a comeback of smaller size prints, and blues and greens will stay a little more.
    I’m so excited to see all these changes…

    Patricia Bravo

  4. Victoria says:

    Great post! I look forward to reading more fabric predictions and forecasts!