Hunting for reflective fabric has turned into a bit of a obsession. It wouldn’t be so, possibly, if it was easier to find, however! So when I see things, I tend to jump immediately, cost be damned! Recent example – Stonemountain and Daughter, a fabric store in Berkeley that I actually haunted while in high school and college, recently shared a photo on Instagram of some reflective trim. I’ve never seen aurora reflective anything before, so I called the store when I got home from work and ordered some! At $8 a yard, I didn’t buy much; I’m sure that once the shimmery package arrives, I will regret that!
I do get asked where I find reflective fabric, so I thought I’d try to encapsulate all my finds.
It all started in 2012, with Dritz iron-on reflective grosgrain ribbon, purchased at JoAnn Fabrics. It’s harder to find now, as is the Dritz reflective piping, which is apparently no longer made. Shortly thereafter, I found sew-in reflective ribbon in a notions store in New York City. I think it was Pacific Trimming, on West 38th Street, but I’m not positive.
This is the biggie, the goal of everyone – fabric that is reflective. It’s amazing, and I love having so much made with reflective fabric, but it is difficult to find, expensive when you do, and then not easy to sew with or wear.
Most of it I have purchased at B&J Fabrics, in New York. I found the gold in 2012, went back in 2013 for plum and lavender, and then bought some orange in 2014. I wish I had more of the plum! A B&J employee told me that they used to carry blue reflective fabric – oh how I wish they still did! But at $54 a yards, I know the store wouldn’t special order a roll just so I could buy a few yards. (B&J does have a reflective fabric on their website, for $69.95 a yard, but not with a good photo.)
I also purchased a yard of silver reflective fabric at Britex Fabrics, in San Francisco. That too was about $50 a yard, and a friend who was recently in the store reported that they no longer carry it. Gah!
Reflective fabric, top, along with some gray velour I also purchased at Britex
Fellow bicyclist and sewing blogger Oanh at Unique Schmuck hooked me up with some other fabrics. She reached out to the people at King Tech Fabrics and they agreed to sell her some remnants of their super cool reflective fabric. This stuff wasn’t as expensive, it’s much more fun, and far easier to sew, although not ideal. I haven’t checked in to see if they will do that again. In the meantime, I’m getting stingier about what I do with it. No more big pieces, but trims and bias instead. Not as fun, but….
I purchased this reflective camo fabric with the intention of creating miles and miles of bias tape, to substitute for the reflective piping that is hard to find and difficult to sew. It’s also relatively inexpensive at $8.99 a yard, so I bought several yards. I’ve used it in several projects, but it’s not as brilliant as a bias as the other materials. Next up, a coat with this on the cuffs. Maybe that will look better. Other Reflective Stuff
I’ve purchased but not really used some other stuff, like this fun reflective yarn from LFlect. I don’t knit and I’m sort of at a loss for ideas. but hey, I’ve got it, so when inspiration hits, I’m set! I had some reflective rickrack that I found in JoAnn’s a while back, and used on the hem of a skirt. I received a bundle of reflective trims thanks to Australian sewing blogger Susan at Measure Twice Cut Once. (What is it with awesome Australian bloggers?!??! You guys are forever my heroes and I’m in your debt!!!) And I had some reflective embroidery floss once, for a failed attempt to make tassels.
So as you can see, the hunt for reflective materials is a hodge-podge of luck, location, internet searches, and swell Aussie bloggers. I haven’t exhausted my possibilities, since Dashing Tweed has some gorgeous reflective tweeds, but they are a bit out of my price range for now. Maybe that will be this year’s splurge?
If you know of sources to find reflective fabric, please share! I’ve got a Pinterest board dedicated to reflective stuff, and would love to add more to the collection.