Sunday, April 3, 2016

Fabric Shopping in London

Last spring holidays we traveled to London for five days, mainly to concerts and fabric hunting. With the excuse of fabric shopping, we toured the British capital under its typical bad weather (it even hailed!) and we enjoyed it big time! In the above picture you can see the whole bounty, 10 fabrics in total.

Our first stop was at Liberty's. It was a very nice feeling to be able to touch all that tana lawn I knew by heart from the internet! Carlos was the sweetest of husbands and he not only came with me to ALL the shops, but he took pictures, helped me choose, carried the heavy backpack, and even paid for some of my fabrics as a present. LOVE!

After Liberty we hit the Soho and its multiple shops. I found luxurious silks, brocades, wool suiting, shirting, organic. I fell into expensive temptation and bought silk fabric for a dress I had not planned, I could not resist the silk allure! I also bought gorgeous black silk jersey, one of the few reasons I think I could play the lottery one day.

Next day it was saturday, so we travelled to Walthamstow market. I found the famous MAN OUTSIDE SAINBURY'S, and he did not let me down! He has a wonderful stall full of treasures. He was very busy taking care of his customers, to whom he knew by name. He was honest and helpful with me, telling me the real composition of fabrics, even though their touch had tricked my senses. "It seems wool -he said- but it is 100% polyester" Very very nice shop! If I lived in London, he would be one of my main sources of fabric! Finally I bought almost 4 m of black thick cotton (3 pounds the metre) and two metres of wonderful blue silk for a dress. 

In the street of the market there are a handful of fabric shops, some specialized in African, Indian textiles. It was wonderful only to see. Saeed's might be the biggest and better provided shop. Here I bought some pink cotton stretch jersey for a summer dress. Carlos picked that one. 

I regret not taking pictures of Ray Stitch in Islington, but I took some pictures of the neighbourhood I liked best in this visit. It is a hipster place packed with interesting restaurants, shops and bars. I bought some organic cotton sweat jersey and some stretch cotton. Prices there are too expensive, tough. I saw how they were sewing downstairs, 90 pounds for a course of t-shirt making, it is a thriving business and I am glad.
Pity we could not make it to The Village Haberdashery, I kept it for the last day, and I quited when we found our tube station closed. We'd rather do not risk it, and thanks to that sensitive decision we did not loose our plane in the most difficult trip to an airport ever. London transport system is not reliable at all, I am afraid, as it is its weather. But fabric shops... WOW! After such a productive journey and we leave with more places to visit in the future. That is a good sign. London and the UK are heading the sewing hobby, it is popular and fashionable over there. Good for them!


  1. Glad you had such a good trip. It has been much wetter than normal over the last year and I think you were unlucky with the transport. With the terrorist activity around, the powers that be are being cautious- no bad thing really, but very frustrating.I suppose we have got used to it. Hope for better things on your next visit

    1. Thank you for your comment! Do not apologize for London, it is a great city I will never tire of visiting. Culture is all around: theatre, literature, music... It is still the cultural capital in Europe. I love it!


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