The reason I don't do it more often is that I have previously been stung by high import duty and VAT charges when the fabric arrives. I don't have a problem with paying import duty and VAT but its always been very difficult to find a definitive answer as to how much it will be and how it is worked out so that I can calculate exactly how much I might save and decide whether it is worth ordering from America. I have spent hours trawling through the UK Customs & Excise website to try and find out more about Import Duty and VAT but
Today all my questions were answered when I found this fantastic website called Duty Calculator. You just type in the value of the fabric you want to buy including the postage costs in the local currency and it tells you exactly how much Import Duty and VAT will be payable in the UK. YEY!! For the record its 8% Import Duty and 20% VAT. You only pay the Import Duty on orders over the value of £135 (not including post). The Royal Mail do charge an £8 handling fee. I think this is because they pay the duty for you. You pay the duty and their charge when you collect your parcel from the post office.
This has been very useful as I have been looking at American fabric websites recently because I want to make this quilt.
I LOVE the fabrics used so much that I want similar ones for my quilt. Its Lecien Flower Sugar Range (thanks to Lynne at Lily's Quilts for the info). Some of the fabrics are available to buy in the UK but they are all around £14 per metre. Most shops unfortunately only seem to stock a few designs from the range and I need a few different ones (I want to buy 10 yards in total). I ended up searching on etsy where I found a lovely quilting shop called Whimsy Quilts and Fabrics that seemed to stock lots of Lecien fabrics in the colours I was looking for. A yard is only $10 so its much cheaper!