While I was trying to source material for my wedding outfit I checked out a few fabric shopping areas suggested by you dear Readers. I thought I’d summarise what I found – as reminder to myself as well as for your benefits!
- Walthamstow, Northeast London:
Walthamstow Central station (blue Victoria line)
Mostly African embroidered net, some wax print, misc fabric. One trims & haberdashery shop that sells Indian/Asian trims. Cheap prices.
- Green St, East London:
Upton Park station (green District line / pink Hammersmith & City line)
Fancy Indian/Asian sarees & wedding outfits. Some shops sell part-stitched suits. A few are fabric shops that sell fabrics by suit amount rather than per meter – ie enough coordinating fabrics to make an entire Indian/Asian outfit. A couple of trims & haberdashery shop for making / embellishing your Indian/Asian sarees / outfits. Average prices.
- Whitechapel Rd, East London:
Whitechapel station (green District line / pink Hammersmith & City line)
Mostly pre-stitched Indian/Asian everyday sarees & suits. I guess the sarees can be treated as fabrics. But no option for unstitched blouse fabrics.
- Wentworth Rd, East London:
Aldgate East station (green District line / pink Hammersmith & City line)
Aldgate station (pink Hammersmith & City line / yellow Circle line / purple Metropolitan line)
Mostly African embroidered net, some wax print, misc fabric.
- Berwick St, Central London:
Tottenham Court Road station (red Central line / black Northern line)
Expensive dress/clothing fabrics catering for Western tastes.
- Goldhawk Rd, West London:
Goldhawk Road station (pink Hammersmith & City line / yellow Circle line)
Less expensive dress/clothing fabrics. Many shops owned by Asians. A couple now stock expensive fabrics that you browse by racks of hanging samples – kind of like at B&J Fabrics in NYC.
- Southall, Greater West London:
Southall overground train station (GWR or Heathrow Connect trains from Paddington station)
A bit like Green St, with many fancy Indian/Asian sarees & wedding outfits, not all of which are in the £1000-2000 range. Also a few more fabric shops which I didn’t get to check out properly (because I didn’t have an umbrella on a rainy day). Looks as if fabrics are sold by meters. A few more well-stocked Indian/Asian trims & haberdashery shop than at Green St.
I also started a Google Map to plot the fabric & other sewing related shops in London. It’s based on another Google Map I found which seems a bit out of date by now. I’ve…
- Removed any that Google Map users have indicated as being permanently closed
- Added some that I’ve visited recently
- Grouped the markers into different categories so it’s easier to show/hide home furnishing fabrics which doesn’t interest me as much
- Changed the listings to Google Places (found via Google Map Search) rather than adding the shop data to this map only. This makes it easier to link to/find shop info that Google Map users and/or shop owners have added. And if you want to add reviews & other info about a shop, you can do so via Google Map to help keep the information up-to-date & helpful to other shoppers.
- Added a couple of extra data fields to these place markers for shop speciality & price range. Obviously I wasn’t able to fill this in for every shop as I haven’t visited never mind bought anything from all shops on the map. But the fields are there in case anyone wants to add the info.
- Made the map editable by anyone, so you can add markers (please use the map search to find the existing Google Place marker for the shop), or if a shop has permanently closed its door you can delete or mark it as closed.
- Added Area Overviews (lines that mark out streets with multiple shops) so it’s easier to find areas of London worth checking out for more focused shopping experience. Hopefully this will help visitors to the city plan their fabric shopping trips better rather than chasing the lone stores scattered across this vast city.
Google Map isn’t easiest to use, but I couldn’t think of any other way we can collectively maintain a map to help feed our fabric addiction habit! For another recent (as in 2016) review of London fabric shops, check out Kate of Fabricated’s London Fabric Shopping blog post here.