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Great places to buy activewear fabric

Great places to buy activewear fabric

When embarking on an activewear sew, of course, you’re thinking about the fabric you’d like your fabulous new leggings or shorts to be in! Do you need a basic black option? A bright block colour or a colourful print perhaps? Once you’ve got that covered, the next question is often where we get stumped…”where do I get said fabulous activewear fabric from?!” Comfortable and durable performance fabrics are not stocked everywhere…so we wanted to put a blog post together to provide you all with amazing options to get the perfect fabric you’re looking for!

We wanted to say a huge thank you to all of our friends who follow the blog for suggesting incredible stores below! Be sure to keep checking back on the comments as I’m certain there will be even more over time!

Virginia Curve View B

A few important things to keep in mind

There are a few key factors you’ll want to keep in mind when choosing your Virginia leggings fabric. It’s so important to make sure it’s comfortable and that it withstands all the running, stretching, jumping and sweating you’ll be doing!

Stretch percentage

The most important thing is it must have AT LEAST 40% stretch. The pattern has negative ease so it’s important to choose fabrics with the appropriate amount of stretch to get the right fit. Take a look at our post on stretch percentage for some handy hints.  If you can’t make your way in person to the fabric store, see if you can order a swatch first just to make sure it has the right stretch percentage.

Depending on what you’ll be using your leggings for, you might also like to check the fabric has some moisture-wicking properties to allow the fabric to breathe and wick the sweat away.

Opacity

Getting a sample of your fabric from the supplier is also a great idea to make sure it’s not see-through! Good quality, opaque fabric will mean you’ll be able to stretch and bend to your heart’s content without it being stretched too thin.

Fabric type

Synthetic

Synthetic fabrics tend to be the most durable & colour fast options on the market and they usually have the best recovery. When searching for fabrics, focus on the below keywords and you’ll find some great options!

  • Lycra
  • Supplex Lycra
  • Spandex
  • Compression-Spandex
  • Moisture wicking Spandex
Natural Fibres

If you are looking for a natural fibre, there are more and more options showing up on the market all the time! Bamboo is a wonderful choice. Often blended with spandex for stretch, bamboo is durable, moisture wicking and super soft on the skin.

Merino wool is another choice that is good for performance use. Traditionally used for winter activities (trekking, skiing etc) it’s becoming more popular in general activewear garments due to its anti-bacterial properties, breathability and moisture wicking capabilities.

Virginia View A

Suppliers

Australia

New Zealand

USA

Canada

UK

Europe

If you know of any other amazing suppliers of activewear fabrics be sure to let us know in the comments below!!

Don’t have the pattern yet?!

Virginia & Virginia Curve

Order Virginia today in sizes 0-20 and Curve sizes 14-34

About Author

Anita is the Operations Manager here at Megan Nielsen Patterns, and happily works on multiple areas of the business in any one day! Anita is the first port of call for any of your customer service enquiries, manages daily operations and oversees all pattern production, graphic design, website maintenance, inventory management & drinking all the coffee/eating all the cookies in the cupboard.

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PsychicSewerKathleen
PsychicSewerKathleen
3 years ago

There are a number of sellers in Canada that do sell activewear fabrics – Closet Case Files (Heather Lou is in Montreal, Canada) has just posted a list of great fabric shops https://closetcasepatterns.com/blog/ including Canada & the US. It’s the best list I’ve seen yet :)

Shelley Withers
Shelley Withers
3 years ago

Please always state if a supplier is Canadian or US. As a Canadian, I have been charged taxes and duties for purchases from US companies for as much as 1/2 the value of my purchase. Plus the Canadian dollar is only worth .75 US. I no longer purchase from US suppliers. Not the supplier’s fault. Also, we have some great Canadian suppliers.
Thanks

Josie
Josie
3 years ago

In the US: Phee Fabrics, So Sew English, Joanns all carry a large amount of athletic fabric options.

If only there were more options in the UK where I’m bases, everything is mainly just swim fabric here unfortunately.

Lisa
3 years ago

You can find Polartec brand fabric (amazing technical fabric in fleece and more) at Mill Yardage, an online fabric shop in the US. I like Power Stretch for cold weather. Discovery Trekking Outfitters in Canada also sells their excess technical fabric online, although you have to dig around on their site a little.

Mona
Mona
2 years ago

There is a German online shop called Extremtextil (website has an English version, too) with quite a decent choice of athletic knits. Their main focus is outdoor fabrics, including stuff for tent making, backpacks, etc, but I’ve bought lovely fine jerseys from them, with merino wool, too. Their customer service is very friendly, and I’m sure they deliver to other countries, too.

Kerstin
1 year ago

In the UK :
https://flamingofabrics.co.uk
They have a lot cool Print Waterproof Fabrics ,made from Cotton and Lycra
https://www.fabric-styles.co.uk/
Mostly Scuba ,work well for me for Yoga and Gymnastic Wear

Meg
Admin
Meg
1 year ago
Reply to  Kerstin

These are great suggestions thank you!

Kelsey Kellems
Kelsey Kellems
1 year ago

Blue Moon Fabrics in Los Angelos, CA has some of the best Nylon Spandex I have ever worked with.

Meg
Admin
Meg
1 year ago
Reply to  Kelsey Kellems

Thank you so much for this suggestion Kelsey! xo

Lisa Jarrett
Lisa Jarrett
7 months ago

Sew active fabrics in Australia closed last year (2021).

Meg
Admin
Meg
7 months ago
Reply to  Lisa Jarrett

Thank you Lisa! We will update!

Marie
Marie
7 months ago

Nice article ! Always good to know where to source the good fabric. For Europe, there has been another French pattern maker that has released a list of (mainly French) websites to source adequate lycra fabric : https://www.ivanne-s.fr/moove-femme-guide-matiere-que-choisir-ou-acheter/