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Local fabric store has regional draw — Sewers, hobbyists come to romp in The Cotton Patch

Lincoln County has its very own “Cotton Patch” tucked into a curb on Auburn Drive. It belongs to Betty Case, and it has more to do with haberdashery than horticulture.

Case opened the business in 1982, selling muslin curtains out of a block building in her front yard. After a while, she started carrying a few yards of fabric, and local women promptly swarmed the shop.

“I always wanted a fabric place of my own,” Case said.

Now, 36 years later, she’s one of the busiest textile wholesalers in Southwest Mississippi. Folks flock to The Cotton Patch in search of well-priced, colorful cloth, and some come from as far as Louisiana.

“People started coming, and we got so busy, I couldn’t get back inside,” she said.

Case’s business boomed rather suddenly after Hurricane Katrina, when a woman from New Orleans stumbled upon the shop and spread the word about Case’s offerings.

The store consists of a specialty gift shop and several buildings brimming with cloth. And, as a means of celebrating the state economy, part of the business is dedicated to the Mississippi-made “Premier Prints” fabric brand.

“If you name it, we’ve got it. Except fabric with sequins on it,” she said.

Case’s inventory is immense, and she has several thousand bolts of fabric at her disposal. She carries products for quilters, seamstresses and upholsterers, and she said each material’s use is determined by its weight.

The Cotton Patch is a labor of love for Case and her extended family. She works alongside her sister, daughter, daughter-in-law and granddaughter, and she hopes to one day pass the business along to the next generation.

Case’s team also does custom sewing, and they take commissions for baby bedding, curtains and outdoor cushions.

The Cotton Patch is open from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., Thursday-Saturday.