Comparing 4 Cotton Fabrics (color, texture, & sheen)

I am so crazy about off-white cotton fabrics it’s not funny. I can’t help but add a yard or two into my shopping cart no matter what other fabric I’m buying. I simply have to have it on hand all the time. I don’t like working with pure white, and I also use low value fabrics and gray, but I always return to off-white for quilt backgrounds. It just makes the print fabrics I love look so good!

Today I realized that I actually have off-white cotton fabric in 4 different brands. You might not care so much about these things. You might think they all look exactly the same (I’m sure my husband does, lol). But just in case that you are an extreme fabric geek like me, and you would like to know some of the similarities and differences before you buy… let’s take a look!

As you can see from the photo above, the Boundless Solid from Craftsy (color – Porcelain) is the darkest, but only very slightly so. It is very, very similar to the Kona Cotton (color – Snow). The Bella Solid (color – Porcelain) is a little bit more yellow. The Cotton Couture from Michael Miller (color – Soft White) is not pure white, but it is lighter than the other three cotton fabrics.

kona and bella solids.jpg

When it comes to the weave and feel of the fabric, the Kona, Boundless, and Bella are all 3 very similar. They are not extremely tightly woven, but all very good quality (good enough for any of my quilts, and that’s saying something).

I tried to show the similar texture and feel of the Boundless, Bella, and Kona in the two pictures above. You can see the weave a little bit against my wood countertop. This texture matches the weave of most quilt-shop quality print fabrics.

When it comes to feel, the Cotton Couture fabric is in a different class than the other three. It is softer, smoother, and more tightly woven. I really love this about Cotton Couture. My local quilt shop owner doesn’t carry many prints that I would buy (sorry!), but she does carry Cotton Couture and I often pop in there when I really want a pretty solid.

There is also a slight sheen to the Cotton Couture solid that you don’t see on the Boundless, Kona, or Bella fabrics. So if you want a totally matte off-white fabric, pick one of those.

[BTW – I don’t have any Art Gallery Pure Elements in this color to show you right now, but if I did, I would put it in the same category as Cotton Couture – silky, tightly woven, with a slight sheen.] 

And there you go. I love all of these fabrics and can’t really pick a favorite. Whatever’s on sale I will buy because I know I will use it! Here are some links if you want to check prices:

FYI – none of these fabrics have been pre-washed. Washing them might change the color and feel a tiny bit. And if you are wondering how I mix off-white solid background fabrics with print fabrics, take a look at my Classic Blocks Pinterest board.

Okay, okay, I will stop showing off my stash of off white fabrics now. What are you going to show off? So, what have you been sewing up this week? Did you make something with one of my free sewing tutorials or patterns? I would love to see! Tag me on Instagram @sewcanshe.


Disclosure: some of my posts contain affiliate links. If you purchase something through one of those links I may receive a small commission, so thank you for supporting SewCanShe when you shop! All of the opinions are my own and I only suggest products that I actually use. 🙂

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  1. This was a great look at these fabrics. I discovered Cotton Couture last year and fell in love. It feels wonderful in a blouse or tunic – and pillowslips! Another fabric that much like Kona is Marshall Dry Goods Classic cotton. Very affordable!

  2. I buy white & off white fabric by the bolt so I don’t have so many pieces to keep track of. Also because when I want the fabric, I want it now! Blessings, Gretchen

  3. I washed several pieces of fabric a few months back (prints) and noticed that the ones that frayed the least AND shrank the least, were Art Gallery fabrics. I would expect that the MM Couture line would be similar to the AGF fabric.

    1. Solids knowital says:

      MM cotton couture is a brushed cotton. Art gallery is a more tightly woven substrate.

  4. Caroline, I would love for you to wash all these fabrics, then do the comparison and let us know your thoughts. Thanks!

  5. I’d have loved seeing what they looked like right out of the drier. Did they fray much, how large are they if you were to put a yard of each in the washer (I saw that you had charms for one of them, but of the other 3), and how they look right out of the drier. I’m definitely a prewasher.

  6. Great information! I like to use various brands and would like your take on the washing and wrinkle factor. I have used a small amount of the MM solids and while it has great hand it wrinkles so easily. I did not notice in AGF though I love that hand also. Kona wrinkles but you can spray starch it out most of the time.

  7. Lori Michel says:

    Hi Caroline…I love the RJR line of solids colors..but I also like Kona…if I was in a buying mood, Kona would be my pick…

  8. Michele Klein says:

    Thank you for the comparison. Great information.
    Question: Is Kona from the Quilt store the same quality as
    Kona from JoAnn’s?
    Is warm n natural the same too?

  9. So glad I found this–thank you! I’m looking at buying some solids on line but I don’t like that I can’t truly see them and feel them first. Your descriptions are helpful.

  10. What do you have against PURE WHITE????, my favorite color!!! PS: You forgot to mention how rough itchy and scratchy thekona is! Google it !

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