Oh, Amazon. You big, sexy database. Delivering fabric to my house so I don’t have to take my sons with me to the fabric-cutting counter. (🙌🙏👍 THANK YOU!!) My sewing friends, I’ve got some choice tricks for finding cheap fabric on Amazon that I’m itching to share.
The online mega retailer has tens of thousands of apparel fabric options for the discriminating garment sewist, from beginner-friendly easy fabrics to sew to textiles for seasoned seamworkers. And, if you know the ins and outs of searching the site for fabric AND how and where to ask questions, it’s likely you’ll make a textile love connection. If you’ve never gone hard into fabric searches on Amazon, this post is for you.
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TABLE OF CONTENTS
Shopping for Fabric on Amazon (Overview)
Let’s talk about sewists’ second-favorite activity (after sewing, natch): buying fabric — especially fabric that’s bought at a reduced price! In this section, we’ll walk through Amazon’s departments and filters for buying fabric.
Starting from Amazon’s (desktop site) homepage, there are two ways to navigate to fabric in the Arts, Crafts & Sewing department.
1.) Start with the Expanding Menu
Click the three-line “hamburger” (bun, meat, bun) menu that says All. Scroll to Shop By Department. Click See All. Click Home, Garden & Tools. Click Arts, Crafts & Sewing. Click Fabric (in the vertical menu or horizontal menu). You also can scroll down and click the Fabric thumbnail photo.
2.) Start with the Search Bar
Click the All button (with the down arrow) in the horizontal search bar. Select Arts, Crafts & Sewing. Click the magnifying glass search button (opposite the All button), leaving the search bar empty. Click Fabric (in the vertical menu or horizontal menu). You also can scroll down and click the Fabric thumbnail photo.
Filters for Fabric Shopping
So, now that you know how to find fabric on Amazon, it’s high time we get granular with the retailer’s textile offerings. Let’s filter our fabric findings.
Filters are slightly different depending on where you are in Amazon’s organization structure. The (general) hierarchy is:
Amazon (Homepage) > Home (Department) > Arts, Crafts & Sewing > Fabric > Craft & Hobby Fabric
For our purposes, stuff doesn’t start to get interesting until you’re at the Fabric level.
Following are all the different ways you can slice and dice fabric for sale:
When you check any of those boxes, you’re dropped into the Craft & Hobby Fabric realm (one level deeper than Fabric). The filters change a little bit at this level. I checked Usage > Apparel. Here are the filters for Apparel fabric in Craft & Hobby Fabric; the filters that changed from the Fabric level are highlighted in yellow. 💛
Let’s keep exploring apparel fabric (because we live to sew clothes, DUH). What do the filters look like when you “Shop By Category” from the Fabric page? The filters that changed from the Craft & Hobby Fabric level are highlighted below in yellow. 💛
The reason I’m fixating on filters is because they probably will be your greatest tool in finding the cheapest fabric on Amazon. If you understand that the filters change slightly depending on where you are on the site, you’ll know to keep looking to find the filter(s) you need.
Plus, filters give you ideas about what Amazon has to offer in terms of fabric type, designer, fabric features, and more. You might spot something in the filters that you didn’t know you were looking for!
Something else worth noting:
When you’re searching for fabric on Amazon, pay attention to the horizontal search bar at the top of every page. For example:
Notice how the dropdown goes…
All > Arts, Crafts & Sewing > Craft & Hobby Fabric
Changes to the search bar dropdown menu will change search results AND which filters are shown. And, my guess is that Amazon uses AI or other technologies to show different search results (and sponsored products) to different users based on myriad factors.
What I’m trying to say is that Amazon searches might be fairly fluid. Fiddle with different menus and filters if at first you don’t succeed in finding the right (least-expensive) fabric.
Aaaaannnnddddd once you’ve retrieved a bunch of fabric search results, don’t forget that you can sort them, too! Look for the teeny-tiny “Sort by” dropdown menu:
This menu could be your first step to finding the least-expensive fabric. Speaking of…
How Do I Find Cheap Fabric on Amazon?
By now you should be comfortable with Amazon’s many, many, many filters and have glimpsed into what the retailer has on offer for fabrics. So, let’s get to the REAL reason you clicked this article: learning how to find budget fabric on Amazon.
Following are tricks you can try right now during your fabric search.
1.) Filter By Price
When filtering by price (image below), the minimum and maximum prices are your bread and butter. If I were looking for a particular fabric (for example, linen), I would first filter by Fabric Type > Linen and then filter by price to score the best deal.
2.) Filter By Today’s Deals
These are products that:
- Are limited time deals
- Have a coupon discount
- Have a discount if you join Amazon Prime
Look at the fine print of the listing to determine the type of savings!
3.) Check Availability
This may seem counterintuitive, but hear me out. Some out of stock fabric is unavailable because it’s sold out — which means it’s popular. And a lot of times products are popular because they’re a good (low) price!
4.) Check Best Sellers
It’s the same principle as the “Check Availability” tip above: These fabrics could be best sellers because they’re a good price. Let the masses do the bargain hunting for you. P.S. Best sellers are updates hourly.
Follow this path:
Best Sellers > Arts, Crafts & Sewing > Fabric
5.) Check Most-Wished For, New Releases, and Gift Ideas, Too
Remember the Best Seller page above? Scope out New Releases, Most Wished For, and Gift Ideas while you’re there, too. It’s the same idea: If there are lots of people interested in buying a fabric, it could be because it’s a good deal.
6.) Check Related Searches
Not unlike Google, Amazon returns related searches — popular keywords and phrases that other shoppers similar to you are using in the search bar.
Sometimes you can see Related Searches at the bottom of a search results page; sometimes they don’t show up. Based on my experiments with the dropdown menu in the search bar, when the dropdown is set to “All,” you’re more likely to get a collection of Related Searches at the bottom of the page.
For example, I searched “fabric by the yard” in All (Departments), and this is what I got for Related Searches:
Hmm… “fabric by the yard clearance” looks interesting…
Another fun thing you can do is play the “Autocomplete Me” game — start typing a keyword or phrase in the search bar and see how Amazon autocompletes it for you. Behold:
Autocomplete shows there are folks looking for “fabric by the yard”:
- clearance prime
- cotton prints clearance (probably for quilting, but still)
- clearance under 2.00
Again, let other Amazon shoppers do the deal hunting for you!
7.) Buy the Bolt
You might get a better price per yard if you buy fabric by the bolt (or precuts and bundles). Maybe you and a sewing friend (or friends) could go in on a bolt. Or maybe you could buy the bolt and trade off the excess in a fabric swap.
8.) Shop Last Chance
My sweet sewing machines, have I got an Amazon secret for you! I think this is my best tip, TBH.
Amazon has a department called Last Chance Fabrics. I stumbled onto it by clicking an in-house Amazon ad that declared “Shop great deals on last chance fabrics. Grab them before they’re gone.” Don’t mind if I do!
I learned from puttering around Last Chance Fabrics that it’s a subdepartment of Arts, Crafts & Sewing. But, I cannot find another way into it except through the link I shared via the pink button above. I think it’s supposed to be a secret-IYKYK department on Amazon. I wonder how many departments there are like this!
Anyhoo, Last Chance could be a good place to shop if you’re looking for rare fabric.
9.) Shop Percentage-Off Deals (and Today’s Deals)
Did you know that you can shop by percentage off in Amazon’s Today’s Deals (aka, Gold Box Deals or Epic Daily Deals — why so many names, Amazon)? Here’s how to get to Today’s Deals:
Once you’re on the Today’s Deals page, check out the filter and scroll down until you see Discount. Via the filter, you also can explore:
- Departments (specifically Arts, Crafts & Sewing)
- Available Deals, Upcoming Deals, and deals placed on your Watchlist (yep, you can save tasty deals to a personalized watchlist)
- Deal types, including Deal of the Day, Lightning Deal, and Best Deal
- (Preset) price ranges
- Average customer review
10.) Click Coupons
Heads up: The next few cheap fabric hacks start on the Today’s Deals page. While you’re on Today’s Deals, click Coupons to go to the Coupons page. (Note: On one of the days I worked on this article, Coupons was moved to the top navigation menu below the horizontal search bar, and the menu with Coupons – Outlet – Warehouse Deal – Woot! Deals (below) was removed from the Today’s Deals page. You still could access the Coupons, et al. menu from the Coupons PAGE. In any case, the pink buttons in this article will take you to the correct destination regardless of how Amazon has changed up its look.)
Now, I’m sorry to burst you bubble, but there’s no Arts, Crafts & Sewing in the Coupons page filters. But, I think you could explore the listed departments and be surprised by the non-traditional fabrics you find.
For example, bedsheets and blankets (under Home & Kitchen) offer lots of square yardage to sew with. Check out larger sizes of different garments (under Clothing, Shoes & Jewelry); there’s a lot of fabric in a maxi dress! (You also could buy a garment and trace off pattern pieces from it to sew its clone!)
11.) Shop the Outlet
I don’t know about you, but a day of successful outlet shopping is exhilarating. (I love the treasure hunt of it all.) The Amazon Outlet features overstock items. Get to it from the Today’s Deals page:
From the Outlet page, you can make your way to Arts, Crafts & Sewing bargains by clicking:
- Overstock Deals
- Best Sellers
- Under $10
- Last Chance Savings
Couple of notes about the above four categories:
1.) You’ll have to filter for Arts, Crafts & Sewing when you hit these pages.
2.) Pay close attention to the dropdown menu of the search bar. For example, when you’re on the main Outlet page, the dropdown menu looks like this:
Continuing, when you navigate to Overstock Deals, “Overstock Deals” appears in the dropdown menu search bar. (You get where I’m going with this.) You can make specific searches in these outlet categories via the search bar.
And don’t forget to check out Home, Clothing, Outdoors, and more for fabric-harvesting opportunities!
12.) Explore Woot Deals
Woot is a deal site (and app) owned by Amazon. You can access Woot by going to the Today’s Deals page, and clicking like so:
From the Woot page, find a link to shop Home & Kitchen and click on it. You’ll see a top deal in Home & Kitchen, and you’ll also see (you may need to scroll) a collection of product categories within Home & Kitchen, including Arts, Crafts & Sewing. You know what to do.
13.) Explore the Warehouse
Amazon Warehouse is where the retailer sells “quality used, pre-owned, or open box products.” Amazon labels the condition of each product, from Used – Like New to Used – Acceptable.
And navigate to Arts, Crafts & Sewing (in the filter area).
TBH, I don’t know how much (if any) pre-owned fabric you’ll find in warehouse deals, but it doesn’t hurt to check.
14.) Shop the Under $10 Store
You can visit the Under $10 store from the regular old search bar. Click on the dropdown menu and navigate to Under $10. Hit Enter/Return or click the magnifying glass button on an EMPTY search bar.
From the Under $10 Store, filter by Arts, Crafts & Sewing.
15.) Leverage an Amazon Prime Membership
Should you be a member of Amazon Prime, whose most-beloved benefit is free two-day shipping on EVERYTHING, there are discounts available only to YOU. Go to the search bar dropdown menu and select “Just for Prime.” Click Enter/Return or the magnifying glass, leaving the search bar empty.
At the time of writing this, the exclusive Prime deals are pretty general interest (e.g., makeup palette, water bottle, bath towel set) vs. goodies (such as fabric) found in Arts, Crafts & Sewing. Again: Doesn’t hurt to check! (P.S. Here’s a comprehensive list of Prime benefits.)
You also should consider the following Prime membership info when it comes to saving cash:
- If Amazon fails to deliver on its promised two-day shipping, you can contact customer service and ask for a credit. It’s a tip mentioned in a video by The Deal Guy. Someone in the comments for this vid said they get a $5 credit for late items. So, if your fabric is supposed to arrive in two days because you’ve got Prime and it fails to show up, ask for that credit!
- Speaking of shipping, Amazon many times offers credit and other incentives at checkout to modify your shipping. For example, if you pick slower shipping (vs. two-day Prime shipping), you might earn a coupon or credit toward digital or other products. (I don’t think this is limited to Prime members.)
- You can share Prime membership benefits with another adult! Create an Amazon Household (start here) and go halfsies on Prime with a fellow sewist.
- If you receive government assistance, you may qualify for a $5.99-per-month Amazon membership.
- If you’re a college student, you can sign up for a free six-month trial of Prime Student. (Student membership costs $6.49 per month after the trial.)
16.) Use a Price Tracker
Get a browser extension or app that tracks price fluctuations. That way you can see when you’re getting the best deal on fabric! I personally use Honey (not an affiliate link), and it’s fascinating to watch prices swing. Amazon has its own price tracker called Amazon Assistant. (I haven’t used it, so I can’t comment.)
P.S. Some similar apps and extensions let you compare prices across websites — also fab if you’re looking for a fabric bargain and aren’t committed to a particular retailer. (Let’s call that being an agnostic buyer.)
Using These Bargain Shopping Hacks
These 16 Amazon bargain shopping hacks are accurate as of October 2021. Amazon does update its site (and app), and I’ll do my best to keep this post updated (likely annually).
When I put together this post, used navigation and screenshots from Amazon on a Chrome browser. Getting to these deals via the Amazon app (Android or iOS) could look different. Know that if you can’t access them via the app you CAN get to them on a web browser.
You’re smart and resourceful cookies, obviously, because YOU SEW (and only smart people can sew). I have faith you’ll put together your own navigations to ripping fabric deals via web, mobile, or app.
If I were pressed to choose the best way to find cheap fabric on Amazon, I would filter the bejesus out searches. If you know how to use them, filters will rock your world, especially the price range filter. Fabric from $0 to $5? Don’t mind if I do!
Favorite Fabrics to Buy on Amazon
Amazon sells A LOT of fabric. So. Much. Fabric.
How do you know which fabric is the best? Here are my picks, based on personal buying experience (with my own money) or old-fashioned obsessive research. (BTW, I’m coming at this from the perspective of an apparel sewist.) And, as always, do your OWN research and caveat emptor.
1.) Robert Kaufman
I’ve happily sewn with Robert Kaufman denim (jeans), linen (trench coat) , and cotton-spandex knit (undies). The thing I like about Robert Kaufman is each substrate of fabric usually has a bunch of colorways. It’s also easy to do research Robert Kaufman; the fabric company has a great website that you can use to cross reference Amazon. When I’m shopping for fabric on Amazon, Robert Kaufman usually is my first stop.
BTW, if you’re looking for fabric for masks, my top choice would be Kona cotton, which is produced by Robert Kaufman.
If Robert Kaufman is my first fabric stop, Telio is my second stop. Telio focuses more on fashion/apparel fabric, and I think Telio is underpriced for its quality. I also feel like Telio has more interesting and “modern” fabric, such as Tencel, organic options, and hatchi knits. Telio also has a good website for research purposes, even though it’s targeted for a business-to-business audience.
3.) Art Gallery Fabrics
If you’re a sucker for a pretty print, particularly a KNIT pretty print, Art Gallery could become your next obsession. I sewed these Seamwork leggings with a cotton-spandex Art Gallery knit, and even though I never was hot on the leggings, I was impressed with the quality of the fabric. Art Gallery’s website is great for research, too.
4.) Minerva Crafts
Along with selling on Amazon, Minerva Crafts has an active social platform on its website and an IRL store in the U.K. I would feel good about buying from Minerva (haven’t yet) because its site and socials are INTENSE and filled with product info and buyer testimonials. Basically, if I found a Minerva fabric of interest, I’d look it up online OUTSIDE Amazon and ask the hive mind (probably on IG) for thoughts. That sewing support is invaluable.
5.) Cotton + Steel
Cotton + Steel primarily is known for quilting fabric, but the fabric maker also offers material in knit, rayon, and lawn. I’ve examined the rayon in person, and I’d definitely sew with it. The selection of Cotton + Steel on Amazon isn’t huge, but the products are highly rated. Good for lovers of prints; if you like Art Gallery Fabrics, check out Cotton + Steel, too.
Similar to Minerva Crafts, Spoonflower is a fabric store (but online only). Spoonflower’s claim to fame is that it allows anyone to upload a design and order it on many different types of fabric. Spoonflower on Amazon doesn’t allow you to customize fabric, but there are lots of eye-popping designs to choose from in nine different substrates. I’ve sewn with Spoonflower fabrics and have a swatch book; I can confirm quality!
7.) Elliott Berman Textiles
Guys, Elliott Berman sells NICE fabric — like deadstock designer, procured from fancy-schmancy mills in Europe nice fabric. And, TBH, the quality of the fabric is reflected in its cost; it tends to be more spendy than other textiles. If you’re looking for something truly special (and you’re willing to pay for it!), Elliott Berman could be your jam. I mean, just check out the website; I’m swooning! You know it’s legit when the store offers a 10 percent discount to Friends of PatternReview.com members, because Friends of PR wouldn’t mess with low-grade fabric.
8.) Filter to Success
You ALWAYS can work filters to discover fabric with four-star-plus customer reviews (and high numbers of customer reviews)! And I encourage you to scope out product information OUTSIDE Amazon before you make a decision; don’t limit yourself to what Amazon provides. You might find illuminating product reviews on other sites, including social media.
How to Read an Amazon Product Page for Fabric
Let’s dive into a product listing. When you look at a listing, there’s good info at the top: price and (usually) high-level product details.
Here are some product listing elements that are easy to overlook but important; check out the zoomed in image above with the yellow boxes:
- Top left: Brand – This is the brand of the fabric product listing you’re looking at. Sometimes the brand and seller are the same, which can be confusing. Think of the seller as the make of a car (e.g., Ford), and the brand is the model of a car (e.g., Escape).
- Top left: Ratings – The ratings up here are for the product listed, NOT the brand or seller.
- Middle right: Ships From and Sold By – This is where you discover third-party sellers. I suggest clicking the seller link to see the store’s shipping and return policies. Lots of brands are sold and shipped by Amazon (and are likely to qualify for Prime shipping), but you can’t make assumptions about an individual product listing.
- Bottom right and bottom left: Additional Sellers (aka, Buying Options) – The product you’re looking at might be sold by another store (at a lower price and with better shipping specs).
Continuing, for REALLY juicy info, scroll on the product’s page to Product Information, which includes weight and dimensions. Fabric weight can help you determine whether a fabric is appropriate for a project, and dimensions can help you determine who much yardage to buy.
RELATED: What Does Weight of Fabric Mean?
Below Product Information, you may find more goodies. For example, some products include a “From the Manufacturer” section. Toward the bottom of the page also are Customer Q&A, Customer Reviews, and Product Reviews — product insight from buyers like you.
How to Find Answers to Your Questions About Fabric
If you’ve got questions about a fabric, the customer opinion zone is where you should start looking for answers. Type a query into the Customer Questions & Answers field (below). All info in the product listing, customer reviews, and other customer Q&A’s are searched to answer your question. And if you don’t find your answer, you can “Ask the Community” and see all questions about the listing.
BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE! You can leave comments on customer reviews. This would be great, for example, if you’d like to know whether a fabric is opaque or would work for a particular kind of garment. You know sewists — all they want to do is help other sewists! #crowdsourcing
You also can ask sellers questions. As previously mentioned, the same product frequently will have multiple sellers. If it looks like there are multiple points of entry to examine sellers, I suggest clicking them all to make sure you’re not missing any deals.
How to Ask Fabric Sellers Questions
Back to asking sellers questions. On page with additional seller options, click the seller you’ve got a question for. You’ll be whisked away to the seller’s info page (see below), which features tabs for posted feedback, returns and refunds, shipping, policies, help, and products (the seller’s Amazon storefront). If you can’t find your answer under those tabs, there’s button that says, “Ask a Question.” Hit it and ask away!
I tested the “Ask a Question” button for a seller, and I found the seller’s reply buried here:
Accounts & Lists > Your Account > Your Messages > Message Center > Buyer/Seller Messages
What sort of stuff might you ask a seller?
- Do you offer samples?
- Would this fabric be good for pattern XX or garment XX (e.g., skirt, shirt)?
- If I buy other fabric from your store, could I get a shipping discount? (Hey, don’t ask, don’t get.)
- How do I wash this fabric?
- Does this fabric have body or drape?
- What’s the hand of this fabric? Does it feel warm or cool?
- How much stretch does this fabric have?
- Is it opaque?
- How long does shipping take?
- Do you sell in continuous yards?
And there about a gazillion other questions you could ask! Heads up — if you’re buying from a big seller, there’s a good chance the customer service rep might not know a lot about sewing and be able to answer real “inside baseball” sewing questions, if you know what I’m saying. IMO, it’s worth a shot.
Extra Research Before Buying Fabric on Amazon
If you’ve poked around Amazon for info on a product but you’re still hesitant to pull the trigger, I encourage you to leave the site to continue your research. Start Googling your product and seller; there’s a chance your fabric is being sold somewhere else on the internets.
Take Robert Kaufman Super Stretch 8.6 ounce denim, for example. (I used this fabric to make Ginger jeans.) The Amazon listing for the denim has five reviews. But, when you visit Fabric.com’s page for the same denim, there are 13 reviews, and they’re more insightful than the Amazon reviews.
On the topic of Fabric.com — Amazon owns Fabric.com, so if there’s a fabric listed on Fabric.com, it’s (probably) listed on Amazon, too. I love researching fabric on Fabric.com and switching back to Amazon to buy it to get Prime shipping.
Continuing with fabric research tips…
Scope out PatternReview.com, The Fold Line, Kollabora, Instagram, or the sewing subreddit (on Reddit) to read reviews and ask questions. Search YouTube for vids. Sewing-specific Facebook groups — (again) The Fold Line and The Self-Sewn Wardrobe — are WONDERFUL places to ask questions. (I am a member of both these groups and can vouch for them.) Search “sewing” on Facebook to see groups, pages, videos, and more. Filter to your heart’s content!
As I mentioned before (and you already know!), sewing people are THE BEST PEOPLE, and they want to help you have an awesome experience sewing. So just ask your question — about fabric, patterns, sewing supplies, sewing machines, etc. — no matter how silly you think it is. I bet you 99 times out of 100 that someone will reply. (It’s human nature to want to give advice.)
OK, over to you: Have you bought fabric on Amazon? What was your experience? Do you have favorite brands or sellers on Amazon?
P.S. If you like this post, you might groove on these fabric articles, too:
Easy Fabrics to Sew: 8 Forgiving Fabrics
Go Fabric Shopping with Me! | Vogue Fabrics [VIDEO]
How to Choose Fabric: A Crash Course in Fashion Textiles
What Does Weight of Fabric Mean?
How Do I Choose a Knit Fabric?
Is Rayon Better Than Cotton? Fabric Guide for Sewists