It is time to review the online fabric store Hawthorne Threads. I have placed and received three orders from them so far.

Website: The website is the best I have seen for a fabric store.

Navigation

Fabric can be viewed by the usual manufacture, designer or collection. There are also several theme categories such as animals, children’s and solids. You can search by keyword.

On top of the regular browsing, they also have a great color search. You can select a color from a color grid or search for coordinates  by color in a specific print.

Pictures

The fabric swatch pictures are square and a decent size for searching and viewing on the specific fabric pages. I think they just use the standard pictures from the manufacture.  Sometimes a scale will be noted. It would be nice if the scale was always included and additional pictures provided, especially for large scale prints. Sometimes I have to go looking around for additional pictures outside of the site.

Although they do not provide additional pictures, anyone can upload pictures of their handmade items using the fabric. I find it very helpful to see these action shots. The submitted pictures can be linked to your website/store/blog.

Selection: One of the big perks to this site is the large selection of prints. Combining shipping is a big part of getting the best deal when shopping online, so it is great to be able to stuff an envelope with fabric for many projects. However, as the store is popular, many prints sell out very quickly! I had my eye on some fabric coming soon but didn’t jump on it right when it came out (you can sign up for email notifications) and it was sold out in less than a week.

I said they have a large selection of prints, the solids selection isn’t great. They have some Color Spectrum and Free Spirit Designer solids. Maybe these solids are great (I have never tried them), but I find it extremely difficult to pick solid colors from a computer screen. Because of a couple oops solid purchases, I bought a Kona Cotton colour card. Hawthorne Threads does not carry Kona Cotton Solids. Maybe they are just being polite to the solids sellers out there, because a store with a good selections and prices of both prints and solids would probably take a lot of the business away from the predominately solid sellers.

Money Matters:

Base prices are comparable to other online fabric stores. Quilting weight cotton prints are generally $8.00 per yard. Home dec weights range from around $13.75 to $15.95 per yard with many on sale.

Hawthorne Threads uses are Tiered Pricing system. Discounts are given based on order size, order history and cut.

An order over 3 yards will give a discount of 25 cents per yard and over 15 yards is 35 cents per yard. These discounts are a little push to help you jump into the next level of shipping  and buy more to get the cost per yard down.

Based on $8/yard base priced quilting weight fabrics. All cuts less than 15 yards. No order history.

As you see from the graph, the cost per yard jumps when you hit a new shipping tier (e.g. 2 1/8 yards, 9 1/8 yards, 18 1/8 yards). Generally it is cheaper to stuff an envelope, unless you are suddenly buying a bunch of stuff you don’t want! If I have room in my envelope, I team up with a friend to fill it. Also, I am jealous of the cheap shipping to the United States! Canada and Everywhere Else can decide if the overall cost is better than the local options.

If you manage to rack up an order history of 40+ yards, take off another 15 cents/yard. 100+ 25 cents. 400+ 50 cents.

Cuts 15+ yards are discounted by 50 cents/yard.

Shipping/Packaging: Shipping is comparable to other online fabric stores. In Canada, expect to wait 1-2 weeks. Fabric comes clean and wrapped in tissue paper. Cuts are accurate.

Overall: I like this store and I will order more fabric in the future. The selection and quality are good, shipping and packaging are as expected, and the prices are reasonable.

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