Tuesday, November 29, 2011

things I hate about fabric stores

1. Polyester. With the exception of some very high-tech, high-priced and fairly rare microfibers, it's nasty fabric. It's rough, slick, ravels, sticks to your skin, fights you when you try to sew it. And it occupies about 75% of the fashion fabric shelf space.

2. Polyester fleece. Occupies 75% of the floor space that could be utilized for--I don't know--real fabric? Silks, cotton twill, wool? For people who actually sew? Comes in an assortment of tacky colors and prints.

3. People who buy polyester fleece. They always buy 15 different cuts at the same time. For Christmas gifts. Disregarding the likelihood that the people who received a polyester fleece blanket LAST year have not worn it out, indeed probably have not used it, and do not need another. There is no excuse for blanketing your entire social circle with poly fleece. Pare down your Christmas list and make something meaningful for the people you actually like.

4. People who buy poly fleece who put their screaming children on the cutting counter, where the kid kicks, grabs, and drools on everything in sight, including other people's fabric. I was very mean about this when I worked at the fabric store. People were not permitted on my cutting counter.

5. People buying 15 yards of 15 different bolts of poly fleece who insist on finding something inadequate with each bolt of fleece, thereby requiring the cutting clerk to unroll the entire bolt to cut from the end without the glitter on it. (Seriously, lady? You're not going to wash the thing before you use it? Do you live in a world without germs, too?)

6. People trying to buy upholstery fabric for their interior designer/upholsterer, although they have never before bought fabric and are unprepared for questions about whether the design will be railroaded, or whether those 12 yards can be in two pieces, and hold up the line talking loudly on their cell phone for 10 minutes. THIS IS WHY YOU LET THE PROFESSIONAL DO THE BUYING. YOU ARE NOT SAVING MONEY BY DOING IT YOURSELF.

7. There is apparently only one home decorating fabric distributor left in middle America. Joann's and Hancock's have virtually the same stock these days. Competition? What competition?

8. Similarly, Joann's and Hancock's are on automatic stock reordering systems--when I was at Wal-Mart they called it "continual inventory system," which is a lie because they still took a physical inventory every year--so they only get in 3 or 4 cards of each button type at a time. So they generally only have in 1 or 2 cards of a given button type at any given time. Which means, if I need 14 buttons for a project I have to drive to at least 3 different stores, and/or wait 3 weeks until they get their stock replenished, because God forbid the store manager should be allowed to order anything for a customer who needs it.


Freyalyn said...

Oh dear, you haven't had a good time have you? What were you looking for and did you find it?

Holly said...

I went in for 2 things--buttons, and some faux leather upholstery vinyl to make a sword bag for a client. Found the vinyl, but had to wait on everyone else to get it cut. Still don't really have all the buttons I need, but I can get by with 10.

I think I am staying home too much. I am increasingly impatient with people. But then I also think they are becoming more ignorant and unprepared. The ready availability of information via the internet and smart phones means people have forgotten how to plan ahead.