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Fabric Dismay

Let's start with the happy news first. You know how some collections really appeal to you while others don't?  I fell in love with this one at first glimpse on Cloud 9's website many months ago.

After a very long wait, both due to a delayed release and an unusually long shipping time to my home address (the parcel taking nearly two weeks travel some 600km after reaching Australia), this selection of Cloud 9's newest collection 'Biology' by Sarah Watson arrived today! I am very excited - they play together wonderfully, matching perfectly to Cloud 9's Cirrus solids. Looking forward to creating with these, but for now I am just relieved they are finally here! Being Cloud 9 they are all GOTS certified organic too.

Living in Australia, I am so grateful that I can purchase fabrics from pretty much anywhere in the world, right from the comfort of my home. However the long wait and shipping costs are some of the drawbacks of buying online, plus there's a great freedom in being able to see and feel fabrics before buying - and being able to buy the amount you need just when you need it.

I have happily made a quilt and also a skirt from Cloud 9's Wildwood collection with was released in October. More than once I have written about the beautiful fine, lightweight quality of Cloud 9's quilting weight fabrics.

So you can imagine my excitement when a fellow Australian blogger let me know recently about discovering Wildwood fabrics at her local Spotlight store. Spotlight is a privately owned, Australian, family business which now has stores through out Australia, New Zealand and in some Asian countries. In less than an hour I headed out to my local Spotlight store (which only opened less than four months ago) just in case the magic of Cloud 9 fabrics had arrived in my home town.

In the dress fabric section, I found about six unopened 10 metre/yard rolls of Wildwood prints, not 15 yard bolts in the quilting section (this had me a little perplexed). I could hardly contain my excitement! However my delight soon turned to disbelief and then dismay. Not only were these fabrics on rolls but the fabric itself was different!!!! I double checked - yes, same prints, same colours, same selvedges bearing Cloud 9's usual markings but the fabric WAS NOT the same. It was courser, rougher to the hand, thicker, heavier. Yes, still pleasant and good for quilting but I wouldn't want to wear clothes made from it (I need soft fabrics).

With a 20cm/8inch strip in hand I headed home to investigate further. I pulled out my US purchased Wildwood fabric and I was not imaging things. There was a definite difference which is more easily felt than seen. However if you look closely you can also discern a visual difference as the courser Spotlight fabric doesn't have as crisp an outline on the printing as the finer US cloth.

I quickly contacted Cloud 9 to try and find why the difference and to make sure the Spotlight fabric was actually true organic fabric. As it turns out Spotlight special orders fabrics from Cloud 9. Sometimes they sell exactly the same as in the US, sometimes the colours are different and exclusive to Spotlight and other times particular prints only are sold, applied to different base cloths. Jamie from Cloud 9 was also able to reassure me that Spotlight's Cloud 9 fabrics are also GOTS certified and printed with low impact dyes, as are all Cloud 9 fabrics, which is good news.

It's reassuring to know I can buy some organic fabrics locally, and I am very grateful for this. However it's also a lesson in being aware that not only can photo editing, lighting and computer displays change the appearance of a fabric but that the actual fabric may itself even be different to that which you have read about.

Have you had any similar experiences? Please do tell!

Now, back to having a good look and feel of those lovely soft, fine Biology fabrics which arrived this afternoon.....

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