Mid century modern and retro upholstery fabrics at discount prices — Maharam, Knoll, Herman Miller & more

Modern-Fabrics-buildingModern Fabrics LogoIf you need to reupholster a piece of vintage furniture, here’s what sounds like a great source for mid century modern style fabrics by major designers at discount prices. We’ve just discovered Modern Fabrics, which  sources up to 1,000 bolts of discarded fabric every week from the excess generated during the manufacture of luxury residential and commercial furniture. They sell this remnant yardage — available in quantities from one yard to 15+ yards — at a discount of 40-60% off the retail price.  Because today’s high-end furniture market is so mid century modern mad, quite a few of the upholstery fabric designs we see on the website look like they would be great for retro upholstery projects. 

Modern Upholstery FabricsFrom the press release:

Since 2007, James and Ewa Powell have been reclaiming designer textiles — not just scraps, but also bolts of leftovers. The Powells, owners of Modern Fabrics, collect and sell these fabrics at a 40 to 60 percent discount through their website (www.modern-fabrics.com) and storefront in Charlotte, NC.

In the early days, the couple found themselves dumpster diving to rescue discarded excess fabrics but today they are exclusive buyers at many outlets. “We’re no longer driving around in our Subaru begging for fabric,” James says. “We’ve forged long-term business relationships and positioned ourselves as a company that wants — and gets — the best fabrics.”

Modern Fabrics sources up to 1,000 bolts of discarded fabric every week from the excess generated during the manufacture of luxury residential and commercial furniture. These fabrics are brand new, immediately ready to be reused for furniture, cushions, craft or interior design projects.

James says, “Some companies, such as Knoll, Maharam and Herman Miller, are ahead of the curve, understanding the importance of showing the provenance of a fabric.”

rolls-of-fabricAt Modern Fabrics, they go to great lengths to ID the fabrics, noting the textile brands, patterns, colorways, collections, fabric content, and origin, making it easier to find fabrics by specific designers, favorite patterns, or old favorites that have been discontinued.

The company operates a 6,000 square-foot shop in Charlotte’s SouthEnd neighborhood and a warehouse in nearby Lincolnton, NC.

We found their website to be well organized and super easy to navigate. Nice!

Good news for anyone looking for high quality mid century modern or retro design upholstery fabric to recover their vintage finds.

  1. ANN BAKER says:

    How cool! I just got my Adrian Pearsall chair reupholstered with fabric from this website, and the upholsterer couldn’t stop fingering the fabric. He said it was incredibly high end. It cost me about $15/yd. Booyah!

  2. Giovanna P. says:

    I just wanted to add that Modern Fabrics offers the opportunity to send you up to 4 sample swatches for free! I just ordered my 4 by sending them an email today, and can’t wait to receive them. Very nice website as well!

  3. Margie C. says:

    Thanks for posting this! I am just back from a trip to visit my folks and they gave me their 1957 walnut Danish modern chair (the kind that needs Pirelli rubber strapping clipped in for seat support) to go with my 1958 ranch house. I just need to get some foam and some upholstery fabric to give it some cushions. Nothing I’ve seen locally is quite “it” but I’m already seeing potential at Modern Fabrics. Charlotte is an easy weekender trip and includes a wonderful antique mall (in the same neighborhood as Modern Fabrics!) with lots of mid-century stuff–http://sleepypoetstuff.com/

  4. Kathy says:

    I love this store! I have purchased fabric multiple times! I have recovered pieces in my home and I have just purchased 3 different
    fabrics for my daughter-in-law, and we are not through! I love everyone that works there too! This is the only place that I look for fabric!

  5. Beth says:

    We have an historic preservation Colonial Revival bungalow rather than mid-century modern house, but we used tons of Modern Fabrics for our furniture. The fabric is of exceptional quality, well priced, and most of it can work with a wide range of styles. The Howells are delightful to work with, providing personal service. If you can get to Charlotte, I recommend shopping in person, but the website is very functional. I shop both.

  6. Jamie D. says:

    I’ve used Modern Fabrics for the upholstery for the new cushions I needed for my Danish lounge chairs because it was surprisingly difficult to find the “right” shade of orange through any local upholsterers. Who knew orange was so tough to find?

    Speedy shipping, and the price couldn’t be beat. I would absolutely use them again if/when I need more fabrics.

  7. Another place where I have gotten wonderful midcentury modern fabric online is winterbeachmodern.com
    They have been around for several years and although they don’t have nearly the quantity or selection that modern fabrics has their prices are lower.

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