Tuesday, January 17, 2012

My Almost Lost Cause

In an effort to offer some variety in my Etsy shop I decided to start making some toys with materials other than felt.  My first priority was to locate some fabric that was proudly made in the USA.  So off to the store I went; not a big chain store, but a local Amish fabric shop in Intercourse, PA.  Surely they would have lots of American made material just sitting there waiting for me to buy.  I left with only a small bag of needles and pins.  “How dare they not sell a single bolt of fabric that was domestically woven!” - were my naïve thoughts.  So I went home and with Google at my command I was determined to point and click my little patriotic finger. 
A few hours went by….and I had little to show for it.  I contacted some fabric companies, fabric stores and even spoke to a local fabric store owner.  They all basically had the same answer – No.  Fabric just really isn’t made here anymore. 
Technically there are a handful of places to purchase American made fabric online, but usually by the bolt and who wants to buy fabric without enjoying its beauty in person first?  It seems there is a lot of blame to go around for the lack of domestic textiles.  How sad! 
So going forward, I’ve decided to do the next best thing when purchasing supplies.  If I can’t support our country’s economy by purchasing the “Made in USA” label, then I’ll just have to support my local economy by avoiding the larger than life Arts & Crafts stores. I will now opt for the local Mom & Pops when looking for fabric.  I’m blessed to have a couple of fabric shops close by and one is even within walking distance.  I may not get the same bargains, but I’ll be sparing myself the 40-50 mile round trip drive that is required for the big stores.  I’ll spend less on gas and theoretically have lots of spare time.

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