Online Fabric Shops in New Zealand

Here’s a little roundup of NZ fabric stores where you can shop online to buy fabrics appropriate for garment sewing! I’m always trying to buy as locally as possible, and shipping from overseas can be agonising (both in terms of wait time and cost), so shopping close to home (and in your own currency) is a great alternative.

I’ve made my favourite shops bold! These are shops that I’ve shopped with and would wholeheartedly recommend!

Updated: 14/5/2020

Ackroyd & Adams (based in Auckland)

They have a selection of different fabrics including merino and cotton knits, denim, cottons and linens

AS Fabrics (based in NZ)

They have a small selection of fabrics (lot of polyester) which are leftovers from Annah Stretton’s factory. They actually charge more for postage the more fabric you order.

Backstreet Bargains (based in Hamilton)

They have a variety of fabrics at very decent prices. They have a system on their website for requesting samples, which you pay for, but I’ve also had luck getting free samples by emailing the store (either way, the samples are very small)

Charming Juno Fabrics (based in NZ)

They have a small selection of garment appropriate fabrics including Robert Kaufman chambray and velveteen, a few printed knit fabrics.

Drapers Fabrics (based in Auckland)

They have a decent selection of what I would describe as trend forward. Samples are available for $1 and shipping is free in NZ for orders over $75

Fabric Fixation (based in NZ)

They have a small selection of garment fabrics, and a lot of quilting fabrics. Their garment fabrics include cotton blend knit, corduroy, fleece and canvas

The Fabric Store (based in Auckland)

They have a selection of consistent colours across their linen, heavyweight linen and merino fabric offerings. In addition to selling designer short ends, they also stock a lot of silk, cotton and corduroy fabrics from Liberty Fabrics in the UK.

Florence & Mary (based in NZ)

They have NZ’s largest selection of Liberty Tana Lawn fabrics (15 pages of the stuff, to be precise)

For Fabrics Sake (based in NZ)

They have a large selection of patterned and plain knit fabrics, organic knit fabrics and a very limited selection of woven, non-stretch fabrics.

Hawes & Freer (based in Auckland)

They have a selection of what you could describe as high-end fabrics and bridal fabrics. They also have a lovely selection of sustainable buttons and a wide variety of interfacings, shoulder pads and lining fabrics. I’ve had success emailing them to ask for samples.

Harmless Solutions (based in NZ)

They aren’t a fabric store, but they do sell a variety of undyed cotton, hemp and bamboo fabrics.

Jones and Taylor (based in Taranaki)

They have a selection of Merchant and Mills fabric, and notions from them too. Their store isn’t well maintained so clicking on ‘Fabric’ won’t show you even half of the fabric which is actually listed. They do have a tidy selection of sustainable buttons.

Levana Fabrics (based in NZ)

They have a large selection of knit fabrics, including cotton, modal and merino knit fabrics.

Merino Collective (based in NZ)

A new-comer which is making merino fabric (which is made in Australia) available below wholesale quantities. They have merino fabrics and organic cotton available right now

McLean & Co (based in Oamaru)

Not strictly a fabric store, McLean & Co produce hand-loomed fabric from NZ Wool and you can purchase by the metre.

Miss Maude NZ (based in Greytown)

They have a gorgeous selection of really well curated selection of lovely fabrics, which skew to the pricier end of the scale, but are all great quality. They also have a great selection of notions (including bias binding, fancy elastics, etc).

Moreland Fabrics (based in Hamilton)

They have a large selection of well-priced cottons, corduroys and denims and offer a free sample service via post and free shipping for orders over $100.

New Zealand Fabrics & Yarn (based in NZ)

They have a small selection of garment-appropriate fabric, but are predominantly a crafting store (quilting, needlework, felting, etc).

New Zealand Merino & Fabrics (based in NZ)

They have a wide selection of merino fabrics (lots of blends with poly), as the name would suggest. They do also have a ‘fabrics other than merino’ section which seems to always have discounted remnants.

OTY Fabrics (based in NZ)

They have a small selection of of plain and striped cotton spandex knit fabric

The Sewing Store (based in NZ)

They have a small selection of garment fabric, mostly natural fibres.

Silks NZ (based in Christchurch)

They have a large selection of silk, silk blends, bridal fabrics and their Christchurch warehouse is open, by-appointment. They do send samples but I’ve found they can get pricey pretty quickly

Stitchbird Fabrics (based in NZ)

They have a limited selection of of garment fabrics (including Nani Iro) and have A Lot of quilt fabrics.

Studio of Sewing (based in Auckland)

They have a small but lovely selection of imported fabric from MeetMILK and Atelier Brunette. They also print PDF Patterns on to A0 and will post direct to your door.

Verdant Design (based in Wellington)

They have a selection of organic garment fabrics including organic cottons and organic cotton corduroys.

Zingara Organic Fabrics (based in NZ)

They have a selection of brightly coloured print and plain knit fabric. Their selection of solid colour fabrics include some bright, jewel tone colours which are hard to find elsewhere.

Have I missed any? I’d love to keep the list updated! Let me know in the comments!

All about Ramie

Native to China, ramie is a linen-like fibre made from nettles and which is classified as a cellulose fiber, just like cotton, linen and rayon.

Ramie fibers comes from the stem of a nettle plant called China grass (Boehmeria nivea). It looks similar to European nettle but it does not have prickles.

What does Ramie feel like?

Ramie fibre is lustrous, looks like silk and sometimes mistaken for linen. It’s extremely absorbent, much more so than cotton, and also breathes well (much like linen), making it especially comfortable for warm and humid summers.

Left is a blouse of 100% ramie from SUKii

It’s known especially for its ability to hold shape, reduce wrinkling, and introduce a silky lustre to the fabric’s appearance, Ramie is not as durable as other fibers and so is often blended with cotton or wool.

The blue top to the left is 100% Ramie from H.Lorenzo

Ramie fabric is easy care, increases in strength when wet, and does not shrink or lose its shape. It dries quickly and like linen becomes smoother and more lustrous with repeated washing.

Left is 100% ramie shirt EME from Modu Bat

Ramie has been grown in China for many centuries and it may have been used in cloth for wrapping mummies in Egypt. Read more about the history here.

Left is 100% ramie shirt from Dressart Paris

Naturally resistant to bacteria, mold, and mildew as well as light damage, rot and insect attack, Ramie is often touted as an eco fabric!

Left is 100% ramie shirt from BabaKud

Is Ramie a highly sustainable & eco-friendly fibre?

Ramie does not require pesticides or herbicides to grow and it can be harvested up to 6 times in a good year. It is very strong with some research suggesting that it is 8 times stronger than cotton.

It’s one of the oldest fiber crops, having been used for at least 6,000 years, but unlike other bast crops, ramie currently requires chemical processing to de-gum the fiber. That was surprising to find out, because it raises the question- how did they de-gum the fiber before harsh chemicals?

As with all fibres, you have to make a judgement call for yourself about what you’re most concerned about. The fibre is vegan (unlike silk or wool), it doesn’t require pesticides or herbicides (like cotton does), but it does use chemicals in the process (which your linen will too unless it is unbleached or processed in a closed-loop process), and if you’re buying ramie which is dyed (instead of unbleached and undyed fabric or bleached and dyed in a closed-loop process) then that could also be another environmental concern.

Where can you buy Ramie fabric?

Armed with that knowledge, if you’d like to give ramie a go, then here are a few places that currently have the fibre in stock

Mood Fabrics in the US stocks some, there’s quite a bit on Etsy, Minerva in the UK stocks this cotton/ramie blend, Metermeter in Europe has an amazing selection of colours, Textile Express in the UK has a selection, I bought mine from Backstreet Bargains in New Zealand, Drapers Fabric in NZ has this linen/ramie blend,
AS Fabrics from NZ has this cotton/ramie blend and the Fabric Store currently has this 90% cotton, 10% ramie pineapple print fabric

Do you have a great source for ramie, or other unusual natural fibres? I’d love to hear about it!