How To Collect Vintage Cowboy Fabric
Learning how to collect vintage cowboy fabric is a process that includes researching to determine your favorite designs and seeking out the fabric in raw goods and finished products. Your favorite design may be a bedspread or shirt, so collectors learn to roll with the vintage market and wait for special offerings. You'll need a few items to be a successful collector, including;
- phone and directories
- computer with Internet access
- registration for online auction bidding
- digital camera
- research materials or library access
- Research to determine your target fabric designs. The term "cowboy" fabric covers the wide open spaces. The first step in how to collect vintage cowboy fabric is to select a focus or time period. Use your research materials, hit the Internet or hop in your pick 'em up truck and get over to the library. Research the decades of western-inspired fabrics to determine what attracts your interest. It's a big field out there in western fabrics and a focus will center your interest. It's always possible to expand your perimeters later, once your collection begins to grow.
- Collect images of fabric. As you research and see other fabric collections, snap a photo or make a duplicate of a photo. This will help in your search for fabric. Instead of describing the fabric to a dealer using terms such as "it's sort of like..," you can simply whip out a photo and state, "I'm looking for something exactly like this."
- Define a purpose for the fabric. Figure out how you want to use the vintage fabric. If you want to use it as upholstery, then you'll want heavier fabric, maybe some western-theme bark cloth or denim. If you're thinking light wispy drapes, the search for cowboy prints on light cotton is in order.
- Research prices. Anything can be had for a price, but unless you've just won the Power Ball or are independently wealthy, value is an important element for a vintage cowboy fabric collection. The less you spend per piece of fabric, the more fabric you can buy. It's the simple theme of collecting.
- Organize a shopping strategy. Vintage fabric pops up in the most unexpected places, but it doesn't pop up there all the time. Develop a collecting strategy that involves searching key places every week. Use a regular schedule of short trips to search through new arrivals. Cultivate sales clerks to find out when new items are put out. If you're a sweetie about inquiring, you may find clerks hold back the western fabric for your visit. Leave your phone number and you might get a call when a particularly nice piece comes into a store. If you're unattached, this is an added benefit of searching for fabric.
- Organize the collection. There are worse things than buying two pieces of the same fabric, but you don't want to do this too often since it cuts down on the amount of money you have in your collection fund. Organize your collection using digital images or design pattern drawings so you know what you own. Your memory can keep all the designs in place when you have only a few items, but as your collection grows, this gets to be a tough proposition. When you're looking at red and white cotton designs with black highlights, there are dozens of variations on this basic cotton design. Too many to accurately remember. The time you spend heading back to the collection may cost you a key buy.