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Who Buys Fabric Remnants?

Posted by John Dawkins on 9th Nov 2018

Textile recycling is not an uncommon practice in the fabric industry. Any professional who works with fabrics know that there will likely be fabric remnants that are left behind. There was a time when these remnants would end up in a landfill. However, the consciousness of individuals and consumers has changed over the past few decades. Upon realizing the environmental impact of throwing away fabric remnants could bring a negative environmental impact. If you have some scraps after your project, you might be wondering who buys fabric remnants? There are actually plenty of individuals and businesses that take advantage of the use of fabric remnants and scraps. The next time you have a few scraps, don’t throw them away yet!

Sources of Fabric Remnants

If you are wondering about the urgency involved with re-using fabric remnants, statistics show that there are about 80 billion garments produced annually worldwide. From this total, 5% goes to waste in the form of fabric remnants. Since they cannot be used for doing upholstery and drapery projects, most of them end up in the landfill. That 5% is equal to 13.1 million tons of waste!

If you want to contribute to reducing this waste, you can buy or re-use fabric remnants. These fabrics can come from any of the following sources:

  • Post-consumer sources: These are fabric remnants that are excess of household items such as furniture upholstery, drapery, and garments.
  • Pre-consumer sources: These are scraps that are a by-product in the textile manufacturing process, also known as post-industrial scrap textiles.

Who Buys Fabric Remnants?

Given the type of fabric scraps available in the market, it is important to know who buys fabric remnants. The most common market for fabric remnants would be textile recyclers. Most of the fabric scraps that they get are donated through them, but there are also thrift stores that can sell them. These textile recyclers can make a variety of use for these fabrics and textiles, such as to make industrial rags and even garments or clothing.

In some cases, fashion designers and shops would buy fabric remnants to create new clothing or garments out of them. A new emerging trend in fashion known as slow fashion is focused on sustainability. For this reason, clothing manufacturers seek out recyclable fabric for them to use in making them.

Another market for fabric remnants are furniture upholsterers and designers. Fabric remnants are now widely used for making upholstery furniture. With a taste for modern décor, many homeowners and designers are now incorporating vibrant patterns and prints for their furniture. This is where fabric remnants can be of use so you can provide a distinctive look for your home decorating projects. Fabric remnants can be pieced together to form a patchwork pattern or scraps made with a similar pattern are used together to create unique upholstered look. But the use of fabric remnants for home decorations is no longer limited to furniture upholstery. There are also lots of uses for them in the form of home décor accents, such as rugs, carpets, throw pillow covers, among other things.

The next time you are working on a project and you have a few fabric remnants, think twice before throwing them into the trash. There are lots of industries, especially in the home décor industry, that can still make good use of them. You can sell or donate the fabric remnants so they can be utilized for another project instead of adding to the landfill waste. On the other hand, if you work with fabric remnants, you can find a lot of potential places to shop for them, especially if you look online.