Frequently asked questions

Ordering & Shipping

How long will it be before you ship my order?


Since all pillow covers are made-to-order and because this entire enterprise is a one-woman show, please allow 7-10 business days for pillow covers and 2 business days for accessories from the date of your order for dispatch. Please allow extra time for transit depending on the shipping rate you select at checkout. I invite you to review my shipping policy here.




Do you sell inserts?


No, I do not sell inserts. You may purchase inserts from various brick-and-mortar or online stores. I love the look of pillows filled with down or down-alternative inserts.




How do I know the correct size pillow cover to order?


If you already have an insert that you wish to reuse, measure its length and width with a flexible tape measure from seam to seam in the middle of the insert. Please resist the urge to estimate the size by eye!




Can I expedite my pillow cover order?


Unfortunately, because this is a one-woman business, it is difficult for me to expedite pillow covers orders. However, I could consider such requests on a case-by-case basis, so please email me if you would like to expedite your decorative pillow cover order.




Do you ship internationally?


Yes! I ship worldwide. Please review my shipping policy here.




Can you make me a pillow cover if I send my own fabric?


No, I do not make pillows from customers’ fabric.




Can you make pillow cover sizes other than the ones listed?


No, I only offer the sizes listed.




If I like one of your fabric designs, can you make a different style of pillow?


No, I do not make custom style pillows at this time.




What are your shipping rates?


I ship via USPS. You will be able to select your preferred shipping option (standard or priority). Shipping rate for your order will be automatically calculated by the USPS when you select a service option during checkout.





Returns & Cancellations

Can I return or exchange an item?


First, thank you for your purchase and I am sorry to hear that you are considering returning any item(s). Unfortunately, because this is a one-woman business and because of my made-to-order model, I only accept returns or exchanges on accessories, not on decorative pillow covers, due to cost and time constraints. I apologize for any inconvenience. Please review my full returns policy.




What if I don’t receive my order?


All items are entrusted to a verified shipper and each order has a unique tracking number. Having said that, sometimes the unforeseen might happen. In the rare case that an item is lost in transit, meaning that it has not been delivered after allowing sufficient time, please get in touch me and I will send a replacement at no cost if I have enough fabric to make the replacement item. If do not have enough fabric to remake the lost item, I will fix the problem to your satisfaction. Please note that packages that have been marked delivered by the carrier will not be replaced or refunded.




How do I cancel an order?


Please contact me within 2 business days of when your pillow cover order is confirmed to cancel. After 2 business days, the order cannot be cancelled. For an accessory order, please contact me within 24 hours of confirmation of your order or before your order ships, whichever is earlier, because I dispatch accessories relatively quickly. For more information, please read my Terms & Conditions.





Sizing & Care

Since the cover will be smaller than the insert, what is the best way to get the insert into the cover?


Fold your insert down the middle (it will be a bit clumsy), put the folded insert into the pillow cover, then gently guide the corners of the insert to fit into the corners of the pillow cover. Once the four corners are in place, push in the insert so that there's enough room to close the zipper. Once the zipper is closed, fluff and smooth the pillow to its full glory.




Can you make a zipper pouch or lanyard in a different size or length?


To reduce waste, I make accessories from the limited and exact amount of fabric left from making pillow covers; therefore, I cannot make custom sizes.




How do I wash ankara fabric?


It is best to not wash ankara fabric often. If cleaning is necessary, spot clean or machine wash in cold water on gentle cycle, and line dry. It is possible that there will be a small amount of color leakage while washing, so wash separately or with like colors. All fabric I use is preshrunk, so you should not see significant shrinkage after washing.





Sustainability

In what ways do you practice sustainability?


First, I reduce fabric waste by using as much of the material left over from making pillow covers as I can to make unique functional accessories. This is why I have only a limited number of accessories in stock—because I make them only when extra fabric becomes available. Second, I protect all items for transit by using packaging made from recycled materials that are lightweight and can be recycled or reused. I do all of this without sacrificing the quality of the products I offer or the enjoyment of receiving anything you buy at Lara Threads. If you are wondering, "why did you pick plastic?," that's a fair question. I did lots of research to better understand the facts and the nuance surrounding purported eco-friendly materials and came to the conclusion that the packaging choices I have made are the most appropriate options, for now, for Lara Threads. My aim is to not "greenwash" or make a choice that sounds great because it's popular. This NPR segment presents some food-for-thought regarding the paper vs. plastic question. How does this impact your experience shopping with me? It means a low shipping cost and assurance that your beautiful product stays dry and protected while it's on its way to you. It also means you can take some comfort knowing that you are playing a small part in helping to preserve this Blue Marble!




How do I recycle the materials used for packaging my order?


Thanks for making the decision to recycle. Paper can be recycled in your normal recycling stream. All plastic packaging products I use are made from recycled materials and can be recycled in your normal recycling stream if your area accepts plastic film (a lot of places do not). Otherwise, please drop off the plastic material at a store plastic film recycling bin.





Contact

Where are you located?


In the beautiful city of Boston!




I have another question not listed here. How do I contact you?


You may use the contact form here, send an email, or find me on Instagram @larathreadsusa.





About Ankara Fabric

What is Ankara?


Also called African wax fabric, Ankara is 100% cotton fabric that is popular throughout Africa, particularly in West Africa and East Africa (where it is called Kitenge). Ankara is used to make clothing, accessories, home decor, furnishing, and a whole lot more. The way the fabric is made–wax printing–results in intricate, often repeating, and not-quite-perfect designs, which, along with vibrant colors, give ankara fabric its characteristic look and allure.




Why is Ankara also sometimes referred to as Dutch wax fabric?


Good question. It’s time for a history lesson and a reasonable perspective on why ankara or kitenge or African wax fabric or Dutch wax fabric is now uniquely associated with Africa regardless of what the fabric is called or its place of origin or manufacture. TL;DR - in the mid 1800s, a Dutch businessperson took the wax printing idea from Indonesia, mass produced the fabric in The Netherlands, and imported it to Ghana. The fabric became massively popular across Africa and was transformed into a textile that is now uniquely African and embraced worldwide.





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