If you sew dance or skate costumes, you know how crucial reliable fabric stores are.
Most ballroom dance and figure skating dresses require lycra or a similar stretch fabric for the leotard. Then there are skirt fabrics, which could be either a stretch fabric or a woven fabric. Maybe you need chiffon for floats, or mesh for a neckline insert, or stretch velvet for an overdress.
The question is, where do you find all this stuff?
Over the three dress design challenges I hosted in 2020, I asked the participants where they like to shop for dance fabrics. Getting feedback from both design challenge participants and Sew Like a Pro™ members, I ended up with a list of 55 fabric stores from 11 countries!
Many of the dance fabric stores offer in-person and online shopping. Especially in this time of COVID-19, it’s nice to be able to order fabric from home.
Whatever your preferred method of fabric shopping is, check out this list. Then, after browsing through all these dance fabric stores, it’s okay to go crazy and buy heaps and heaps of fabric!
Click here for fabric stores in the South Pacific, Australia and New Zealand
Fabric Stores in the USA
Band Shoppe – Indiana and online
This is my personal favorite fabric store in the USA. As you may have guessed, this is actually an online shop geared for band and color guard costumes. When you go to the website, click on “fabrics” to be taken to a glorious array of stretch fabrics perfect for Dancesport costumes and skate dresses. Customer service is great. They offer unlimited, free 3″ square samples.
Spandex House – New York City, NY
Whether you are making a dance or skate costume, you will need spandex, also known as lycra. Spandex House claims to be “one of the largest spandex suppliers in the world.” The store sells economy spandex/lycra, lace, sequin fabrics, mesh, velvet, and other materials you might use to make your dance or skate costumes. Their online website is extensive and kept up to date.
Spandex World – New York City, NY
Also located in New York City, Spandex World has a wide selection of economy stretch fabrics. Their online website is extensive and kept up to date.
Mood Fabrics – New York City, NY
This fabric store specializes in designer fabrics, but has a large selection of stretch fabrics as well. Mood Fabrics also carries silk charmeuse, which is hard to find and is not as popular as other dance fabrics.
Fabrics World USA – New York City, NY
Fabrics World specializes in all sorts of stretch fabrics for dance and skate costumes, as well as decorative dance fabrics such as beaded lace and feathered fabrics.
Decorating Studio – Nolensville, Tennessee
Talk about an amazing selection of fringe – chainette fringe, beaded fringe, feather fringe! What, you don’t live in Tennessee? Decorating Studio ships everywhere. I suggest ordering their sample card with all the fringe colors, it’s $31.50. Otherwise, just order the fringe and start sewing. Decorating Studio also carries rhinestone appliqués, jeweled trim, beaded cording and other gorgeous items to use as focal points on Dancesport costumes or figure skating dresses.
Theatre House – Covington, Kentucky
This resource was recommended by two Sew Like A Pro™ members for having a great selection and unbeatable prices on chainette fringe. However, as the name suggests, they also have a collection of items needed for theater productions such as wigs, hats, and theater makeup that will stay in place for a lot of sweating under stage lights. Theatre House also has a pretty good selection of dance fabrics — all of which can be ordered via a well-stocked website.
Gail K Fabrics – Atlanta, GA
Gail K Fabrics focuses on bridal wear. This fabric shop specializes in trimmings, bridal wear, and evening wear, which includes chiffons and other woven fabrics perfect for ballgown skirts.
B&B Cloth – Evans, GA
B&B Cloth’s website leaves a lot to be desired because the website does not represent their in-store inventory. Therefore, it is recommended to go into the store to check out the fabrics. This fabric store may not carry lycra, but it’s a good stop if you are looking for chiffon, organza, velvet, lace, or satin. Perhaps they mail samples?
Fabrictopia – Dallas, San Antonio, & Houston, TX
With three locations, Fabrictopia carries everything from interior design fabrics to stretch fabrics for dance and skate costumes. It is a discount fabric store, so the prices are cheap but the inventory changes all the time. You might want to call ahead and see if they have the fabrics you are looking for, then request samples if they have a material that may work for your dress.
International Silks & Woolens – Los Angeles, CA
International Silks has been in business for decades. It’s a shame the website is so sad. Free fabric samples. All you have to do is call in with a request of what colors and materials you would like, they send good size samples with prices clearly visible.
They have a great selection of woven fabrics from silk to polyester – plus a whole lot more like lace and fringe! You might also find some organza, velvet, or other fabrics for your costume. Just ask them. 1 yard minimum required. International Silks also carry bra cup shells and bra padding suitable for dance and skate costumes.
Blue Moon Fabrics – Los Angeles CA
Several Sew Like A Pro™ member love Blue Moon Fabrics. “You do have to pay for swatch cards (e.g. $20 for samples of 128 colors of solid matte nylon spandex), but their product lines are very extensive and the fabrics are beautiful.” That is a lot of samples for only $20 U.S. Dollars so it is still a value.
They recently upgraded their website to make it easier to find the exact color you want in swim wear, dance wear and haute couture.
Britex Fabrics – San Francisco, CA
Britex has been business since 1952. It is packed with all kinds of fabrics for every type of sewing project. According to the website, “The two story, family-run store contains fabrics from up-and-coming designers and fashion icons, laces, ribbons, notions and buttons from around the world, plus a knowledgeable and multilingual staff of over 20 employees.” Sew Like a Pro member Monique says the fabrics are expensive, but upscale and high quality. They mail samples for a cost.
JoAnn Fabrics – Everywhere in the USA (or so it seems)
I’m pretty sure all of us in the United States have been inside a JoAnn Fabrics store at least once. Maybe 101 times? JoAnn Fabrics is a huge craft and fabric store, with a large online selection and a chain of retail stores located multiple places around the U.S.
Make Your Own Dance Costume – Online
As the name implies, this online store carries just about everything you need to make your own dance costume. Make Your Own Dance Costume also hosts costume design contests. The 2019 winner, Genevieve Brunelle, was one of the participants in my 2020 Skate Dress Design Masterclass!
Stylish Fabric – Online
Sew Like a Pro™ member Barb has received excellent customer service from Stylish Fabric. They even made a video for her when she asked how stretchy the mesh was. Although this online store is based in the United States, it ships internationally.
Fabric Wholesale Direct – Online
This online store has a huge collection of wholesale fabrics. Their website has a blog too, with lots of helpful sewing and fabric tips.
The Fabric Fairy – Online
Aryana, who has participated in several of my dress design challenges, likes to get her lycras and other stretch fabrics from The Fabric Fairy.
Glory’s House – Online
Don’t look for dance fabrics here. Appliqués and trimmings to decorate your dance and skate dresses are Glory’s House specialties.
Fabric Stores in Canada
Crystal Clover - Toronto, Ontario
Crystal Clover is a sister store to Chrisanne Clover in the UK. They have a similar inventory and high quality fabrics in comprehensive color collections to make ordering everything for your dress super easy.
Stretch Text Fabrics - Online
It's definitely worth browsing through the large inventory at Stretch Text Fabrics. The website says, "We are one of the largest distributors of stretch fabrics, supplying some of the most prominent manufacturers in the world, specializing in intimate apparel, swimwear, clubwear, aerobicwear, dancewear and skating costumes."
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Fabric Stores in the UK
Chrisanne Clover - near London
Chrisanne Clover is known for having very high-quality fabrics, as well as a lot of accessories that you can add to your dresses, such as feathers and fringe. They also sells rhinestones, so you can get everything in one stop. Despite being in the UK, many of my Sew Like a Pro™ members around the world order from Chrisanne. Sew Like a Pro™ member Olivia, who lives in Germany, just ordered fabric from Chrisanne to start her new ballroom dress.
DSI London - near London
Along with Chrisanne Clover, DSI London is known for very high-quality dance fabrics in vibrant color collections. Their sample book is fantastic too.
Southall - London
What's better than one fabric store? How about a whole bunch of them! Southall is not actually a fabric store, but a London district with lots of fabric stores clustered together.
Wholesale Fabrics/Empee Silk Fabrics - London
Wholesale Fabrics is an online fabric shop by Empee Silk Fabrics in London, which offers wholesale fabrics for competitive prices. You can either visit Empee Silk Fabrics in London or search the online shop.
Trim-It - Blackpool
Trim-It is sort of an alternative to Chrisanne Clover, with tons of variety in dance fabrics. It's another Sew Like a Pro™ member favorite.
Lee Mill Fabrics - Swansea
It might be a little hard to find stretch fabrics here, since Lee Mill Fabrics focuses more on upholstery, crafting, and home fabrics. However, there are a few stretch fabrics mixed in that work well for dance or skate costumes.
Fabric Land - multiple locations
This fabric store has an online shop, as well as stores in Bristol, London, Southampton, and a few other locations. Fabric land specializes in stretch fabrics, but also has a selection of non-stretch fabrics, patterns, sewing kits, and other sewing supplies. Nicola, a design challenge participant, says the colors and quality are pretty variable, so it's probably worth going to a local shop instead of ordering online so you can see and feel the fabrics.
Funki Fabrics - Online
If you want a lot of color, and maybe some wild patterns, check out Funki Fabrics. If you’ve got a pattern in mind, this fabric store probably has it. You can even get velvet printed with a dragon scale pattern!
Online Fabrics - Online
Are you a new dressmaker who needs economy fabric while you gain confidence to work with more expensive materials? Sew Like a Pro™ member Tamara in the UK uses Online Fabrics to buy less expensive fabric for practicing her sewing. Then she buys higher-quality fabrics with a higher price tag from DSI London or Chrisanne when she is ready to make her final dress.
Tissu Fabrics - Online
This is another online dance fabric shop to add to your list. The selection of stretch fabrics is large and the trims are worth checking out too.
Minerva Crafts - Online
Minerva Crafts has a lot more than crafts! The large online store carries plenty of dance fabrics, including charmeuse, as well as zippers, elastic, and other materials you may need for your dress. Design challenge participant Polly likes the unique prints and says the fabric is high quality but affordable.
Tia Knight Fabrics - Online
"Tia Knight Fabrics is a UK based online retailer of premium quality, fashionable fabrics. We stock a vast collection of material at competitive prices that you won’t find easily on the high-street. Our aim to provide our customers with fabric of the highest quality that meets their specific needs, at the best possible price."
Showtime Fabrics - Online
The list of online fabric stores just keeps running on! Showtime Fabrics has a very similar inventory to the other online fabric stores in the UK.
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Fabric Stores in the Netherlands
Even though this fabric store is in the Netherlands, several Sew Like a Pro™ members from surrounding countries order from Rosa's, and love the fabric quality. The store carries lots of stretch fabrics, but not many decorations such as lace or rhinestones.
The Fabric Baron - Online
With a variety of non-stretch and stretch fabrics, the Fabric Baron may not have as large a selection of stretch fabrics as some other online stores, but there are still plenty of options to get started.
Fabric Stores in Belgium
Etissus - Mouscron
This is another fabric shop you can go into the store to browse or purchase online. When shopping Etissus online, don't just look at the fabrics under the dance section. I suggest you also look under the performance/show section because that is where a lot of the dance fabrics can be found.
Fabric Stores in Germany
Stoffekontor - Leipzig
Stoffekonter has a lot of general fabrics for making regular clothes as well as a nice selection of stretch fabrics like lycra and mesh suitable for sewing dancewear or ice skating dress. According to one of my dress design challenge participants, this fabric store offers great customer support.
Stoffe-Lott - Heidelberg
Carolin, who has participated in several of my dress design challenges, says this is her favorite local fabric shop. However, she orders most of her stretch fabrics from the German online shops listed below.
Stoff4You - Online
Well, I can't read a thing on this website because it's all in German. But this online fabric shop seems to have a lot of variety and all sorts of fabrics.
Edda Hsu - Online
Sew Like a Pro™ member Olivia compares this fabric store to DSI-London. Edda Hsu offers large samples, nice colors, and high-quality dance fabrics.
Tanzsportbedarf Giffels - Online
Sew Like a Pro™ member Karin lives in Switzerland, but she orders from Giffels in Germany. They ship quickly and have high-quality fabrics. Carolin, who participated in several of my design challenges, also uses Giffels and loves their fabrics and sample cards.
Fabric Stores in Austria
Ernessa Boutique - Lustenau
Susanne, one of our Sew Like A Pro™ members in Switzerland, loves the Ernessa Boutique in Austria. She says, "It is a beautiful shop with top quality." The website is available in several languages. They offer fabrics, rhinestones, laces and other lovely dressmaker items perfect for ballroom dance costumes and figure skating dress.
Fabric Stores in France
Tissus Lionel - Paris
If you ever stroll down the streets of Paris and get the urge to buy fabric, this looks like a fun place to visit. Lucky for those of us who do not live near Paris, the fabric store has a much larger inventory online.
Fabric Stores in Spain
RYCfabrics.com (online) / Ribes y Casals shop (in-person) - online or five locations in Spain
RYC Fabrics can be ordered online or can be see in-person at any Ribes y Casals shop located in Barcelona, Madrid, Seville, Palma de Mallorca and Malaga. Stretch fabrics include lycra, stretch velvet, stretch tulle, stretch lace and other materials suitable for ballroom dance, skating and, of course, Flamenco dance.
"If you need to know a fabric and its features for your project, you can request small samples. Just send us an e-mail with your delivery address to firstname.lastname@example.org indicating in which fabrics your are interested in."
Fabric Stores in Italy
Corrado Tessuti - Seveso
Located in part of an old silk factory, Corrado Tessuti specializes in silk fabrics. There is not a large inventory online, but there might be more dance fabric options in the local shop.
Nuova Erre-Bi Di Bazzani Rossella - Novellara
Well, the business name is long, but luckily, their rhinestone inventory is even longer! In addition to a wide selection of rhinestones and large crystals, they also sell a variety of dance and skate costume fabrics.
Stiltex Group - Calatabiano
Stiltex Group is a great stop for your typical dance fabrics, such as lycra and chiffon. However, it also has all the fabrics you may want to create more texture, like crushed velvet, sequin fabrics, stretch lace, or feather boas. The store is located in Sicily, but it looks worth a visit if you are traveling around the Mediterranean.
Giesse Scampoli - multiple locations
This fabric store has a large selection of stretch fabrics as well as non-stretch fabrics, dress patterns, crafting accessories, and even sewing machines.
Althea Strass - Online
Althea Strass is a notion and accessory store offering beautiful appliqués and rhinestones for dance and skate costumes.
Carvico Fabrics - Online
Go for dance fabrics 100% made in Italy. Carvico Fabrics is known for its high-quality warp knit and circular knit fabrics. The website also has a neat “Find a Fabric” tool, where you can select features you want to help you find the fabrics for your next dress.
Fabric Stores in the South Pacific
Shine Trimmings and Fabrics - Melbourne, Australia
Sew Like a Pro™ member Anne, from Melbourne, likes to shop at Shine Trimmings and Fabrics. While the store does not carry the woven fabrics needed for ballgown skirts, there are plenty of stretch fabric options for leotards, Latin dance dresses and figure skating dresses plus good customer service.
Glitter and Dance - Queensland, Australia
This store comes highly recommended from an SLP™ member in N.Z. The store carries "unique and exclusive dance fabrics" such as stretch fabrics, fringe, rhinestones, organza and other common supplies for making dance and skate costumes (as well as tulle for making ballet costumes.)
Dance Fabrics Direct - Blenheim, New Zealand
Matte lycra, stretch lace, stretch velvet and many other beautiful stretch fabrics perfect for making Dancesport, Line dance and ice skating dresses. In addition to stretch fabrics, Dance Fabrics Direct also carries chiffon and other skirt fabrics plus fringe, elastic and other notions. Thanks to one of my Sew Like A Pro™ members for recommending this store.
Download a free PDF of all 55 fabric stores!
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This list of fabric stores is far from being comprehensive, but it is solely based on recommendations. Some of the stores are simply great places to buy cheap fabric to practice your sewing, while others offer high quality stretch fabrics for your next dance or skate dress.
If you have a recommendation that didn't make the list, drop the link in the comments! Feel free to share your favorite fabric stores with the rest of us 🙂