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The 5 Best Fabric Stores In New York

July 24, 2012 6:00 AM

Some people collect fabric the way others collect jewelry, or beautiful objects, or beach glass. For those uncompromising souls who would rather sew a one-of-a-kind creation than buy off-the-rack, fabrics are the muse and inspiration for looks completely and individually their own. Whatever sewing style you call your own, no city anywhere in the world can touch New York City’s extraordinary fabric shops––and these are the best of the best.

Foursquare Favorite: N.Y. Elegant Fabrics
224 W 40th St
New York, NY 10018
(212) 302-4980
Read all the tips on Foursquare

Located right in the heart of New York City’s Garment District, on 40th Street between 7th and 8th Avenues, this bi-level fabric shop stocks an incredibly vast collection of fabric, from basic cotton to speciality designs and faux fur. Students with a school ID get 10% off, but note that the shop is closed on Sundays.

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shopping style fabric stores mood The 5 Best Fabric Stores In New York

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Mood Designer Fabrics
225 W. 37th St.
New York, NY 10018
(212) 730-5003

Mood’s unending collection of fashion fabrics include up-to-the-minute looks by designers like Ralph Lauren, Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs and Nicole Miller.  The hottest looks often go on sale for as little as $8 a yard, pleasing the unending, eclectic customer mix of fashion divas, home sewers and celebrity darlings like Parker Posey who frequent the shop. Fabrics are housed by category and include everything under the sun from lawn to lame. Prices are really, really good here; amazingly sumptuous fabrics can be found for $10-$50 per yard. Home-styling fabrics can also be found here, as can an extensive complement of buttons, notions and trims.

shopping style fabric stores cutting The 5 Best Fabric Stores In New York

B&J Fabrics
525 Seventh Ave.
New York, NY  10018
(212) 354-8150

Family-run B&J is a well-oiled, organized machine. The store features swatches instead of bolts, making for less clutter and dust. Customers rave about the tranquil atmosphere and easy-to-navigate space, as well as the irreverent collection of Japanese-print cottons and jersey fabrics. Liberty of London florals are a star here at around $37 a yard, as are the pricier abstract brocades and sequined fabrics that can take your breath away at $200-$1,000 a yard.

Related: NYC’s 6 Best Eco-Friendly Clothing Shops

shopping style fabric stores The 5 Best Fabric Stores In New York

Rosen & Chaddick Fabrics
561 Seventh Ave.
New York, NY  10018
(212) 869-0142

If you need it yesterday, second-generation run Rosen & Chaddick is your kind of fabric store. The darling of architectural firms in need of large, immediate deliveries, R&C features unparalleled customer service and a brightly-lit, well organized shopping environment. The amazingly friendly and helpful sales staff can work with you on large or small orders and are well-versed in this season’s color and print trends. While there are no deep discounts here, prices are reasonable on basic fabrics like cotton duck and twill. Good quality linen at $25.95 per yard is available in 125 colors, so be prepared to spend some time deciding on just the perfect shade to bring out the color of your eyes.

shopping style fabric stores zarin fabrics The 5 Best Fabric Stores In New York

Photo Credit: ZARIN FABRICS via Facebook

Zarin Fabrics
314 Grand St.
New York, NY 10002
(212) 925-6112

If your home is your castle, you’ll want to trust your upholstery and window treatment needs to the savvy staff at Zarins’. Bolt after bolt of outdoor and indoor fabrics are arranged by color and fabric type in this large and well-organized lower east side showroom.  Drapery hardware and trim are also available. Prices can go as low as 50 percent off regular retail, and reasonably priced, custom services on window treatments and upholstery are a specialty. This third-generation run business caters to their customers and treats them like royalty. Come here once and you’re hooked for life.

96665622 1 The 5 Best Fabric Stores In New York

Brooklyn General
128 Union St.
Brooklyn, NY 11231
(718) 237-7753

The warm, inviting atmosphere of this old fashioned emporium of crafty delights is as welcoming as your grandma’s sewing room.  A strong focus on natural fabrics and fibers would complete the picture of a wholesome, bygone era were it not for the astonishingly modern, high fashion feel to the patterns and prints gracing many of the fabrics you’ll find here. Natural, organic cotton? You bet. But check out the colorful, Japanese pattern on that cultured beauty. Vintage fabrics and an interesting assortment of notions and patterns, as well as yarns up to there complete the picture. If you’re new to the crafty life, BG offers sewing and knitting classes that will have you whipping up creative concoctions in no time. Prices are about what you would expect to pay, but the selection here is slightly left of center and very hipster Brooklyn.

Related: Best Places to Buy Homemade Gifts in New York

Corey Whelan is a freelance writer in New York. Her work can be found at

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