Monday, February 9, 2015

Fabric Dismay





Let's start with the happy news first. You know how some collections really appeal to you while others don't?  I fell in love with this one at first glimpse on Cloud 9's website many months ago.

After a very long wait, both due to a delayed release and an unusually long shipping time to my home address (the parcel taking nearly two weeks travel some 600km after reaching Australia), this selection of Cloud 9's newest collection 'Biology' by Sarah Watson arrived today! I am very excited - they play together wonderfully, matching perfectly to Cloud 9's Cirrus solids. Looking forward to creating with these, but for now I am just relieved they are finally here! Being Cloud 9 they are all GOTS certified organic too.




Living in Australia, I am so grateful that I can purchase fabrics from pretty much anywhere in the world, right from the comfort of my home. However the long wait and shipping costs are some of the drawbacks of buying online, plus there's a great freedom in being able to see and feel fabrics before buying - and being able to buy the amount you need just when you need it.

I have happily made a quilt and also a skirt from Cloud 9's Wildwood collection with was released in October. More than once I have written about the beautiful fine, lightweight quality of Cloud 9's quilting weight fabrics.

So you can imagine my excitement when a fellow Australian blogger let me know recently about discovering Wildwood fabrics at her local Spotlight store. Spotlight is a privately owned, Australian, family business which now has stores through out Australia, New Zealand and in some Asian countries. In less than an hour I headed out to my local Spotlight store (which only opened less than four months ago) just in case the magic of Cloud 9 fabrics had arrived in my home town.

In the dress fabric section, I found about six unopened 10 metre/yard rolls of Wildwood prints, not 15 yard bolts in the quilting section (this had me a little perplexed). I could hardly contain my excitement! However my delight soon turned to disbelief and then dismay. Not only were these fabrics on rolls but the fabric itself was different!!!! I double checked - yes, same prints, same colours, same selvedges bearing Cloud 9's usual markings but the fabric WAS NOT the same. It was courser, rougher to the hand, thicker, heavier. Yes, still pleasant and good for quilting but I wouldn't want to wear clothes made from it (I need soft fabrics).

With a 20cm/8inch strip in hand I headed home to investigate further. I pulled out my US purchased Wildwood fabric and I was not imaging things. There was a definite difference which is more easily felt than seen. However if you look closely you can also discern a visual difference as the courser Spotlight fabric doesn't have as crisp an outline on the printing as the finer US cloth.






I quickly contacted Cloud 9 to try and find why the difference and to make sure the Spotlight fabric was actually true organic fabric. As it turns out Spotlight special orders fabrics from Cloud 9. Sometimes they sell exactly the same as in the US, sometimes the colours are different and exclusive to Spotlight and other times particular prints only are sold, applied to different base cloths. Jamie from Cloud 9 was also able to reassure me that Spotlight's Cloud 9 fabrics are also GOTS certified and printed with low impact dyes, as are all Cloud 9 fabrics, which is good news.

It's reassuring to know I can buy some organic fabrics locally, and I am very grateful for this. However it's also a lesson in being aware that not only can photo editing, lighting and computer displays change the appearance of a fabric but that the actual fabric may itself even be different to that which you have read about.

Have you had any similar experiences? Please do tell!

Now, back to having a good look and feel of those lovely soft, fine Biology fabrics which arrived this afternoon.....



16 comments:

Erin said...

How disappointing but yet fascinating too. I can see the difference!

SarahZ said...

I am so happy for you having a selection of your beloved Cloud 9 in your hometown!!!That's big! I could see the difference best in your side by side photo...the weave is noticeably different, but I don't know if I would have found it without your camera to show me :)

Linda R said...

WOW! What a difference. I don't know if I would have caught the difference.

Its beautiful material.

Hugs~

the momma said...

Ugh. Just one more thing we have to be vigilant about : /
I'm glad you are pleased with some of your fabrics!! I love that one on the left, especially

LynCC said...

Wow - I never would have thought that happens. You can completely see the difference!

Fun60 said...

Well done to you for spotting the difference and making enquiries with the parent company.

Cathy said...

I've never purchased fabric online before. Thankfully, I have a local source for fine fabrics. I loved the cloud 9 fabrics you chose...and after going onto their website, I think you would have had a hard time finding one that was not lovely!

geanina said...

materials are very beautiful!:)

Patchwork and Play said...

I have found a couple of insistences with Spotlight fabric, both involving Denyse Schmidt fabric. One of her recent ranges was released by them as a quilting fabric and it was obviously a gauze type fabric, useless for quilts. Then I found on of her delightful prints woven into a rayon fabric!!! I am very wary of buying Spotlight fabric at all! At least you had the reassurance of Cloud 9. Spotlight have no customer service and seldom bother to answer emails.

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Very, very interesting Suz (Patchwork and Play). Makes me all the more grateful we can purchase the 'original' fabrics from the US and indeed will make me wary. Cloud 9 were very good in answering my questions.

Rachaeldaisy said...

Thanks for bringing this to our attention. How disappointing that the quality isn't as good. At least the fabric is Gots certified as you expect from the Cloud 9 brand.

Karen @ Pieces of Contentment said...

Hi Rachel, the quality is still good, it’s just different which lends itself to different uses.

Julie - http://justjulielou.blogspot.com.au from NZ, let me know about finding Wildwood in her NZ Spotlight store too. She bought some to use as a quilt back. It really is similar or the same as many quilting fabrics which we happily use, just not the finer, lighter weave of most Cloud 9’s quilting fabrics. I wonder which will be most durable.

Elise Lea said...

Weird. I wonder if they order it that way because it is cheaper perhaps? You can really see the difference in the weave...that really is too bad.

Juliana said...

Дуже сподобався перший знімок!

xoxo, Juliana | PJ’ Happies :)

Joy said...

Seens I am not quilting,,I understand a little about fabrics, but I understand your exitement and dissappointment. But still, you can choose what to buy:)

Joy said...

It should be since I am not quilting:)

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