Fabric Forecast 2009: Three More Shops

To help kick off the new year, I asked fabric sellers, designers, and manufacturers the question:

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

Today, three more shop owners share their plans and predictions for the coming year …


Kathy of Pink Chalk Fabrics wrote:

2009 is going to bring us an enormous amount of selection in the fabric world. I’m excited about all the talented designers, both new and experienced, being given the opportunity to bring so many innovative designs to market. The competition amongst fabric manufacturers is leading to some very bold and unique offerings.

More original artwork will be translated to fabric and less computer generated designs.

The passion to sew is here to stay. I’m extremely excited about the enthusiasm of young sewists. A whole new generation of people that want to create something of value with their own hands vs. consuming cheaply made goods. I predict we’ll all be doing a lot of comfort sewing in 2009.

We’ll continue to want to connect in real life to share our passion for sewing meaning an opportunity for groups like the American Sewing Guild, local quilt guilds, and local Stitch & Bitch groups to increase their numbers.

On the pattern front expect to see a lot of titles by well-known designers. That’s not really a prediction but rather the continuation of a trend we saw in 2008.

The number of online fabric retailers continues to grow. I was part of that number in 2008. There’ll be a focus on unique offerings and innovative ideas as retailers define their online personas in order to break through the noise. A great thing for fabric consumers!

Wishing everyone a Happy and Creative New Year!



Caroline Devoy of jcaroline creative! wrote:

For jcaroline creative!, we will focus in 2009 on our own fabrics and ribbon designs. We already have another collection in the works with Jessica Jones and are working with another designer on a line of very bold, graphic canvases. We also have a ribbon collection in the works with a fabric designer that your readers know.

As for the industry as a whole, I hesitate to make predictions because I tend to predict the worst and it never happens — thankfully. However, I am concerned about the number of fabric collections available. With the economy on the downslide and the credit crunch (which is what I believe will have the biggest impact on retailers), I think this year it will be harder for retailers to take on multiple fabric collections, especially the collections that contain 30-plus pieces. I predict retailers this year will purchase very conservatively, sticking with the designers and basics that have done well for them in the past. Which will ultimately mean that manufacturers cannot reprint as many lines and may not be as anxious to experiment with new designers. So I predict that we won’t see anything terribly edgy from fabric manufacturers this year. I predict by this summer, we will definitely see a decrease in new collections, as I believe from October of 2008 on, manufacturers were pulling in the reins on new collections.

Now that I’ve been negative, I will also add that I think this down cycle is very natural and just encourages the industry (any industry) to rethink its position in the market and how they can best compete. Which ultimately makes for better manufacturers with better products. Downturns cut out the bottom layer that wasn’t adding value and make the top layer reevaluate how they can better add value. A little cleaning up, if you will.



Cynthia Mann of Fabricworm wrote:

Exciting times are upon us in the Fabric Forecast. Several manufacturers are looking to young, trend forward artists to bring youthful, fun, modern designs to the world of quilting fabric. I see lots of throwback prints to the 50s and 60s, more resurgence of Midcentury Mod, simple, bold, yet borderline masculine, very graphic! I also see a huge rise in the popularity of handprinted fabrics, block printing as well as digital printing. I’m looking forward to seeing a lot more use of vegetable and natural based dyes and many more options for organic textiles.

In the forecast I see lots of white! White/Natural backgrounds will still be very popular and look for lots of natural elements in prints, leaves, trees, wood, bark, simple outlines as well as more intricate details. Birds and owls will still be very popular as well as anything woodland, mushrooms, deer, etc. first gaining popularity from Japan, now US designers like Jay McCarroll are offering these designs up.

From Japan, I think we will continue to see lots of cute small prints, lots of Scandinavian inspiration!

Here’s looking to 2009 for a Healthy Spirit for all.

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