My Experiences with Fabric.com Over the Years

Today’s blog post is a little different than what I usually post up. If you’re not someone who purchases fabric or does not care to read a review with negative aspects, then please carry on with your day and something more positive. I have a bad habit of allowing things to slide, and I’ve decided that it’s time for me to start documenting experiences I’m not happy with. In my interest of being fair and charitable to others, I often leave myself in an undesirable position with no recourse for what happened.

Most sewists online are probably familiar with Fabric.com, a large online seller who exists as only a warehouse and sells fabrics for a fantastically low price and a low free shipping threshold. According to their FaceBook page they’re owned by Amazon, which I find surprising since all of my experiences with Amazon and their customer service are quite different than my dealings with Fabric.com.

I have been making purchases with Fabric.com for many years; I believe my first was when we lived in Alabama, which would place it in the 5-7 years ago range. I was very excited to get my order, which included a large cut of some quilting cotton I intended to use as a quilt backing for a project I was planning. Opening the box, I was a bit disappointed: the fabric was all shoved into a box that was rather dirty, and I could see dust/dirt scuffs everywhere in it. Many of the pieces had weird folds in them from how roughly they had been crammed into the box. I wrote it off as the price I paid for such a good deal on the fabric and free shipping cost. It would all wash out, right? There were other fabrics in there as well, but I remember that the large piece, upon opening it, had highlighter marks on it and splotches of dirt. I told myself it would be my only order from that company and stuck to that resolve for several years following.

But over time I found myself looking at the website and being tempted to place another order, and my next two were MEH but nothing was horrifyingly wrong like with my first. They were packaged in a minimalist way, but at least they were clean and what I had ordered. Nothing special, but nothing terrible either.

And then came my most recent order. I decided it was time to purchase a lot of clothing fabrics and Fabric.com had the best selection of ones I had been eyeing online and for the best prices, including Lizzy House’s Hit Parade line of knit fabrics. This fabric is the one that I ended up having a large issue with on my final order with Fabric.com. On the site, the fabric was listed as the “Hit Parade Knits Cat Heads” print. (Emphasis mine.) 100% cotton (which isn’t unusual for jersey knit fabrics. Not all are stretch blends.) All fabrics are listed as, “good for quilting, garments, and more,” so it’s difficult to tell right away that anything is amiss with a listing. I was delighted and purchased 3 yards to make myself a comfy dress out of the fabric.

When the package arrived, I was pleasantly surprised to see that Fabric.com had upped their packaging standards. This package was the first one where the box was pristine and new, as well as all fabrics were individually packed in plastic bags, sealed shut, and nicely stacked in the box. I was impressed by how different this package was than previous ones. Piece after piece, I was double checking amounts and super happy with what I had received…and then it happened. I got to the cat fabric and paused, noting that I had received a woven quilting cotton from 2013’s Catnap line. It’s the same design (the Hit Parade is Ms. House’s most popular prints in knit fabrics for clothing), but the wrong fabric base.

Cue the Charlie Brown, “Auuuuuugh.”

While I was miffed, I decided to give Fabric.com a chance to fix the problem and set about contacting customer service via email right away. I explained the problem, including my annoyance that this fabric had been mislabeled, but I understood that mistakes happen, and I wanted this corrected right away. I received a confirmation stating that I would receive a reply email within 24 hours of having sent mine.

So I waited.

And I waited.

And I waited.

On the start of the third day, I received a terse and chirpy email back from a representative, stating that I was mistaken and that fabric was clearly quilting cotton. I could feel free to return the fabric if I wanted to, and they would process the label for me if I chose to go that route. I was happy to be able to return the fabric no questions asked, but I was very annoyed that the misrepresentation of the fabric was being brushed off and treated as an issue with my reading comprehension.

I may have had a Liz Lemon moment, and in it, I may have replied that I definitely wanted to return the fabric and more aggressively explained that the fabric was clearly mislabeled, and I found that dishonest. I realize that the representative most likely isn’t a crafter or someone who knows anything about actual fabrics and likely didn’t realize that “knit” is a type of fabric…but I take issue with being told that I do not know the difference between quilting cotton and jersey knit. I may have ended my email with a flouncy, “And this is the last time you will screw up one of my orders, because I will not be doing business with your company ever again.” I then waited for my label, hoping that being a bit pissy (though still polite) about things didn’t cause the representative to neglect processing my request. I have that effect on people; it’s my charm.

It came. I returned the fabric the same day. A few days later my money was refunded. And now I shall never do business with Fabric.com again. I will pay a higher price and get a higher level of customer service for it.

During my 3 day waiting period I did a lot of research online about Fabric.com’s customer service and found an overwhelming number of negative reports of poor customer service and items that were misrepresented on site as something different than what was received. Sadly, my experiences are not unique, nor do they appear to be flukes that happen every so often. When Fabric.com is good, it’s good. But when it goes wrong, you can be left with stained fabric, something completely different than what you thought you ordered, or left hanging waiting for customer service to contact you back. I appear to be lucky in the fact that they actually responded to me and did process my return, complete with refund.

There are many amazing online fabric stores out there; support one of them instead.

Episode 140: Busy, Busy, Busy.

Episode 140: Busy, Busy, Busy.

Happy Wednesday! Thank you for choosing to join me today and sharing some of your time with me. Today’s podcast is the final one of 2015, and it’s a bit content-lite but full of lovely things! First I have a reminder for the first craft-a-long of 2016 in the Ravelry group, then I announce the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Giveaway winner (if you entered, please be sure to watch and PM me on Ravelry with your information!), I show you another handspun/handknit Xmas gift, and I finish off talking a bit about things I would like to Xmas in response to an AMA thread question. Thank you for asking, Diane! If you have not done so already, please consider joining the Knot a Podcast Ravelry group, and show notes can be found on the blog at SewKnitpicky.net. See you in 2015, kitten!

November 2015: Wrap-Up

Yardage Totals 2015:
January: 968yds
February: 159yds
March: 449yds
April: 1,039 yds
May: 350yds
June: 189yds
July: 174yds
August: 784yds
September: 1,016yds
October: 985yds
November: 1,079yds
December:
2015 Totals: 6,653yds or 3.78 miles

 

So, I’m embarrassed. It did not occur to me until this weekend that I could not remember having written November’s yardage tally post. This isn’t unusual for me: I have a terrible memory. I can recall a ridiculous amount of trivia, long-term stored memories, and conversations I’ve read or heard… but have me remember whether or not I’ve performed a task in the last few hours or days, and I’m about as good as worthless for it.  I come by it honestly; it runs in the family. Possibly worse is the fact that after I realized I may not have written this post, I proceeded to immediately forget until this morning. So November’s yardage tally is happening in the middle of December.

That confession out of the way, let’s discuss my knitting instead. All of November’s yardage came from knitting glorious handspun for “Handspun/Handknit Giftmas.” I didn’t do too poorly, if I may say so! I’m rather pleased that I managed to keep my yardage up despite being so busy and having a lot to get done. I’m hoping for a strong finish to the year. It’s hard to feel much like knitting when the weather is so unseasonably warm, and there’s still so much else to do! I’m hoping to get some knitting done while on vacation. I’m currently planning out what is realistic to take back with me. My life would be so much easier if I could knit in the car, but, alas! I get severe motion sickness.

 

039 043
008 009
019 002
019 012

Show Notes: Episode 139

♥ Please come join us in the Ravelry group!
♥ The podcast is now on YouTube, if you prefer to watch there. Please remember to give my videos a thumbs up and do the same for other podcasts you enjoy!
♥ If you like speckle-y sock yarn, you might want to check out my Etsy shop:lambytoesshop.etsy.com.

Show Notes: “Decked in Squirrel”

♥ Please enter the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery giveaway in the Ravelry group if you haven’t done so already. For this one I am not requiring you to be a member of the podcast group.
♥ The first craft-a-long of 2016 will be starting soon! Watch the Ravelry group for the thread to open. Are you ready to craft brand new, large projects?

FOs:
♥ Frog Prince Socks made with FLUFF SW Merino handspun by me.

Stitcher’s Corner:
Once Upon A Time Sampler by Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery

Stash Enhancement:
♥ A couple lovely SQs from Eat.Sleep.Knit
♥ Fiber from Hello Yarn

Episode 139: Decked in Squirrel

Episode 139: Decked in Squirrel

Thank you for joining me today, kitten! Today is another quick recording where I talk about a finished object, what’s left for handspun/handknit Xmas, a little stitching, some stashing, and I have some reminders about the FPS giveway and the craft-a-long I would like to start at the beginning of the year. Full show notes can be found at sewknitpicky.net, and please consider joining the Knot A Podcast Ravelry group. Have a lovely day!

Show Notes: Episode 138

♥ Please come join us in the Ravelry group!
♥ The podcast is now on YouTube, if you prefer to watch there. Please remember to give my videos a thumbs up and do the same for other podcasts you enjoy!
♥ If you like speckle-y sock yarn, you might want to check out my Etsy shop:lambytoesshop.etsy.com.

Show Notes: “Warm December”

WiPs:
♥ Handspun Handknit Giftmas socks are still ongoing!

Stash Enhancement:
Tangerine Designs 2015 ornament — it appears I misspoke about this item: earlier I had seen the previous years’ ornaments up in the shop, but they do not appear to be there now.
Fat Squirrel Bag
♥ My first order from Eat.Sleep.Knit‘s Black Friday sale came in: so much lovely baby alpaca!
♥ Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery Needle Minders

GIVEAWAY!
♥ Please go to the thread in the Ravelry group and answer the prompt for a chance to win a needle minder and the new 2016 sampler from the Frosted Pumpkin Stitchery!

Ask Me Anything:
♥ Anita wanted to know about some of my crafting goals. Thank you for your questions, Anita!