So I've been searching all over the Intertubes for decent Ultrasuede, because a search of the few pathetic local fabric stores was fruitless. Other than Joannes (which I refuse to patronize any more due to understaffing at all times) and another local bargain bin (where the line to cut fabric was, I kid you not, 30 people long) there aren't many fabric stores left. Pretty pathetic for a city of 1 million, don't you think? All they have at those places is some pseudo-ultrasuedy type crap with a nylon backing that is guaranteed to fray when cut.
Why there aren't more, better fabric stores is a subject for another day.
I could, I suppose, go to downtown LA. They have pretty much everything in the universe there. Somewhere. But if I'm going there, it's going to be to Langer's deli or a wholesale bead store. And yes, Langer's does have the World's Best Pastrami sandwich. Trust me.
Of course I use the Ultrasuede for backing my bead embroidery pieces. I need it in a variety of colors, and somehow, I was reluctant to keep paying $5 a shot for an 8x10 inch piece. Or to plump down $70 a yard for it sight unseen.
Finally, success!! Fields Fabrics has all the grades of Ultrasuede you need. The light is light enough to put it over Lacy's Stiff Stuff and still get a needle through. The Soft is a medium weight, you can use this alone or over LSS. The Marine grade is very heavy, nearly like leather. They also carry real nubuck leather straps for a reasonable cost.
My best purchase of the order, though, was the bag of Ultrasuede scraps! Holy Cow. It's a quart-size ziplock bag stuffed full of various weights, sizes and colors of high-quality Ultrasuede. There must be a hundred different pieces here, ranging from 9x9" to 2x2". Nothing is too small to use for some jewelry piece, and there are strips that are 24" or longer, good for bracelets, etc.
It was $7.95 for a quantity of US that would probably cost me $200 to buy on a per-piece basis from eBay or a beading store. I got some yardage too, of various colors I think I will use a lot. They'll cut as small as 1/8th yard, some of their sale stuff is $36 per, the regular price is $42. Very fast, trouble free ordering, too.
Now this makes my day! Patronize Fields, they deserve the business.