In this post I want to cover some of the fabric shops I visited whilst in the Garment District NY, the fabrics they stock and their ease of use as a store.
B&J Fabrics 525 Seventh Ave, 2nd floor
This was my favourite place in the whole of New York. It was beautifully laid out. Each fabric had a large piece of swatch available so you could really feel the fabric without fear of damaging the surface. It also allowed you to see the larger pattern and to test how it flowed when moved. On the header for each sample hanger was the fibre content and price, which made it really easy to record what was a ‘possible’ for the buying list. I took a photo of each of the fabrics I was interested in for my own reference.
I bought the colourful scuba shown in the picture and it was expensive at $62.95/yard but I only bought ¾ yard making it more affordable for what has become a unique and versatile little skirt.
Some of the fabrics are not cheap here but the quality is clear. They had some amazing one-offs which were scarily expensive, so much so I didn’t take any photos, sorry! But here’s a link if you’re interested in fabric at $300/yard. The lurex ombre silk square in this link would have made the most exquisite evening dress, but not for me!
There were many other fabrics that were very attainable for a normal budget though so if you get the opportunity, do take the time to look at B&J Fabrics. You can order their fabrics from Britain as they have an active international delivery service, although I can’t vouch for it as I have not yet had need for further fabrics from them. They also have a very comfy couch to rest the limbs of any weary shopping partners.
Hubby taking it easy as I peruse the fabrics at B&J Fabrics.
Be aware that B&J Fabrics is accessed via a lift as it is on the second floor. Below you’ll see a series of pics of the entrance showing the entrance across the street, the arch you go through to access the lifts, the lobby and then the door way to B&J Fbrics on the second floor
Spandex House 263W. 38th St
I have to say the name raised an eyebrow on my husband’s head, he was thinking I had taken him to a whole other kind of district! But after some reassurance he followed me inside.
As you can see through the window the fabrics are nicely laid out, very ordered but the pricing isn’t always clear. I had to ask a number of times for prices of different pieces which was a little frustrating. Also you can get varying answers from different assistants! There was a whole array of prints and for some reason a huge number of them were food related.
All the prints and dance fabrics are downstairs but there are a further two floors of plain stretch, jersey and neoprene fabrics upstairs. What really struck me was the wide variety of colours you can get here in Spandex House, and in other stores. Whereas we might get the choice of two or three colours here in Britain in the Garment District you could pretty much pick up any colour you wanted in any of the fabrics they stocked.
Spandex World 253W. 35th St
This Spandex shop is similar to Spandex House, it has a vast array of stretch fabrics with many dance and sequined pieces to keep even the most vociferous sparkle lover happy. Again it is well laid out but you will need to ask for prices. I purchased a number of different fabrics from here and they were very honest in showing me a fault in one of the fabrics I had selected and gave me extra length to make up for it.
Gate 232 Inc. 257W. 39th St
This was a real little treasure trove of a shop, there were many reduced items in this bargain basement. This wasn’t on my ‘to visit’ list but I’m very glad that I came across this one as it was having a clearance sale to beat all others.
There were a wide range of fabrics but you really only got to see what was at the front of the vertically stacked rolls as they were at least 7-8 rolls deep and very heavy. There was a ‘path’ through the maze of fabrics but the prices were well worth the pain of negotiating your way through. I picked up some wool/cashmere heavy knitted fabric for $8/yard, a sequin velvet for $10/yard, and the lightest silk for $15/yd.
The staff are brusque but very helpful, be prepared to do a deal, they seem to love the haggle
In the next blog I will cover Mood Fabrics and some of the fabulous trimming shops I found.