Sunday, December 20, 2009

Website review: Denver Fabrics

How is the web site look & feel / user friendliness? Is it easy to surf?
It has some great features and some not-so-great features. I like the specific categories in Apparel Fabric: swimsuit lining, Batistes, etc. Makes it easier to find what you want IF they have it. Many of the specialty categories are completely empty and have been for some time. They should gray them out if they don't have anything for that category. The search engine is good in that you can specify a cotton stretch poplin, for instance, and only get those fabrics and can then narrow it down by fabric weight, price, color, or width. If you don't know exactly what you need, it is much more difficult to surf this site. They also appear to have several of the same color and type fabrics. Sometimes the multiple listings are the same width fabrics and sometimes they differ by an inch or two. That is confusing to me. If you are searching a sales promo, the fabrics don't stay in order as you browse page by page. You may add something to your cart and then go back to the page you were shopping from and all the fabrics are in a different order or missing from that page. Also very confusing.

Is this a commercial web site? If yes how are the prices? Do they have a secure shopping cart?
Commercial web site. The everyday prices are better than most sites. Silk suitings for $6 USD/yard! I shop here if I need something specific and don't want to wait for a sale somewhere else. You can sign up for sales emails.  Initially I didn't get any but as the holidays approached, I started receiving 1 or 2 a week.  Once you put a fabric in your cart, be very careful about how you modify the amount you are ordering. There are fields for whole numbers and fractions. (Yes, you can order as little as 1/8 yard.) If you change the whole number, you will have to wait until the page reloads to change the fraction as well. If you don't pay close attention, you could easily order the wrong amount of fabric.  They do have secure shopping cart but only accept Visa or Mastercard.

How is the customer service?
I've never needed to call customer service but they have called me when an item is out of stock. You must request that they call or email you though. Place any special instructions you have in the text box when you order. I used their online contact form once to give them some feedback and never heard from them.

Have you bought anything from this web site? If yes, was the item delivered on time?
I've made 4 purchases now. The first 3 were very large purchases. They arrived in boxes and the fabrics were not wrapped in a bag within the box. The boxes were well packaged though. The 4th purchase was for 20 yards of various fabrics and they sent it in a plastic envelope mailer! 20 yards is too much for that kind of mailer. It was torn in several places and the fabric was not protected within a bag within the mailer. Thankfully, none of my silks were damaged. They also don't label any of the fabrics but they do include the invoice. I always print my order confirmation from the site after placing the order so I can write down the type of fabric and care instructions because they don't send that to you. When browsing their fabrics online, they do list the fiber content, fabric width, weight (for denims and such), and suggested uses. If you are still unsure of the weight of a fabric, you may search by "blouse weight", "bottom weight", etc. They state you can receive your order within 10 business days. About 2 weeks sounds right. None of my orders have arrived quickly. One may have taken longer because when it did arrive, I completely forgot I had ordered it!

Would you recommend this site to others?
Yes and no. The search engine isn't ideal but the prices are good. If you have a very good idea of what you want and you have experience shopping for fabric online (not being able to touch it first), then this is a good site to shop on.

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Just my opinion....

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