​How to Buy Quality Quilting Fabric Online

​How to Buy Quality Quilting Fabric Online

The Fabric Fox on 14th Mar 2023

As an online fabric shop that specialises in quilting cotton, we know how important it is for you to have the best fabric for your sewing projects. Shopping for fabric online might seem daunting at first because you can’t feel the fabric before buying it but we want to put your mind at ease and give you the confidence to buy fabric online.

How to Check for Fabric Quality

Here at The Fabric Fox, we pride ourselves on the high-quality quilting fabrics that we sell. Want to find out for yourself? Here are the best ways to check the quality of fabric.


Quilting cotton fabric commonly has a plain weave. Plain weave is a simple over-and-under pattern of the threads, where each weft thread goes alternately over and under each warp thread, creating a grid-like pattern. Quilting fabric is tightly woven, which gives the fabric its structure and strength. High-quality fabric will not tear easily.

100% quilting cotton fabric at The Fabric Fox

The weave can alter the overall drape of a fabric, which you will need to take into consideration if using quilting cotton for dressmaking. In our experience, Art Gallery Fabrics and Ruby Star Society fabrics have more drape compared to Figo Fabrics. However, due to their sturdiness, you won’t get the same level of drape from quilting cotton as you can expect to find with dressmaking material.

Thread Count

Thread count refers to the number of threads woven into one square inch of fabric. A high thread count can be a good indicator of fabric quality because it is an indication of how dense the fabric is, which can add to the fabric’s overall structure and strength. Usually, the tighter the weave, the higher the thread count.

A decent thread count is between 200 and 400 but it’s worth noting that quilting fabrics can be below 200, which usually makes them softer and more drapey.

Organic quilting cotton at The Fabric Fox

Art Gallery Fabrics, Ruby Star Society and Cloud9 Fabrics have a thread count of 200+ whereas Andover Fabrics have a thread count of 120. Despite this difference, fabrics by Andover are still high-quality and a popular choice among quilters.


The weight of fabric is often displayed as ‘GSM’ which stands for ‘grams per square metre’. Generally, a higher GSM means that the fabric is denser and heavier, while a lower GSM means that it is lighter and more breathable.

Our quilting cotton fabrics vary between 115gsm and 145gsm and are usually specified as lightweight or medium-weight. This makes them versatile and easy to sew with.


The quality of the fabric is usually reflected in its price. Most of our fabrics are £17 per metre and that’s because the brands that we stock go to immense measures to produce the best quilting fabrics on the market. The reality is, the cheap fat quarter bundles you pick up at your local supermarkets will not be the same high-quality fabric that we sell online.

Cheap fabric usually feels stiffer and has a rougher texture, and you can often find inconsistencies in the weave. Our fabrics are luxuriously soft, sturdy and worth every penny.


We sell designer fabrics by modern fabric designers and they are printed by a fabric brand. Fabric brands (or manufacturers) will often be a team of in-house fabric designers who design all their own fabric collections, or they will be a manufacturer who commissions fabric designs by artists and graphic designers. Branded fabric is high-quality and the manufacturers producing the fabric have to live up to their reputation.

Quilting cotton brands at The Fabric Fox

The best way to think about our quilting cotton is to imagine it as the equivalent to Coca-Cola and not one of the supermarket alternatives.

Brand fabric is not to be confused with Licenced fabric, which is fabric that has prints of familiar intellectual properties like Marvel, Disney, Star Wars, etc. on them.


Knowing where you are buying your fabric from can go a long way to authenticate the quality of the fabric. As an online fabric retailer, we make it our mission to source the best high-quality quilting fabrics available. As we sell branded fabrics by modern designers, you can easily find out more about them on Google or on Instagram, so we always suggest doing as much research as possible before making a decision.

If you would like to see what our customers think, you can read their testimonials on Trustpilot.

Now that you know what others think about us, have a look at our online shop to see what’s available.

Additional Checks For Fabric Quality

Once you have bought your fabric online, here are a few additional quality checks you can do at home.


The fabric should have a nice, flat even surface with no knots, pulls or holes. You should expect minor fraying around the edges but not major enough that it compromises the overall structure of the fabric.

Colour Fastness

Colours should be consistent throughout the fabric and shouldn’t look faded or patchy in some areas. You can pre-wash the fabric to check for colour fastness. High-quality fabrics shouldn’t bleed and should hold their colour.


High-quality quilting cotton is prone to shrinking by approximately 5% so you should pre-wash the fabric to test for shrinkage. Wash fabric on a cool, gentle cycle. Dry the fabric in a dryer on a warm setting or by hanging it and allowing it to dry naturally.

Fabric Samples

If you are still unsure what fabric to buy, you can always request a fabric sample. That way, you can feel how soft the fabric is, and how its colour looks in your home’s unique lighting, and you can even pre-wash the fabric sample to test for shrinkage.

Fabric sample at The Fabric Fox with free UK delivery

Fabric samples are 50p a piece and measure approximately 3” x 6”. All UK customers can get free delivery too!


By following our step-by-step guide, you are now well-equipped with the knowledge on how to identify high-quality quilting cotton, and now you can buy your fabric online without any worries. As we are committed to providing the best quilting fabrics available, you can shop with confidence knowing that you are getting the best quilting fabrics for your sewing projects.

The Fabric Fox is an online fabric shop based in Halstead, Essex, UK

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