Best Fabric and Craft Stores Compared: Fabric.com vs Hancock Fabrics
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Best Fabric and Craft Stores Compared: Fabric.com vs Hancock Fabrics

In this report

One of the most important things for a designer is to produce high quality, creative, and unique designs. For such designers, purchasing fabric, crafts and sewing essentials from online stores has great benefits. Other than having an enormous amount of choices, you can also discover some of the most unique and unusual designs of fabric as well as other items that you may not be able to find at a local store.

This report is a comparison of two well-known fabric and crafts stores online: Fabric.com vs Hancock Fabrics. The report presents details on how both stores compare in terms of features, product selection, pricing and more. You can also find out some of their weak points which may require improvement.

#1 - Hancock Fabrics   http://www.hancockfabrics.com

Hancock Fabrics offers a huge selection of textiles, crafts, sewing accessories, crafts supplies and sewing machines. Products are categorized under 4 categories:

  • Style Studio - Fashion fabric & fleece
  • Cotton Loft - Cotton fabric and quilting essentials
  • Designer Gallery - Decorator fabric and home decor items
  • Accessory workshop - Notions, sewing machines and crafts

The following are among the features of this online fabric store:

  • They offer an online wholesale program that allows business owners to purchase high quality, high volume fabric at a lower cost. In order to qualify for this program, you will need to make an average purchase worth $1000 a month.
  • Hancock Fabrics features a "Free Projects" section where you can browse through various kinds of projects. You can search for projects by craft, event, holiday, season, and skill level. These fun projects are available in PDF forms and can be downloaded for free.
  • The way they sub-categorize their items makes it easy to navigate the website and search for the item that you want. When you click on a main category (e.g Apparel Fabric), they will list all the sub-categories on the left side of the search results and this helps to narrow down your search very easily.
  • Hancock Fabrics has a "Value Priced Fabric" section where you can find fabric for as low as $1.95 per yard.

Some of the disadvantages of this online store are as follows:

  • Unlike Fabric.com that offers free shipping for orders $35, Hancock Fabric only offers free shipping on orders over $60.
  • They do not offer fabric samples or swatches that you can order.
  • Another weak point about Hancock Fabrics is their items are not categorized appropriately and this is rather frustrating since you cannot sort the search results by relevance. For instance, when you choose "Books & DVD" under the Crafts category (or enter "Books & DVD" in the Search field at the top right of the page), you will notice that so many items that are returned in the search results are not supposed to belong under that category.

The following are pricing details for some of their products:

  • Novelty Fleece: $9.99 per yard - $19.99 per yard
  • Suede Fabric: $5.99 per yard - $19.99 per yard
  • Quilt Kits: $7.99 - $49.99
  • Buttons:  $1.50 - $11.29
#2 - Fabric.com   http://www.fabric.com

Fabric.com is a renowned one-stop online center for craft and sewing needs. This store offers a wide selection of fabric, including apparel & fashion fabric, home decor fabric, and quilting fabric. In addition to various types of fabric, they also have items such as sewing machines & appliances, sewing notions & patterns, knitting & crochet essentials and more.

Some of the notable features of this online craft store and their services are as follows:

  • They have one of the most extensive fabric and craft products selection online. They really live up to their slogan, "The Place To Go When You Sew", since you can find almost all craft and sewing equipments on their website.
  • To ensure that their measurement is accurate and you are not short of fabric, they take the initiative to add an extra inch to every yard of fabric they cut.
  • Fabric.com realizes that not everyone has a background in designing, and for this reason, they make shopping on their website a very convenient experience even for sewing beginners. They provide information such as fabric glossary and yardage charts on their website. They also provide washing tips for the fabric that they sell.
  • If you are a registered customer, you are entitled to automatically receive "frequent shopper points" in your account when making purchases at Fabric.com. These points can later be redeemed for gift certificates. The rate is 1 point per $2.00 spent. 
  • Swatches are available for most of their fabrics. If a swatch is available for a particular fabric, it is indicated by the "Order Swatch" icon. 
  • Fabric.com offers free shipping on orders above $35 and no coupon is necessary. Orders will ship in 48 hours.
  • This store has a lot of attractive deals on their products. For instance, there is an "Inventory Reduction Sale" section where customers can save up to 60% on high quality fabric. Items on this section are availbale for a limited time only. Other than that, they have the "Deal of the Day" where you can get special pricing on selected items.
  • Fabric.com offers more flexibility when purchasing their fabric. You can purchase fabrics in half yard units (1 1/2, 2 1/2, etc).
  • One of my favorite features of the website is the "Design Wall". This feature lets you see how you can coordinate your fabric and how multiple fabrics look when arranged together.
  • The website has a user-friendly search feature. When you enter a keyword or item number in the search box, Fabric.com will display the results and you can narrow down your search further according to various criteria such as product category, price, color family, collection, designer, width, etc.

Despite their wide range of features, Fabric.com does not offer wholesale programs for bulk purchases. This program is in my opinion a must-have features for an online store like Fabric.com since it has the potential to attract business owners to purchase fabric from them.

For the purpose of comparing the pricing between the two fabric stores in this comparison report, I have selected a few products under different categories that are available at Fabric.com and the following are the prices:

  • Novelty Fleece: $6.38 per yard - $9.98 per yard
  • Suede Fabric: $6.98 per yard(Eroica microsuede) - $14.98 per yard (Microsuede)
  • Quilt Kits: $14.98 (Baby Blanket Kit) - $86.98 (Bump Thump Panel Quilt Kit) 
  • Buttons:  $0.78 (oakwood natural button)  - $13.38 (metal button)

The Bottom Line

In terms of product selection, both Fabric.com and Hancock Fabrics have a lot to offer to customers. Both websites are also user-friendly and easy to navigate. However, there are certain outstanding features that Fabric.com has that makes it notably better than Hancock Fabrics. This includes features like the Design Wall, Order Swatch, Frequent Shopper Points and many more. Likewise, Hancock Fabrics lacks a lot of features that in my opinion are important features that a fabric and craft store should have.

Another factor that makes Fabric.com rank higher than Hancock Fabrics in this product comparison report is the fact that Fabric.com appeals to all categories of customers. For instance, in terms of pricing, besides offering a lot of affordable, inexpensive items, they also offer plenty of high-priced choices for customers who are not too conscious about their budget. Another example is the eco-friendly & organic boutique which targets the environmentally conscious customers.

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Comments (2)

Nicely done. I enjoy shopping in both of these stores.

Ranked #55 in Arts & Crafts

Thanks Gayle! Glad that you had a great shopping experience :)

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