8.15.2011

Fake Fabric? What the What?!


I'm amazed by this. Seriously amazed by this story. File this under people will do anything for a buck.

So my LQS is quite the puzzle to me - it's never the same experience twice. It's a grab bag of great service, crappy service, skimpy cuts, generous cuts, old lady fabric, fresh fabric. I have never - never - had a consistent experience there. It's literally within walking distance from my house, but honestly I'd rather go across town or drive the 45 minutes to Fabric Shack to get what I need. Sad, really.

Last week I had to go in there because I'm looking for the perfect navy print for a big project.  I figured after scouring the internet and even a trip to the Fabric Shack, it couldn't hurt to pop in there to see if they had what I wanted. Imagine my shock - total shock - when I spotted 6 bolts of ECHINO fabric tucked out of sight near the back of the store. What?! This shop is heavy on batiks and florals and mottled solids - and they have a current line of $20/yd Japanese fabric? {Insert perplexed look on my face here.}

So I bought a few FQs of Art Gallery fabric and a half yard of this delectable deliciousness called "Glasses"  in hopes that my daughter might want a school bag made from it and headed home.

I have limited amounts of Japanese fabric in my stash, so I got on the internet to see if what I paid was a good price and ran across this little tid bit of info:
People are selling fake fabric!!

There are people selling fake Japanese prints on websites like Etsy. I read posts from this gal and from Badskirt giving us some details about what to look for when it comes to buying premium Japanese fabrics. If you or someone you know has a thing for Japanese fabric - share this tidbit of info with them. I shared it with my Cincy MQG and everyone was a little shocked. I mean, if you think about it, who would think to counterfeit quilting fabric?! And further more, who would think to ask if what they are buying is fake or real? Crazy, crazy stuff if you ask me.

So what did I learn?
~Buy your fabric from a reputable source. 
~If the price seems too good to be true, it probably is.
~Read the description of the fabric carefully. 
~If you doubt the fabric's authenticity, ask for a photo of the selvages.
~ Only buy fabric from shops that have a fair return policy.

Buyer beware, my lovlies.

4 comments:

  1. There was full blown rage when walmart carried knockoffs of Tula Pink fabrics. There is definitely a seedy underbelly to the fabric world, even if it is our happy place.

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  2. Fascinating post! I'm amazed that there is enough of a demand to warrant printing the fake fabric. Wow from Vuitton bags to this...

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  3. It happens a lot in the apparel industry too. I've worked at companies who hire people who's sole job it is to suss out counterfeits and take legal action.

    Counterfit goods make it into the market a couple of ways. A mill might do a run of product and for one reason or another (wrong color, bad gradation, etc.) it doesn't get approved by the company that's hired the mill. However because margins are so tight, in order to compete, a big unapproved run puts a financial strain on the mill. So they off load the goods - selling them locally (usually in home country, like China or Korea and that's generally overlooked because it doesn't come into direct competition with US markets.) However sometimes those goods make it back to the US and then there's a problem.

    Another way is less scrupulous mills actually produce and intentionally ship direct to market, via the internet. However getting caught doing this will basically turn you into a black sheep of the textile world. It's hard to get any business once word gets out of that kind of activity.

    Computers are also excellent tools for all kinds of graphic work. Basically anyone with any kind of skills can scan in fabric, clean up the graphic, create screens and go to a printing house for production. They aren't being held to any sort of quality standards and can really ruin a brands reputation if their greige goods are thin or slubby (poor quality) and the print isn't colorfast or fades too quickly, etc.
    Anything to make a quick buck.

    You're right, I guess somethings don't change - caveat emptor!

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  4. Fake fabric aside, I love the design of your glasses fabric.

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