I'm leaving this here for the time being - but the most up to date version of this list can be found on my new blog at Very Berry Handmade. Please come round and say hello.
A couple of friends, who know about my fabric addiction, have recently asked me to send links to good online sellers. It made me realise that when you're starting out with sewing, it's difficult to know what the best fabric places are - and of course there seems to be new places opening up all the time. I've also seen lots of interesting sounding shops advertised recently in Sew Hip and Selvedge magazines that I'd love to investigate in the future (hope my other half isn't reading this...), so I'd make a big list of UK based fabric sellers who have a good selection of cottons for patchwork, dressmaking and accessory-making. Feel free to get in touch and recommend others if you know of them - and if you've used any of the shops listed here and have feedback, then I'd love to hear from you - then I can update the list with your experiences. Btw, the fabric images are for decoration only, and not an indication that they're available in the shops listed...
I've tried to limit this list to those shops with really good user interface, really good stock and/or unusual fabrics. Some sites haven't made it because I'm not particularly into their fabrics or the website is just too dreadful to use. Sites in bold are those that I've actually bought from myself.
Masses of 100% cotton to choose from - but mostly fairly traditional choices. Huge variety of other craft and dressmaking fabrics available too.
African Fabric Shop
A fabulous shop with a lovely range of fabrics that could never be described a run of the mill. Gorgeous beads and some really good kits too.
Not an enormous selection of fabric, but very well chosen (Kaffe Fassett, Valori Wells, Amy Butler etc.). There is a really excellent selection of patterns including Oliver + S and Colette.
Celtic Fusion Fabrics
Another very well chosen range with some designers & manufacturers that you don't see everywhere else, such as Saffron Craig, Naomi Ito (Nano Iro fabrics) & Westfalenstoffe. The pictures on the website are lovely, but I find the white on blue text a little difficult to read.
The Cloth Seller
The Cloth Seller specialises in organic and fair trade fabrics. This is a revelation if you're used to the standard organic and fair trade fabrics that are out there... They have cottons, jerseys, lawn and velvet & furnishing fabrics in stock, and manufacturers/designers include Westfalenstoffe, Daisy Janie (they are the UK distributor for Daisy Jainie) and Mod Green Pod.
Kimono, Genshodo and indigo fabrics.
I really like Cotton Patch - because of their enormous range of fabric, notions, patchwork and quilting gadgets, books, patterns, fabric bundles & threads they are an essential destination for quilters in the UK. You could spend hours (and a fortune!) on this website. If you think you are going to be a regular, it is well worth joining one of their clubs which entitles you to discounts. There are some downsides - if you order a 1/4 metre you seem to get a skinny quarter rather than a fat quarter, the site is a bit catalogue-ish (lots of long lists), and delivery can be slow unless you pay for the expensive Express option.
Lots of fun fabrics from people who are clearly very enthusiastic about their work. Really excellent prices too.
A lovely range of dressmaking fabrics (and some cottons that would be great for patchwork and other sewing) at good prices. You can order online but payment is taken over the phone.
A new site to me, but has a wonderful selection of fabric at some GREAT prices. A really big range of Kaffe Fassett (always a draw for me) & other Rowan designers, and some very tempting batiks too. They also have lots of other fabrics, yarns, threads and craft materials. The website is also very easy to navigate, and they have a pricematch feature. I shall definitely be testing them out very soon.
Emma Garry Designs
Amy Butler, Heather Bailey and more. Not masses to choose from, but some good stuff here. There are also patterns, kits, and some beautiful handmade items.
The Eternal Maker
There are huge quantities of lovely fabrics here (lots & lots of gorgeous Kokka stuff for example), but it's quite to find them because the menus are quite hard to locate. 11/10 for stock, but it would be so fantastic if it was just a little bit easier to navigate the site.
A really excellent range of fabric - specialising in Alexander Henry amongst others. You can browse by designer, manufacturer and theme, which makes finding what you want very easy. The fabrics from the various designers are very well chosen. A real bonus is a big range of interior fabrics by Etsuko Furuya for Kokka.
Fabric*Garden (on Ebay)
Nice selection, including some lovely Japanese fabrics such as Sunny Place and Kokka. Seller has a 100% feedback rating.
I love the range of fabrics here, but I have to say I find the menu options on the website very limiting (thematic search only, very useful in itself, but what if you are after a particular designer or colour?), so I find it rather frustrating.
This website is a total blast from the past and exhausting to use, but the prices mean that it can't be left out. No designer fabrics here, but lots of useful stuff at good prices (if you can find them...).
Really lovely selection of more unusual contemporary fabrics, with the emphasis on retro and funky. A deservedly popular site, with a great design, but I would love more non-thematic menu options for browsing.
A selection from Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, Heather Bailey, Dena Designs, Makower and Moda.
Funky and retro fabrics with a lovely clear interface. Not a vast selection, but some very tempting things here, and the selection is a bit different.
Gone to Earth
I'm a regular at Gone to Earth - the customer service is second to none, and there is a very well chosen range of fabrics, patterns and notions which means that you're very likely to find almost everything you want. Delivery is always incredibly fast too.
Organic and fair trade fabric - not much choice at the moment but included because it's fair trade and organic.
Lucky you if you can afford it! But always worth a look for a bit of inspiration if nothing else. The new season stuff at the moment is absolutely delicious.
Some of the standard designers here - Amy Butler, Anna Maria Horner, but also some really lovely vintage fabric finds. Definitely worth a look.
They have a very good range including Moda and Freedom Fabric. They have lots of fabric bundles, jelly rolls, charm packs on offer - which look fantastic. They also offer free delivery, which is always good.
MacCulloch & Wallis
Masses to choose from with the added bonus of huge quantities of gorgeous haberdashery.
Not an enormous selection but some good fabrics including Amy Butler, Alexander Henry and Tilda.
Nerybeth Fabric and Crafts
Stocks Amy Butler, Kaffe Fassett, Anna Maria Horner, Heather Bailey and Moda. Seems to have a very good range - sells sewing accessories & patterns too so this is a bit of a one stop shop.
Very nice site with a good selection of fabrics, including a fair few from Michael Miller. I particularly like the lovely fabric bundles and inspiration packs. If you are nervous about choosing fabrics then bundles are a good way to find stuff that go together.
Quality Fabrics 4U (on Ebay)
This Ebay shop has one of the widest selections I have seen in this survey - majoring in Michael Miller and Alexander Henry, with some good prices too.
A lovely site, with a really excellent menu to allow easy browsing. There appears to be an absolutely excellent range here, including gorgeous batiks. They have some lovely fabric bundles too.
The Quilt Room
A strangely impersonal website, but there's some lovely fabrics here, including the gorgeous French General Rouenneries, and some lovely heritage and reproduction fabrics.
A really lovely new site with a gorgeous and very different selection of fabrics including Cloud 9, Kokka, and plain organic cottons.
Saints and Pinners
A very representative collection of all the current fave designers like Heather Bailey, Tanya Whelan, Amy Butler & Erin McMorris. Very useful browsing menu too.
Another shop with a really imaginative selection of fabrics, including sproutdesign from Australia, Hoodie and Lauren & Jessie Jung. They've got some really great free project patterns on the site too - very inspirational.
So there you go - hope you find it useful.