Foam & Fabrics Closes... Sew What's a Local Sewer to do?

17 December 2014

Foam & Fabrics Closes... Sew What's a Local Sewer to do?

Foam & Fabrics on Biltmore Ave, In Asheville, NC, may not have been filled with the most amazing fabrics you have ever seen liken to that of Mood in NYC, but what they did have was great customer service, and a commitment to local sewers.

I had noticed they had stopped restocking a few sewing notions,

that I would pick up regularly for projects and alterations; come to find out it was because they were closing their doors after a four decades of solid business selling foam and fabrics to local makers. I understand Asheville's progress, the gentrification of the Southern Slope, and the importance of beer to the local economy.  This change is one I feel will create  a void for local, sewers, artists and designers, that cannot be replaced by another hotel or brewery.  And it hasn't even hit me yet, they close in January. Yes, I can hop on I-40 to visit Hancock Fabrics , or exit 7 off 240 for my Jo-Ann Fabrics (the Wal-mart of Crafts experience), but I doubt anyone will revive what will be put to rest in January.

It's the cool old trims I make headbands from ,

the snaps by the set for my wokkits, or the faux fur and fleece by the pound for hats and hoods that I will have to look somewhere else far and wide to find.
The Citizen Times covers in depth the stats of the business, it's story, but I am feeling a bit  more sentimental and selfish in my approach. How sweet it was to meet a client there to casual sort through upholstery fabrics for commissioned projects. Now, phone pictures and fabric samples will have to do, as I will find myself driving further distances to find the right fabric. Downtown still has the House of Fabrics, another staple for local sewers, whose selection is in finer fabrics and wedding dress trims, sewing machines. I will continue to drive my local business there first. But they do not carry foam, and drapery, trims and vintage notions.
The local quick stop for all basic sewing projects is about to disappear!

Sew what is a local sewer to do?

The reality is that the cost of buying fabric by the yard at retail prices is not conducive to making money selling handmade clothes. Although I employ upcycled materials, I do prefer to combine them with contemporary knits. This drives me to bulk purchases and online stores. I do order many of my sewing notions in bulk through Wawak, but sometimes I just need something for an alteration yesterday!
The reason I always looked there first? It was their dedication to helping me build my business, that earned them my customer loyalty. They always gave me a 10% discount as a local sewing business! Sew time and time again, I returned to see what they had in their stock. Sometimes some colorful scrap leather, other times spools of thread in vintage color schemes. It was an unpredictable shopping experience, and that was sew enjoyable, and refreshing. You never knew how what you found would influence your creations. Thank you Foam and Fabric you made me the sewer I am today! You will be missed by this Renegade Seamstress!

Leave a comment