Thursday, April 15, 2010

Your quest for supplies and a Rhode Island resource for ribbon and quilting fabric - Ryco Inc.

I buy most of my supplies online from wholesalers. If you buy in large quantities (for business) I'd recommend getting a federal tax id so that you can buy wholesale and save on sales tax. However, I also buy from local suppliers occasionally.

I'm sure this is true everywhere, but here in Rhode Island there are a few places that may fly under the radar for most residents. One of them here may by Ryco Inc. This trim and fabric outlet, located in an old mill (you know I have a thing for mills), is located along the Blackstone River in Lincoln. Nestled behind trees just off the main road, you can miss it easily. The drive (and setting) alone is worth the adventure.

Here you'll find:

*  Larger and a more unique supply of trim and ribbon than the average fabric store
*  Service that is more personal and friendly
*  Bulk discounts if buying full rolls
*  Great classes and instruction
Even if you don't sew or typically seek supplies like this, I encourage you to visit. It is amazing how you'll be inspired by something you see. You will find things you never thought you could use or need.

BTW, another local haunt of mine is Lorraine Fabrics, in Pawtucket, where you can find lots of upholstery.  I spend a lot of time on the second floor where fabric is $1.99/ yard.  Okay, now the secret is out!!

I have spent years online and on the phone to find the best prices for my supplies. I travel to NYC to scour the garment district.  Along the way I've found that sometimes thinking out of the box will  land the best suppliers. This explains my love for hardware stores.  I've made countless awkward phone calls talking to people who thought I was nuts, "what is this girl doing with seat belts and why would she call us?" I even bought webbing that was primarily used for lifting caskets (no worries, I could never bring myself to use it). I currently buy my seat belts from a local source (I'm sorry I can't share publically due to being burned one too many times by ruthless competition) whom I researched and called and convinced to sell me their overruns. It's industrial and industrious, but I get the best deal around (and there's something about talking directly to the guys in the warehouses).

So, how do you seek your suppliers?

What do you do to find your deals?

Do you have favorite local resources?


  1. What a great find. There are several places here off the beaten path that you can find wonderful fabric, upholstery fabric shop with much much more. It's amazing the resources that are right under your nose...I love your ribbon find!

  2. Hey, I didn't know about Ryko...thanks for the info...Lorraines is one of my favorites, it's just up the street from my in-laws! I also do most of my supply shopping online...small farms producing their own yarns are great places to score local yarns closest to the animal. Beth

  3. I buy my alpaca yarn directly from the farm. We have one of the largest alpaca herds in the country in my hometown. I buy HUGE undyed spools of their yarn for around $30. I also salvage a lot of fabric from clothing at thrift stores. I found an oddlots store that pulls their inventory from a warehouse the patriarch filled with stuff from auctions and buyouts form 50 years ago. They don't even mark the goods up. Gorgeous scottish wool tartans for $1.29 and little girl sunday hats for a quarter, all from the 40's and 50's. The one thing I can't find is a good cheap source of super thick industrial colored felt in large pieces not craft size. Anyone willing to share?

  4. Hah, am I glad I came from rikrak studio to check you out! My sister lives in Lincoln! She, not being a sewer, wouldn't know of these places, but now I will have a list of places I want to visit! Thanks so much! I'm 10 hrs away from her...:( so don't often go there....

  5. Wow, what amazing pictures....need to go shopping! Shame I live the other side of the pond!


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