Apologies to anyone who saw the accidentally empty version of this post, I schedule all of these in advance and try to write them while I am actually using the fabric from these suppliers so the details are fresh in my mind. I had made all the notes for this post and completely forgot that I hadn’t actually put them in the post. Particular apologies that it should happen to The Rag Shop who are up there in my top 3 favourite fabric suppliers! This week on a belated Fabric Friday we are talking about The Rag Shop a wonderful independent fabric supplier whose high standards, quality and personality come across in every purchase.
The Rag Shop
- Online Shop / Physical Shop / Both
- Web Link: https://theragshop.co.uk
- Core Purpose: Dressmaking Fabrics, Haberdashery and Indie Patterns
- Units of Sale for Fabric: 1 metre
The Rag Shop is the site of one of my first proper impulse purchases of fabric. I was scrolling through instagram minding my own business when I saw the Red Spot Dobby Cotton above and before you know it I’d bought 2 metres. I think their fabric is of fantastic quality but more than that I would say they probably have the best fabric photography of any website I’ve worked with so far. Not only do you see the fabric clearly but the colours are accurate and you can even get a sense of the fabric texture, this is so important in the world of online fabric shopping because you need to know exactly what you are buying. Their fabric range is good and they have a good mix of plain fabrics as well as interesting and on-trend patterned fabrics although they don’t have a massive number of categories you definitely still have choice. I like the jersey they have as well, I haven’t bought any yet but I’ve had my eye on a mustard stripe jersey for about two months now for a long sleeved top and I’m probably going to give in soon and buy it. When I look at The Rag Shop site I really get the impression that everything on there has been handpicked to form a collection and I think that really shows off their personality. A lot of the more out there patterned fabrics aren’t my thing but I love that they are there, I love that when you buy fabric from them that you know its going to have a bit of flare.
They also have a great range of patterns from different independent designers which isn’t something I thought to look for but that I was really impressed by. When I first bought my fabric I put out a call on instagram for ideas of what I should make with it. Then Steph from The Rag Shop actually came back to me with the suggestion for the Made My Wardrobe Anya Shirt, a suggestion I took and I am now on the last steps of finishing. I love a company tat has so much awareness of the fabric they sell that they can recommend patterns that would work well. It shows a level of detail that I find downright astonishing. On the slightly more negative side I would say that unless you are a confident beginner or using a simple pattern I would say that the fabric itself is fairly pricey so if I was a complete beginner I would probably steer clear until I’d made one or two garments and could justify the money. That being said in the grand scheme of fabric shops they are mid-range in terms of cost and they do have a fabulous remnants section that is well worth raiding if you’re on a budget.
The website interface is clear and user friendly and I like that they put a proper description of each fabric next to the photos rather than just specifying the fabric type. The payment interface was very smooth, I used it on my phone and managed to go from instagram post to payment in under 5 minutes. Their delivery was quite speedy and although the outside envelope was plastic as most brands are, inside the fabric was carefully wrapped in tissue paper and came with a printed note as well as a discount for a next purchase which I thought was a really nice touch.
- Range of Fabrics – 7/10
- Cost – 7/10
- Delivery (Speed / Cost) – 8/10
- Ease of Use – 8/10
- Ease of Payment – 8/10
Overall Score: 7.6/10
Where I think The Rag Shop excels is their customer interaction, they are very active on social media and super helpful as my earlier interaction about pattern ideas shows. I like a company that actively tries to connect with makers and support them. A company that does that is one that will get your business time and time again and honestly as soon as I have some money and I’m out of my September fabric ban they will certainly be getting my business again.