Have you got a question about international shipping, fabric quality, or availability? Chances are, someone else has asked before. Look over our frequently asked questions – if you can't find the answer you're looking for, just drop us a line.
How to order
What is the minimum fabric length I can order?
We use the metric system. The minimum length we cut is 20 cm.
Do you accept credit cards?
Yes. We accept major credit cards both online and in our shop.
Will you put fabric on hold for me?
You can put fabric on hold by email or telephone. We will hold it for you for up to a week. If you plan to pick up your fabric in our Prague shop, you can put it on hold through our online shop.
Do you take orders by telephone or email?
We take retail orders only through our online shop. Telephone and email orders are time-consuming, and they have to go through our inventory system anyway. Ordering through our online shop has the added benefit of putting an instant hold on items you want to purchase so that no one else can buy them out from under you.
Of course, you can always give us a call if you have a question about a particular fabric or need any advice or help using our online shop.
Do you ship abroad?
Yes. We ship worldwide (see shipping costs). Delivery to countries outside of Europe is usually handled by FedEx. The price of shipping is calculated automatically during checkout before you pay. If you do not find your country in the dropdown list, please contact us. We will check on shipping terms and add it.
WHAT ARE THE TERMS FOR EU VAT TRADERS?
Our prices automatically include a 21% VAT charge. If you have a valid EU VAT number and the right to deduct VAT from purchases, please send us your VAT number by email. After verifying your number, we will mark you as a VAT trader and automatically exclude VAT charges from your orders. You must register with us to take advantage of this benefit. Once we have you listed as a VAT trader, prices will display without VAT charges.
You can also provide your VAT number at checkout with your billing information (check the option to “Add company information”) and VAT will be deducted from your order automatically.
My order weighs practically nothing and registered mail is so expensive… could you just pop it in an envelope and send it by regular mail?
We use registered mail so that we can track your order. This helps us not only keep an eye on your package, it also enables us to insure it. We use regular mail only for sending fabric samples, in which case we cannot vouch for any lost packets.
How long will it take to process my order?
Order processing (receipt, checking fabric, cutting, wrapping) usually takes us 1–3 business days before we pass it on to a carrier for delivery. When a sale is on, we are a bit busier so it may take longer. We know that you can’t wait to get your fabric, so we try to process all orders as soon as possible.
When will I get my order?
Shipping times vary depending on which carrier you choose. It usually takes 2–5 days within the Czech Republic, where we are based, and to neighboring countries. For international, overseas orders it can take longer, FedEx is fastest. During the holiday season shipping may take longer – it depends on how well the carrier handles the rush.
If your order is a gift, we recommend that you order with extra time to spare, just in case. If you are buying at the last minute, you might want to order a gift certificate, which will be delivered electronically.
Has my order shipped yet? Can I track my package?
Once your order is handed over to the carrier for delivery, our system automatically sends you an email with the information you need to track your order. The one exception is FedEx, which is not connected to our system. From our experience, FedEx sends the addressee its own alert for each package. So you are sure to receive word either way.
When can I pick up my order? (Applies to pick-ups in Prague store)
If you chose pick-up as your shipping option, wait for an email from us alerting you that your order is ready. Earlier pick-up is not possible. Processing your order (receiving email, checking the fabric, cutting) will take us a little time. If you find something you want online and can stop by our shop in Prague, ordering isn’t really necessary. We have exactly the same products online as we have in-store.
Exchanges and returns
Can I exchange/return the fabric I ordered?
Yes. Exchanges and returns are subject to our exchanges and returns policy. Fabric that has been damaged by washing, ironing, dyeing, or cutting (for example fabric that has been shrunk by washing at too high a temperature or using an unsuitable detergent) cannot be accepted.
Return of goods purchased online is governed by our terms of service. Although the Czech civil code does not grant buyers the right to return cut fabrics, at Sartor we try to accommodate our customers’ needs and we do make returns possible. Fabric returns must be made within 14 days of delivery. For fabric purchases of less than 5 meters we refund the purchase price less 10%; for 5 meters and more we refund the full price. Shipping charges are not refunded.
Fabric bought in-store cannot be exchanged or returned.
About fabric quality
What fabric quality can I expect from Sartor?
Top quality is our priority – we have no wish to offer poor quality goods. All of our fabrics come from a hand-picked group of trusted suppliers. Each new supplier is chosen very carefully and if any of them does not meet our standards we stop working with them.
Our fabric has to pass a double test: First we rely only upon trusted suppliers, and second we check the fabrics ourselves to be sure everything is as it should be.
On arrival at our shop, each bolt is unrolled and checked. If we find any slight flaws, we offer the fabric at a discount according to the seriousness of the flaw. If you are a regular customer, you know that these are usually very slight defects. We also cut a sample from each fabric to double-check fabric weight, run washing tests, check colorfastness, and so forth so that we can stand by what we write in our product descriptions.
Are your fabrics colorfast?
The fabrics we stock in our core inventory, seasonal collections, and limited editions come from suppliers whose quality we have verified. When cared for properly they should not lose their colors.
Fabrics sold while supplies last come from trusted sources but these various production items cannot all be individually tested. For linen and wool we recommend testing a fabric sample.
Silk may bleed when washed in water that is too hot or when an unsuitable laundry detergent is used. Always respect the recommended water temperature and use solutions meant for washing silk or wool.
Also note that even a dye that does not come out in water may fade in the sun. Do not dry dyed fabrics in the sun and avoid hanging clothing at home in places where they are exposed to daylight. For curtains and draperies, colors are sure to fade with time. This applies to all organic materials as well as many synthetics.
I want to order discounted seconds, what flaws can I expect?
A brief description of the flaw is written in the product detail for any seconds. Typically these are weaving defects, slubs, frayed edges, dye problems.
In any case these are minor flaws – we check every fabric carefully when we acquire it, and any fabric that has visible flaws is rejected in the selection process. In rare cases, we may have overlooked minor flaws or flaws that occur only in a part of the role (usually at the beginning or end). That’s why our discounted seconds are usually shorter pieces, not whole roles.
Are your fabrics certified safe for children under age three?
We specialize in quality fabrics for adults, specifically for ladies’ and men’s fashions. Though some of our suppliers have certification, it is not in our power to verify and display this information for all products.
Does fabric have to be pre-shrunk/pre-washed before sewing?
If we recommend pre-shrinking a fabric before use, you will find it in the product description. Generally, pre-shrinking is necessary for linen, cotton, and rayon but for finer fabrics (thin rayons for scarves, Tencel and modal fabrics) take care when proceeding – do not use hot water or a hot iron, just wash the fabric as you would wash the garment once it’s finished.
In the case of silk, silk reproduction fabrics, and wool, pay attention to whether the care recommendations allow washing or steam ironing. Wool fabrics are usually shrunk by steaming from the back side; some types of silk can be hand washed or machine washed on the delicate cycle (for details see our post on how to wash silk). Some fabrics may be dry cleaned only.
Information about shrinkage given in the product detail comes from our suppliers. For most projects, or for more expensive materials, it is a good idea to try washing, steaming, and other procedures on a fabric sample first. If your experience differs significantly from what is written in the fabric description, we would welcome your feedback so that we can take measures to right the situation with our supplier and/or correct the information given.
Do you carry name-brand fabrics?
We do not focus on designer fabrics, even though it has happened on more than one occasion that we have run into a big-name brand at the loom – just like them, we choose our partners with great care and sometimes we wind up with the same suppliers. Still, brand names are not our main priority. Except, of course, for our own brand, which we are constantly trying to improve and move forward! The most important factors for us are the quality and aesthetic value of the fabrics themselves along with a reasonable price tag, something that big-name designer fabrics cannot deliver with their inherently high costs for designers and marketing.
Just one more thing. If you ever pick up a bit of deadstock designer fabric, check it for quality just as you would any other fabric. Sometimes even these fabrics wind up in the discount bin because of some flaw. This is the exception rather than the rule though, so if you like bargain hunting, don’t let us stop you.
Origin of fabrics
Where is your fabric made?
Our fabrics come from all around the world. Although we proudly support local products and are happy to stock the ones whose quality and origin we can vouch for (our Bohemian linens for example), we also know that it’s just not possible to offer a full line of quality fabrics made of natural materials if we limit our suppliers to Czech (we are based in Prague) or even European producers. Our core selection of linens and wools come from European manufacturers, but for silk we turn to a textile superpower: Asia. Popular modern materials like Tencel, modal, and cupro are also made exclusively in Asia. (Did you know that the patent for cupro is held by a company in Japan?)
We’d love to carry “Bohemian silk” if climatic conditions ever make such a thing possible, but neither mulberry silk moths nor the mulberry trees they live upon can thrive in our corner of the world. In China, India, and Japan, moreover, silk production has a long and storied tradition and they do produce top quality fabrics. European silk makers (even those in sunny Italy) have to import raw materials from Asia. We purchase our silks directly from the source in China and India, where we have had many years of positive experience.
What is dead stock?
Dead stock refers to left-over inventory lying in wholesale warehouses or stuck at other points in the supply chain. It includes production overruns, fabrics that customers did not take delivery of, and fabrics with some quality defect, as well as remnants that clothing companies and fashion studios no longer need. The production of these fabrics has already been paid for, so they are often sold at huge discounts just to recuperate expenses.
Most fabric merchants deal in some deadstock fabrics and we are no exception. Dead stock can be a fantastic source of fabric at an advantageous quality-to-cost ratio and there can be some really great pieces out there. Rest assured, the brand-name fabrics that occasionally turn up in your local fabric shop aren’t imitations, just dead stock.
Dead stock can come from any number of sources and most merchants jealously guard theirs as a trade secret. Every merchant also has its own strategy: Some choose fabrics based on textile content or quality, some focus on the cheapest buys. It’s even trendy right now to claim to “rescue” remnants from being, presumably, thrown out. While that sort of campaign may seem praiseworthy on the face of it, dead stock has always been a part of the market – it’s just that the customer may not have been aware of it. Buying up and reselling fabric is as old as the textile trade itself – to find a real gem at a great price and earn a reputation as a good dealer is what traders have strived for throughout the ages.
The price of a deadstock item may not reflect its actual value. If you find a pure silk satin for $15 a yard it doesn’t mean that that’s all it cost to make. You, and the shop you bought it from, just got lucky. That doesn’t mean that someone who sells a similar fabric for three times as much is fleecing their customers… they just bought it at its full price, which has to cover the cost of raw materials and human labor.
Does Sartor sell deadstock fabrics?
Yes, sometimes Sartor carries deadstock items too. Usually these fabrics are marked “while supplies last.” As a rule, they are the last pieces on the market and can no longer be ordered from the manufacturer.
Naturally, we choose deadstock fabrics by the same textile content and quality standards that we apply to all of our fabrics. Our trusted sources for dead stock focus on overruns rather than defect fabrics. We visit wholesale warehouses personally and never buy sight unseen. We choose the concrete bolt we’re interested in, unroll it, and inspect it on the spot.
Do you have the same products online and in your shop?
Yes. The selection is exactly the same. We haven’t got any special, under-the-counter goodies tucked away in our Prague shop, never fear.
What is a seasonal collection?
Goods in seasonal collections come from trusted suppliers direct from production. They are items we have chosen to sell for this season only and do not plan on restocking. As these are standard products from the manufacturer, however, they can be reordered on an individual basis (at wholesale amounts). In isolated cases, of course, it is possible that the producer will discontinue the item in question and then it cannot be reordered.
Do you restock your fabrics? Do you have a set inventory?
Most of our fabrics are one-time orders that we will have in stock until they are sold out. Some popular items, however, are kept in stock or can be reordered upon request. A typical example is our selection of notions, which rarely changes. This may also include some types of fabric offered in seasonal collections. See the availability noted in the product detail to learn if it is in stock while supplies last, a core product, or part of a seasonal collection. Seasonal products are items that are generally in stock at the supplier and are standard products or fabrics that can be made to order. Core products are items that we always try to keep in stock.
What is a limited edition?
Limited editions are fabrics of exceptional quality or patterns that have been made especially for Sartor and are unlikely to be repeated. They are available while supplies last. These present unique opportunities to own an original.
Last year I bought fabric from you but it’s not in your shop anymore – will you stock it again?
If it was an item that was only available while supplies last, then we won’t have it in stock again. If it was one of our core products, it should be in stock soon. If the item was part of a seasonal collection, contact us to find out if it can be reordered.
Do you sell mulberry silk?
Yes. We specialize in natural silk and most of our silk selection is made of real mulberry silk. We also carry lesser-known but equally exceptional types of natural silk such as “wild” silk. If the fabric description does not specifically say that it is a different type of natural silk, then it is mulberry. The word silk in our production descriptions is, unless stated otherwise, always mulberry silk. Only in the textile content field do we not differentiate between the various types of natural silk because labeling requirements recognize only the single, unified term silk for all types of natural silk (but never artificial silk). You can learn more about the different types in our post on types of silk.
We never use the word silk in our descriptions to refer to anything other than natural silk, so you can rest assured that at Sartor you will never bring home a synthetic look-alike as you might from some merchants where fabrics with little or no natural silk content are stilled called silk. Always check the product details, wherever you shop, to see what the actual content of the fabric is.
Do you sell natural silk?
Yes. We specialize in fabrics made of natural silk. Most of our fabrics are made of mulberry silk – the classic, cultivated natural silk – but we also carry lesser-known types of natural silk such as “wild” silk.
All fabrics that are described as silk at Sartor are made of natural silk. For other than classic mulberry silk (such as wild silk, noil silk, etc.) we specify what kind of natural silk it is. If you see just silk, then it is mulberry silk. To learn more about the many types of natural silk, see our article on types of silk.
You will never find a synthetic look-alike labeled as silk at Sartor. Some merchants sell “silk” that is partially or entirely synthetic – always check not only the name of the fabric, but its textile content as well. Don’t be fooled by this old marketing trick.
How can I tell real silk?
Natural silk can be easily identified using the silk burn test. Read more about how to do it in our guide to how to tell real silk, where you’ll also find a video.
Do you have to sew silk with silk thread, or can you use polyester or cotton?
Silk does not need to be sewn with silk thread; you can use ordinary polyester thread (of course we recommend you choose a quality thread – silk deserves it). When choosing a needle and thread, let the type and weight of the fabric be your guide; for sewing especially fine fabrics (chiffon, georgette, lightweight charmeuse or crepe) a thin polyester or silk thread and a thin needle are in order.
If you plan to dye your garment after sewing, you should definitely use silk thread (polyester will not take the color). Silk thread is great for hand finishing, sewing on appliques, stitching rolled collars, and so forth.
Do not use cotton thread to sew silk fabric.
Are your reproduction fabrics based on actual textiles?
Yes. All of our historical reproduction fabrics are based upon verified historical sources.
We research all of our patterns: We find the source, the original material, the type of weave used, the original coloring. This is vital in choosing the right technology. We work with our own collection of written sources, museum collections, and personal visits to private textile collections. We have contacts with curators around the world, at Prague castle, in Bohemian churches, in the textile museum in Barcelona and the museum in Delhi. We attend courses in historical textile analysis for experts in the field and are regular visitors to the Metropolitan Museum collections in New York and the Museum of Art in Cleveland. (Just ask the museum staff – they are constantly warning us to step back from textile exhibits that we’ve leaned down too close to and set off the alarm again.)
We then take the historical pattern and render it in digital format. This is a very demanding process. We begin with a basic sketch that we tweak and fix, correcting a detail there, filling in a missing piece there, until we are satisfied that it is absolutely perfect.
Textile history is more than just a casual interest for us, it’s a passion. We are constantly expanding our knowledge and our network of contacts in the field. We invest more time and energy into the production of our historical reproduction fabrics than we could ever get back in purely financial terms. For us, these are more than a commercial product, they are a way of breathing new life into forgotten beauty, raising awareness of ancient crafts, and, not least, supporting independent weavers who are masters of this slowly disappearing and terribly complicated craft. We are glad that, in our small way, we can help preserve a dying art.
Can your brocades/reproduction fabrics be used in upholstery?
Our brocades and damasks are meant primarily for use in garment making, but a large part of our selection works well for interior design too. Selected fabrics for decorative use are collected in our home decor section. Each fabric has its own parameters. For upholstery, we generally recommend only our heavier linens (starting at 240 gsm). While it may be tempting to use our gorgeous brocades for this purpose, they simply aren’t made to hold up to daily wear and tear on sofas and chairs – though they are sturdy and won’t pull out of shape, they are not abrasion proof. Their beauty relies on very fine yarns and a satin weave that is prone to snagging. Brocades are much better suited for making smaller decorative items, pillows, or curtains.
On the other hand, all of our brocades and reproduction fabrics are suited for use in upholstery where furnishings are more for show than for regular use – galleries, museums, castle expositions. You can find our brocades in more than one castle and museum in Europe.
Can your reproduction fabrics be used for modern accessories and clothing?
Absolutely! Although our historical reproductions are mainly sought out by people involved in re-enactment, historical costuming, or film making, we have seen them used to great effect in modern fashions as well. Historical designs are characterized by exquisite aesthetic detail – our ancestors placed great emphasis on grace and harmony and it is no exaggeration to say that their fabrics were works of art. One proof is that they still appeal to us so many centuries later.
Reproduction fabrics are right at home in modern interiors, where they introduce an element of originality that can really make a room special. All it takes is a small accent piece, like a pillow or a length of fabric framed like a picture. In modern fashion design historical reproductions stand out in simple, minimalist garments or accessories. We have seen some beautiful examples of handbags, book wraps, even a fabulous dog collar.
Even the big designers return periodically to the old patterns. A few years ago the world of haute couture was swept by a wave of historically inspired embroidery and Dior put the spotlight on toile de Jouy.
Will sold-out historical reproductions become available again?
All of our historical reproductions are limited editions. In rare cases we may repeat production. We want to guarantee authenticity to owners of historical costumes and decorations. If you see a reproduction fabric you like, buy it while it’s still in stock; that’s the only way to ensure you’ll have it for your project.
If you are interested in a larger amount, at least 50 (or in some cases 20) meters of fabric, reproduction fabrics can usually be made to order. The price may have changed since it was last in stock though because it reflects current costs of raw materials and human labor. Read more about made-to-order fabric.
How should I care for silk/brocade/linen/wool/rayon?
All of our fabric descriptions include detailed care instructions, often with additional comments on our experience with the fabric. You can learn more about caring for our fabrics in the articles about textile materials on our blog, where we focus on individual fabrics and share the results of practical tests.
Do you sew? Can you recommend a seamstress or tailor?
At the current time we do not provide sewing services, but we are in the process of preparing a list of recommended seamstresses/tailors who sew from our materials. Follow us on social media to get the newest updates.