Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon
Tools & Supplies

Book Giveaway: John Gillow Textiles Titles

Indian Textiles by John Gillow and Nicholas Barnard (Thames & Hudson, 2008)

Textile production has thrived for centuries in India. Indian Textiles by John Gillow and Nicholas Barnard (Thames & Hudson, 2014) leads you through the history of textiles from every region of the Indian subcontinent with 475 photographs–450 which show the beautiful variety of colors used. The book includes information about the history, materials, and techniques used in the creation of these textiles. It also includes a detailed reference section which makes the book an essential reference guide. This newly published book is a great source to open your mind to new prints, colors and more!

In Textiles of the Islamic World, John Gillow (Thames & Hudson, 2013) displays the wide array of textiles made, worn, used, and displayed throughout the Islamic world. The book gives analysis region-by-region, providing details of local history, traditions, materials, and trading places. Explore the textiles through 638 stunning textile illustrations of items such as prayer cloths, silk purses, shawls, sarongs, and more from the Islamic world.

John Gillow spent 35 years researching, collecting, and lecturing about textiles from around the world. His other books include African Textiles, Traditional Indonesian Textiles, and World Textiles (with Bryan Sentance).

Have you ever purchased fabric while travelling away from your home town? Tell us about your experience below before the deadline–midnight, Friday, March 14, 2014. We’ll randomly select a winner who will be announced during the week of March 17.

Good luck!


Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in


  1. Marty_Marie | | #1

    Im going on our first vacation since i started sewing. I cant wait to check out the fabric and sewing items i find while on vacation. I am staying with my grandparents so if i buy a lot i can mail it back to myself. Any suggestions for Cozumel, Mexico or Grand Cayman?

  2. moviedoll | | #2

    I haven't, but I would LOOOOOOVE to go fabric shopping in Turkey, India, and Hong Kong.

  3. Mimilikes2sew | | #3

    My first trip to the UK was in 1991 my daughter was 13 and we aimed for a Laura Ashley store and straight to the fabric department. I was surrounded by cottons and chintz fabrics fabulous florals patterns large and small. We played for hours choosing and planning her school wardrobe and left several yards heavier and had to purchase an extra suitcase to accommodate the purchase. Next, Liberty of London Yikes! I died and went to fabric heaven and discover life just gets better with fabric, trims and textures.
    Discovering fabric stores and sewing is a continual thrill for both of us here or aboard.

  4. User avater
    user-1109649 | | #4

    My Mom and I found a little quilt shop in a tiny town in Alaska during one of our cruise ship port stops. We weren't even looking for it, and there it was calling out to us as we walked around the little town! When we got back to the ship and told my husband and Dad about our "find" during our walk, they just laughed and said we had built-in fabric beacons!

  5. jessicadill | | #5

    My dad and I were in Hong Kong, China for a week when I was 16 years old for a work conference. As we were lost in the city for hours trying to find our hotel, I stumbled upon a fabric shop. I had never sewn or ventured through fabric shops before but for some reason I just had to go in this one. I made my dad come in with me. I was so amazed by all the colors and textures. I specifically marveled at this beautiful silk. And then, my dad did the craziest thing. He bought it for me. My dad is the most frugal man alive; so this was a big deal. He said, "make something with it". That's what started my long journey of sewing and design. Thank you dad.

  6. Changmom | | #6

    Love the designs, love the fabrics, would love to wallow in these books...I have been to Asia and the Middle East, would greatly appreciate the designs.

  7. lydianna | | #7

    One of the joys of traveling is finding fabric stores in other countries. I have visited and purchased textiles from Paris, from Vancouver,BC and Puerta Vallarta, Mexico. It would be my dream trip to India to discover the fabric and textiles to be found there. The same for the beautiful fabrics of the Islamic world. If can't get there in person just yet, the next best would be to get lost in either of these books.

  8. GuildedVeil | | #8

    I love purchasing fabrics from different regions as I travel. All I have to do is go to my stash and I get memories of the countries and vendors where I purchased them.

  9. sewjazzy | | #9

    My husband brought me some beautiful yardage from Peru and Guatemala. It is aging nicely in my studio while waiting for the perfect project. This book would be a great addition to my library.

  10. User avater
    EmbroideryDetail | | #10

    I purchased 3 yards of Enchanted Rose 2009 RJR Fabrics in Colorado. It is beautiful and I have been very particular about cutting into it:) Would love to know more about the Indian Textiles.

  11. candilouise | | #11

    Several years ago I accompanied my husband on a business trip to Malaysia. My most fervent desire was to fabric shop in the amazing fabric stores! Our last day there, we finally made it to the wondrous shops. 10 steps away from entering this amazing shop, I tripped and sprained my ankle! Frustration, then anger, then determination surged through me! I sucked it up, and limped through the store for the next 3 hours. I didn't notice any pain - the luscious textures and patterns had me enthralled! It wasn't until arriving back at the hotel, with several very full bags of assorted silks, cottons and laces, that I noticed the sharp stabbing pains running up my leg. It was a very long airplane ride home. But I had my fabric!!!

  12. Bridgidhp | | #12

    I had two very different experiences: Ireland and China

    In Ireland the quilt revival had not yet began....I could not find quilt fabric in Dublin or other cities, but did get one of the last of the amazing woven blankets by an artist that passed away....which I cherish to this day. I was also fascinated by the wool and brought many home. I need to return to spend time finding more fabric there.

    In China, I went to some amazing textile factories and picked up silk after watching how it was created and then picked up double sided embroidery piece on sheers.....the technique was beyond belief.

  13. mgrant7209 | | #13

    I don't get to travel - that's why these books would be so wonderful to have!

  14. vwren99 | | #14

    I love reading about all kinds of textiles--these books sound fascinating!I don't get to travel very far afield, but I always try to find out if there is a fabric or yarn store nearby when I do get out of town, and I program them into my GPS.(I also have a small stash of special international fabric scraps saved from my "former" life working in retail display, which I only cut into v-e-r-y judiciously, lol.)

  15. smockinglps | | #15

    My husband and I took a trip to Tahiti 20 years ago. I filled an empty bag with yards of hand dyed batik sarongs thinking I would use them in quilts. However, I never had the heart to cut them up.

  16. ShelleyK | | #16

    When traveling in China a decade ago, our hosts took us to section of Shanghai that was filled with outdoor fabric stalls.

    Among (many, many) purchases was a 5 yard bolt of a blue/green water pattern silk. It is one of the most beautiful fabrics I have ever bought.

  17. janeite | | #17

    I've had some great finds when travelling. I went to Guadalajara and found a lovely linen print. When I visited my sister in New Zealand we toured the North Island and I found a beautiful fabric in New Plymouth. My daughter found 2 lovely sarees for me in Kuala Lumpur and Singapore which I made into regency gowns. I'm currently planning a trip to Scotland and a length of tweed is at the top of my shopping list!

  18. user-2745819 | | #18

    Lugging 3 meters of wool from Studio Donegal in my pack through the latter half of my trip to Ireland was memorable. I still get comments on the warm poncho I made with 2 of them. The other meter (of a different fabric) is one of my shawls/blankets for period events, and has also stood up to the nearly 10 years of use I've given it. Wonderful stuff.

  19. brbrcat | | #19

    For years my daughter and I would choose a length of material each from my father's store every time we went back to NZ on holiday .
    Now it is in my brother's store that we choose some fabric ...

  20. User avater
    CheritaMd | | #20

    I go from MD to NY & NJ for Indian & Pakastani clothes pieces (salwar Kameez suits, sari, laces & trims, dupattas, etc) bc I haven't found anywhere local to get what I can get there :-). I can't wait to take a trip to India to get some real shopping done ;-). My husband takes me & is super patient while I shop <3. We always make a special stop at Grom's in NY & Shalimar restaurant NJ. We've also taken my son & another couple who are our good friends. Lots of great memories from those trips!

  21. alainae | | #21

    I always bring home fabric when I travel. I tend to bring home an entire suitcase full of fabric whether I stay in-state and go to LA's fashion district, Utah, Hawaii or Tahiti. My daughter competes in Tahitian dance competitions worldwide so we definitely bring a lot of fabric home from Hawaii and Tahiti.

  22. MsHem | | #22

    While in Finland I purchased several yards of Miremekko fabric. We were in a small town. The clerk didn't speak English or Swedish, and I spoke only a few words in Finnish. After a bit of hand waving and numbers written on paper, I left with a treasured buy.
    I also bought Linen and a small piece of our family Tartan in Scotland.
    Finding a fabric shop while traveling is my idea of a great adventure. What better way to take home a piece of another land.

  23. Paula_Beron5 | | #23

    I haven´t yet traveled around, but one of my dreams is to actually travel, and be able to buy material. I have lots of books, on textiles from different parts of the world. I love them.

  24. redlum | | #24

    We madea trip to Australia in 2005. Besides enjoying a wonderful vacation, I was hoping to get some unique Aussie style fabric and some wool yarn(since they are so close to New Zealand(a source for some of the yar). I had picked up some Australian craft magazines to get an idea of business to possibly check out. I didn't realize how far apart these locations were. There are 6 states there so even if you are in the appropriate state...any sidetrip to these locations would have been like traveling from Michigan to Iowa...not exactly feasible. I did find 2 chain stores and purchased some yardage to bring home...but it wasn't Aussie style. They just had a different selection of fabrics not seen here. Ironically, a few weeks after the trip I was at a large quilt show in the Chicago area and a vendor there had a large selection of a new line of aboriginal Aussie fabric from M&S textiles(Australia). Had to buy some even if bought in USA.

  25. Windtroll | | #25

    I have bought fabric and yarn in Fiji and Norway, Thailand and Mexico. I had a friend send me fabric from Singapore. I love texture and color.

  26. Leesy | | #26

    I haven't had the chance to travel widely. I do like to see and sometimes buy textiles at free trade stores when I do travel within my own region.

  27. CRAZYJANE | | #27

    In 1997 I was working as a wardrobe mistress for a circus, we went on a 5 month tour of Taiwan,( I'm from the UK) whilst on this tour I bought some beautiful peach finish , old gold coloured fabric in Taipai.
    In 2013 My Brother got married and I made the brides dress and a dress for my mother out of the fabric I bought in Taipai. I had hung on to it because it was so lovely I couldn't decide what to make, but a "mother of the bridegroom frock" was the perfect time to use it. and my mmother loved it and looks fab.

  28. AnneKasten | | #28

    For years , whenever I hear about a friend about to take a trip to an exotic location I always give them some money and ask them to bring back whatever catches their eye and seems really representative of the place they visited. As a result of this I have a wonderful collection from places I know I am unlikely to visit in this lifetime. And my friends always say how much it added to their trip to have that task to do. Muy most recent arrival is a beautiful scarf from india with hand stitching which is incredibly inspiring.

  29. gailete | | #29

    I was privileged to go on a quilting cruise with the late Doreen Speckman with stops at three islands. It was a good thing that I had a big suitcase because I picked up fabric wherever I went including some batiks before they were so popular. One dress factory, they allowed us to buy leftovers from their cutting and I'm still using some of those pieces now! The trip was in 1990 and we were at sea when the Gulf War broke out, so it has been many years and last summer I finally used up my biggest piece of fabric that I got to make a 'pillowcase' dress for myself. I don't know what kind of fabric it was since it is cool to wear and doesn't wrinkle even after going through the wash. Obviously I'm not someone that feels compelled to use up my stash as that piece waited 23 years for it's turn!

  30. crazymazey | | #30

    I was staying at Hampton Court Palace last summer in England, finishing off my certificate for the Royal School of Needlework, when I took a trip into Richmond looking for some silk to stitch on. I found this amazing organza with embroidered roses on it. I didn't buy it right away but I went back a couple of days later and bought a meter. Oh my gosh, it was so beautiful and I had already planned to use it for my reproduction of a 1620's gown. I layered it with light pink silk and the end result was better than I imagined! I was so thankful I had gone back to get it. I haven't seen anything like it since.

  31. Sarahruth | | #31

    In the very early 80's I made my first trip abroad. It was to London. While there, we visited Harrod's and I purchased a piece of silk and wool blend fabric. (I don't know if they still carry fabric now.) I made a beautiful blazer and wore it for years. I've been abroad several more times, and always buy some fabric from the place we visit. It is a great time to get some memorable fabric.

  32. Frances_NZ | | #32

    I just visited India in January for a Girl Guiding event and bought some block printed fabric as well as a sari. I would love to learn more about Indian textiles.

  33. marhalls | | #33

    I love everything about India. On my first trip ( not to be my last) I went looking at fabric but was so overwhelmed by it all that decided to just enjoy the fabric and not worry about making decisions on what to buy. It did make me realize how much there is to learn about it and hope to know more in time for my next trip in 2016.

  34. User avater
    WinterSewstice | | #34

    I stayed in Mexico for a little while, and made it my determination to hit various fabric stores-- the experience was absolutely breathtaking. I bought fabric that I was able to make a lovely scarf out of and I added a personal touch with an embroidered monogram and I got a chance to use some of those nice decorative stitches that my handy sewing machine provides. Everyone wanted to know where I bought it and if they could buy one, that made my day. I also bought fabrics that were native to the country in print. There were also gorgeous embellishments to add to your wardrobe, I had to have some of that, too. I felt like a kid in a candy store. I was in one store that had the foot part of shoes and you could buy different kinds of yarns, strings and beading to make sandals from, a friend is bringing a pair back for me. The fabrics, and threads, and floss and strings, and beads inspired creativity beyond my imagination. I LOVED the experience and I can't stop thinking about it. I would love to experience the textiles for other places, I think they would be absolutely stimulating to the senses.

  35. TSiskos | | #35

    My husband and I are going to Turkey next year to visit the birthplace of his mother. Fabric hunting is on the agenda! One thing I notice in everyone's comments is the sheer joy fabric brings to us! We are "fabriholics!!

  36. KRINGLE0207 | | #36

    Fashion books and fabric everywhere I go in the US and abroad. Lots of research before traveling takes me to places to love and helps feed my passion for fabrics and fashion. In London right off the plane, make a beeline to Liberty Fabrics. Then on to the Victoria and Albert Musuem for fabulous books like "The Art of Dress" and "Four Hundred Years of Fashion." In Italy, books from the Fortuny Museum, wools from a fabric shop next to the hotel and leather from a local factory. A highlight of a trip to China - a silk factory (worms and all!)with yards and yards of silk.

    In the US check the ads in "Threads" and other sewing magazines for fabric stores nationwide. Take the list along when you travel! And check out the unusual -- a local exhibit of Henry Moore outdoor scluptures included a lecture and book on fabrics designed by the scupltor.

  37. pathersl | | #37

    I did! I bought Irish linen in Ireland, Even traded with a quilter there for a piece of the rare green linen. First thing I look for in a new town is the fabric connection!

  38. Ramc | | #38

    Fabric is one of my favorite souvenir items. Sometimes I buy fabric to make a gift(clothing) for someone special. It's another way of sharing my travel experiences.

  39. user-2578315 | | #39

    Ages ago (1967 to be exact) I was in Greece with a group of college kids from Southern California. On our 7-day cruise (!) we stopped at Mykonos, Delos, Patmos, Rhodes, and Bodrun in Turkey. At each stop, if I came across fabric, I bought a yard or two. One of the pieces I made into a cocktail dress that was a big hit. The fabric was of unknown (to me) fiber content, but I loved the fantastic horizontal rainbow stripes at the border! I don't remember what became of the dress, but the fabric is still an inspiration to me.

  40. user-3008701 | | #40

    When I travel, I often scope out thrift, antique shops and flea markets. I usually very fortunate to find items of fabric such as clothing and vintage linens that I can repurpose or up-cycle.

  41. 3feathers | | #41

    I purchased a wonderful silk handwoven table runner while on a trip to Monti Carlo years ago. It came from a tiny village in France. The shop had an old loom with an old weaver working away. Being a bit frugal, I had to think hard about buying it, but I've treasured it for many years. No regrets. I was a bit surprised that Europe doesn't have as many fabric shops as I had imagined. The good old USA has the Mother Load!

  42. winifredscott | | #42

    Yes, indeed! Fabric seems to be my souvenir of choice. I chose a wild plaid at Parron's in New York, lace in New Orleans, silk at Haberman's in Royal Oak, Michigan. I can't wait to explore other cities.

  43. SafeDriving | | #43

    Lately, it has been my children's travels that have brought me the greatest treasure of wonderful fabrics from around the world. I have batiks from Philippians, silks from Thailand, alpaca woven pieces from Bolivia and Indian sari fabric.
    These have been some of the best gifts I have received.

  44. user-1112694 | | #44

    I love to sew and when in Mexico I bought handwoven bright colourful fabric for skirts and table cloths. I also have hand printed cotton fabric from the streets of Iran's capitol in unusual prints bought before the problems started in that country. They will make incredible unusual fabrics and time to sew them.

  45. user-540777 | | #45

    I bought textiles when I travel. The last time was in India, and that was an interesting experience. I loved the "Gandi" shops but the silk is so starch that it feel like carboard and now I am affraid to wash it. the other shops, very often the (always) male vendor will tell you that it is silk even it is not, so you have to know fabric to be able to recognize the true silk from... anything else. I got some very nice saries and I haven't find the right pattern/garment to use it yet, but I will eventually use them all.

  46. SEGnesa | | #46

    I have a very interesting piece of crochet fabric I bought in Jamacia while on a cruise there in 1980. Never used it because I have never seen anything like it anywhere. I will probably leave it to my granddaughter when I win the race by dying with the biggest stash! :)

  47. betsysmom | | #47

    I have never traveled far. However, a swain of yore brought me silk tapestry from Japan during the Subic Bay crisis in the very early 1960s. I still have it waiting for just the right occasion. Yards and yards. It would make a lovely coat for a very special event. Someday....

  48. Carly_Sue | | #48

    I have many books and fabrics but I keep on loving to find out about new things and trends. I would love to win this book.

  49. Carly_Sue | | #49

    I have many books and fabrics but I keep on loving to find out about new things and trends. I would love to win this book.

  50. Momsy_Dear | | #50

    I was determined to see the Liberty Department Store when I went to London in 2000 and I purchased a beautiful piece of printed lawn. The symmetrical print worked beautifully as a border on a quilt. When I went to Paris in 2010, I purchased another piece of Liberty lawn and it's still waiting for that perfect project. My fabric collection also includes two Chinese brocades I purchased in Hong Kong and a New York print fabric purchased in NYC. Fabric is the perfect souvenir.

  51. user-337426 | | #51

    I love to buy fabric when I travel! In my stash I have fabric from Japan, Morocco, Egypt, Tanzania and also Liberty in London.

  52. user-2361773 | | #52

    Chantal writes: When I go to France, I have to stop at Marché St-Pierre in Paris, 6 floors of fabric, wools, linens, silks, cotton and much more. A visit that can last three to four hours, with my notes on fabrics I would like, my book of ideas and patterns. Wonderful outing while my husband waits patiently at the bistro having a few beers! I feel very lucky and privileged to be able to live moments like these.

  53. marijke1 | | #53

    I often buy fabric on trips, both domestic and abroad. Domestic trips give me access to a far more extensive selection that I can find locally. Trips abroad have netted some unusual fabrics, such as tie dye from a shop in Ghana that did its own dyeing and adinkra prints from a village that made it own printing inks. In Ethiopia I had an opportunity to visit traditional weavers (in a mountain village in the far south) and buy the fabric they had woven. These traditional fabrics are treasures that I am quite reluctant to cut into! I love learning about traditional weaving and dyeing techniques, as well as various embroidery techniques from around the world.

  54. Liena | | #54

    Textiles are a love- American Indian Saddle blanket, Peruvian back-strap loom weavings in patterns so geometric, Zimbabwe story quilting, Egyptian shawls,Swedish damasks, Turkish carpets in fine silks and most of all Latvian weavings, tablecloths and National costume linens and wools, all find a place in my suitcases. The glory of textiles is art, joy and
    happiness always!

  55. User avater
    agapantha | | #55

    When I leave home, I rarely buy anything except books and fabric. I came home from (of all places) Fredericksburg, TX and Red Lodge, MT with gorgeous saris that are destined to become other things.

  56. aindava | | #56

    Since we usually traveled to vacation in more rustic out-of-doors areas, I've never bought fabric on a trip. However, I was lucky enough to live in St. Petersburg, FL, for a very long time, where there was a fabric store called Jay's Fabrics just on the other side of town. It was jam-packed with all kinds of fine fabrics.

  57. joyjen | | #57

    Getting a copy of this book and reading it would get me closer to my goal of 'textile enlightenment.' It is a path I have been on my entire life.

  58. user-3046261 | | #58

    I traveled to London with a group of women as part of indigenous people of the Arctic. We were invited by the British Museum to show and model our Arctic clothing, Kuspuks, fur garments, and ones made of fish and seal skin. While we were there we came upon a market that sold antiques, fabric, furniture and the like. I purchased a button, handcrafted from the 1700's and when back in Alaska placed it on a simple navy silk dress where it stood as the only ornamentation. I also purchased Forget-Me-Not tapestry ribbon, (our state flower) that I put on several Kuspuks that I subsequently made. It was an unforgettable trip that I remember each and every time I put on those garments.

  59. User avater
    andysmom | | #59

    We have taken several cruises in the Baltic, Europe, Trans Atlantic and Alaska. I have bought fabric in many places, but I think my greatest find was in a back alley in Lisbon. We were trying to find a shop to buy some wines to take home to friends and got lost. All of a sudden around a bend there was this multi level shop that had the most amazing fabric. According to the sales clerk, they tried to get all their fabric from European, and especially Portugese, mills. I ended up buying so much I needed to buy two more suitcases. The red wool made the most amazing long coat. We also went to a fort while at a stop in Valencia, Spain that had hundreds of small shops on the ground level and the owners lived above. Here I bought yards of towelling material and hand worked placemats and napkins. They were to be gifts, but I loved them so much I kept them. When ever travelling, fabric shopping is one of my first touristy things I do. You can learn about an area just by talking to other sewers.

  60. user-1134693 | | #60

    I absolutely loved visiting the Britex fabric store when I was in San Francisco. I have never seen so much beautiful fabric in one place.

  61. dianajanssen | | #61

    I always fabric shop when I travel. It is the best way for me to remember the trip.

  62. user-1110045 | | #62

    I have traveled to India and visited several fabric artists and manufacturing workshops. The most memorable experience was visiting a sari emporium. The emporium was five stories high and each floor sold a specific type of clothing eg. kurtis, salwars, sarongs, scarves, saris both everyday cotton and special occasion silks, heavily embroidered net fabrics. Our tour group were most interested in saris and thus on the sari floor we were offered tea and the show began. We would specify a colour choice and the salesman would unfurl various decorated saris our of colour choice at our feet until we either picked on or exhausted his stock. The colours of the saris would just pop out at you as our western palate is so dull. I bought several saris of different colours and the salesman was very happy after our group left (I wonder why? :-). I only have a few intact saris left as some have been sewn in to historical costumes such as regency ball gowns. I loved my time in India but I have also learned the stop over in Singapore is just as good! As I can indulge in a fabric 'shop over' with a couple more parcels being sent home via Singapore post. After I come home it just feels like Christmas a couple of weeks later because of the parcels being delivered by our postman.

  63. Berte | | #63

    I ALWAYS buy fabric when traveling. That and handmade ceramics are my souvenirs of choice. Not only is fabric cheaper almost anywhere else, but the choices are so much better. Which makes sense - a larger customer base can support that. (I live in Norway) It's great fun to have stuff made from fabric from around the globe - and to sort through my stash and in my mind visit the places where I bought it. So many memories are stored in my fabrics.

  64. ChrisCats | | #64

    In the late 70's I made my first trip to England and in London I went to Liberty. i was so overwhelmed by the choice of fabrics that I only bought a small amount.

  65. LindaG7 | | #65

    While visiting my sister-in-law in Maine, she took us on a tour of artist's studios nearby. One textile artist had yards and yards of unique, hand-dyed natural fabrics, mostly fine silks and cottons. It was difficult to choose one, they were all so deliciously colorful and irresistible. My wonderful husband treated me to a dress length of brightly colored silk charmeuse. It's still hanging in my closet, waiting for the right inspiration to fashion it into something special.

    I love looking for interesting fabrics when I travel. Probably one of the reasons my sewing room looks like a fabric warehouse.

  66. sewandsocreations | | #66

    I had never been to the garment district in Manhattan. It was a chilly Sunday morning in April. If you are familiar with this scenario, you already know the rest. There are no stores open on Sunday morning in Downtown Manhattan, and the wind whipping down the tall buildings could cause a chill on a 98 degree day....

  67. Randomlish | | #67

    Visiting Doha,Qatar, they have a whole market devoted to fabric. I have spent many an afternoon looking at the exquisite (and expensive) highly embroidered silk fabrics. On one trip, I bought some fabulous Japanese cotton fabric for a fraction of the price I would pay at home. Language barrier? No problem. The shop owner put his price into a calculator and shows you. You shake your head and offer up a different price. Eventually you come to an agreement. A different way to shop.

  68. olifant | | #68

    I am afraid I am not a seasoned traveler but I have always loved saris and wondered where Idian women purchased them. I did not realize so many others had the same idea as I do. The fabrics are just gorgeous very rich and intricate. I would love to win one of the books so I could dream of far away places and be inspired.

    Threads could you do an article on saris for us and what we Western women could make from them. I did purchase one and I have been afraid to cut into it. I did not want to ruin it. I am waiting for inspiration. My niece-in-law is from Bengal and she connected me with online access to saris. Wow! It is like being in a candy store.

  69. User avater
    sewhappybjm | | #69

    When I travel in the US, I like to check out fabric stores and I love to buy fabric when I'm on vacation. I've even traveled to another state just to buy fabric.

  70. User avater
    harikleia | | #70

    I love indian fabrics. The silk is luxurious and the colors are wonderful. I used to work for an indian lady and I admired the beautiful saris they wore at parties. I'd love to have this book. Thank you.

  71. user-3248701 | | #71

    I don't travel often because I am disabled. However, I always check out fabric stores in any little town I happen to be in. My dream is to take a textile trip to Japan and India to see all of the incredible techniques that are used. Color is such an amazing experience in another country. I spent time in Europe in my early twenties and wish I had searched for fabric then!!!!!

  72. Adventitiously | | #72

    I don't get to travel a lot, but whenever friends and family travel, they bring me back local fabrics. I have some lovely fabric from the Philippines, from India, and from China. Fabric shopping in Italy is my fantasy!

  73. MaryBob | | #73

    During summer vacations I started buying fabric for "school" clothes when I began teaching in the late 60's. That practice continued for 30 years and I NEVER regretted a single purchase. Students and colleagues alike would comment on a particular dress, jacket or coat which allowed me to tell them where the fabric came from. But, to this day, I still have a piece of BEAUTIFUL woven wool from Great Britain -- uncut. I must use it this year; no one will ever appreciate the beauty until it becomes something.

  74. dalej528 | | #74

    Threats (made to myself) regarding no further fabric purchases are forever foiled! On a recent out-of-town road trip, my husband and I were checking out what I affectionately call a "junktique", when I happened upon numerous bolts of fabric leaning in a dusty corner. With the help of a lighter, I discovered that many of the pieces were silk. Well, I walked out of there with about 20 yards of fabric (at $2 a yard). After returning home I realized I should have bought it all... gave the store a call, and ended up with another 20 yards! So much for keeping my stash in check!

  75. ReenAnne | | #75

    What a funny question: when have I NOT found fabric when traveling? Here is the question for me: how many pieces make it into a creation within a year? Well, the percentage may be lower than I like, but pleasure the memories the fabric brings to me is over 100% worthwhile.
    John Gillow is a pro. When I worked at the International Quilt Study Center & Museum he was one of the outstanding go-to experts on South Asian textiles.

  76. Connied | | #76

    I usually find some unique fabric to purchase when I travel. It helps to remember the trip and touring. The first time I purchased beautiful deep pink silk with gold thread design sari fabric in a little Manhattan fabric store while visiting. Also, I purchased locally milled woolen fabric while honeymooning in Vermont.

  77. Connied | | #77

    I usually find some unique fabric to purchase when I travel. It helps to remember the trip and touring. The first time I purchased beautiful deep pink silk with gold thread design sari fabric in a little Manhattan fabric store while visiting. Also, I purchased locally milled woolen fabric while honeymooning in Vermont.

  78. chachito | | #78

    When I travel, I like to browse fabric stores for natural textiles and unusual designs.

  79. user-3127011 | | #79

    My most memorable fabric purchases while traveling was on our honeymoon in Old town Quebec, Canada. In '85 my choice of specialty fabric was silk and lace!!!! The silk is still waiting in the cedar cabinet till I am sure what I will do it justice. I promised my hubby that if I hadn't used it before I die to put it in the coffin! So in an interest of not putting great fabric to good use it's time to get cracking!

  80. user-5510556 | | #80

    I have held on to this one piece of fabric I bought when I went with my husband on one of his Conferences 26 years ago. I keep it on my fabric shelf and I look at it at least once a week waiting for it to talk to me and tell me what it wants to be when it's ready. It's so beautiful I'm not sure I want to cut it until it really sings to me! I can't tell you which state in the USA I was in, but I love it, I think about and may just have to hold on to it until I pass away then get buried in it! lol, I hate the thought of someone just throwing it away if I passed away at a young age! Maybe I should 'will' it to one of the young bloggers.... now that's a good idea! :D

  81. AlterJBD | | #81

    Whenever we go to the Unclaimed Baggage store in Scottsboro, AL, I immediately hit the International section looking for saris, wraps, and wonderful textiles from Africa. I hate to think of all the travelers stranded without their favorite clothing, but I do appreciate their wonderful taste.

  82. user-2348100 | | #82

    I haven't travelled overseas for years although I hope to get some in South America on a coming-up trip.But when I travel within New Zealand I always keep my eyes open for fabric in local stores and in thrift shops. When I had to commute every second week for a while and couldn't sew while away, I compensated by buying fabric instead. I did buy some textiles in Turkey and in Thailand when I travelled in the 1990s - silk in Thailand and woven scarves in Turkey.

  83. user-2348100 | | #83

    I just wrote a post about buying fabric in Turkey and Thailand in the 1990s - it showed as user [long number] but I meant to post as lyndle.

  84. user-3247696 | | #84

    When I went on a trip to Bali with my sister, we both came home with 120 yds of fabric....needless to say, I will never use it all but nice to have a selection of beautiful batiks on hand when the sewing mood strikes. The best thing was it was all around $2.50 to &3 per yard. We even batiked 5 yds ourselves at a batik factory which gave a seminar and also painted silk, a lot of fun.

  85. mycreation | | #85

    While I was in Germany I went into a small store. They had reams of gorgeous bolts of fabric. I ended up finding a some lace that I could turn into a valence for rather blah looking kitchen window. It now reminds me of the trip and the nice memories that went with it.

  86. User avater
    Seranya | | #86

    I wish I could tell takes of travels to exotic places where I shopped for exquisite fabrics, but alas, I've not been anywhere more exotic than Vogue in Evanston, Illinois. I must say though, that I purchase a needle felted wool fabric into which I made a delightful jacket, and some from which came a very exotic looking handbag. I can say I felt as though I had traveled to the most wonderful fabric heaven since prior to that visit I'd only ever been to a few small town fabric stores and a modest Joann Fabrics.

  87. austen11 | | #87

    I regularly buy fabric when I visit my children in Portland, OR. They have so many wonderful fabric stores for the garment sewer, which I am.

  88. User avater
    Francesca94402 | | #88

    I have purchased fabric on several trips overseas. I found some striped material in a rainbow of colors in a bazaar in Istanbul. I only wish I had bought more because it was only 24 inches wide. As a folk dancer, I knew this was a typical ethnic fabric used in costumes. In fact, I found slippers covered in the same material in the same bazaar.

    Another experience was buying a length of cloth in Bulgaria on the street. Again, I knew it to be a typical ethnic weave. I thought it might even be wool. I ended up making it into a large table cloth, a beautiful red with black and white central stripes. This pleased my Bulgarian-American friends no end.

  89. mb9098 | | #89

    I always look for examples of local fabric or great deals. During a visit to the West Indies, I brought back an amazing Batik panel of 3 macaws. It became the focal point of a one-of-a-kind quilt that never fails to get oohs and aahs. In Mexico, I noticed all the employees at a salon had different outfits made from the same fabric. I asked her about it and she gave me the directions to the fabric store. (Quite an adventure in finding it and buying fabrics as my Spanish is VERY limited!) I found amazing tropical weight wools and dupioni silk at a fraction of what I would pay in the US. Now I travel with a collapsable duffle bag in my luggage so I can haul home my treasures.

  90. rubicat | | #90

    Unlike many of these commenters, I've never traveled outside the US and not very much inside the US either! But when I was young - maybe 12 yrs old - my mom & I made a trip to her family home in Pendleton, OR where we bought - guess what? Pendleton woolens. She made skirts for her 4 girls and 1 for herself to add to her fabulous collection of gorgeous Pendleton reversible pleated skirts. That fabric store was magnificent and I've never seen such yummy plaids since.

  91. ebbyjake | | #91

    My favorite souvenir when traveling is fabric. When asked, I've even chosen fabric as the trip gift from a friend or relative. This book would be the perfect companion.

  92. User avater
    jamaco | | #92

    I have never purchased fabric away from home. When I traveled it was always work related and I did not have time or transportation to be able to shop for anything. Would love to go to some of those places and do that now, but can't afford it.

  93. fabricstitcher | | #93

    Its amazing to me how different fabric choices are in different parts of the USA! It's fun to find a store when we travel and look at the different prints - and to figure out a way to use the fabric I can't resist buying.

  94. SuInAZ | | #94

    When I had jobs that both enabled and required travel, I loved to check out fabric stores and take home some fabric souvenirs. Of course this was 10 years ago and more, and most of those stores (at least in the US) are long gone. But I think of and uncover those fabric souvenirs from time to time, and eventually will use them all up with pleasure!

  95. user-21503 | | #95

    I always search for beautiful fabrics when I travel. NYC has a spectacular selection in the many fabric stores in the garment district, and Paris has some good shops for travelers. I have purchases from Japan and Thailand that haven't been sewn yet, but a treasure to look at and touch. Indian's saris are so colorful, and can be made into western garments. The hand woven fabrics of SE Asia are so beautiful to hang as art. Love fabrics!

  96. tarrilynn | | #96

    When my mother and I took our trip of a lifetime to Japan in 2010, I searched for fabric. I found it in the basements of department stores, and little shops and in vintage/second hand stores. I purchased all that I could. My mother thought I was crazy! But even she caught the bug when she saw the beautiful vintage fabric pieces I was purchasing.

  97. carlaferrier | | #97

    Close to 20 years ago I purchased some beautiful lace at an English street market, that I made into curtains that I still use today. It was in a quaint little town by the name of Aldershot, such a wonderful experience. I would love to go back again someday & explore more small English towns & villages, nothing in America comes close to the feeling of antiquity I felt in England.

  98. Runabout | | #98

    Fabric stores are the 1st thing I locate when traveling. I can always find something that needs a. New home with me!

  99. User avater
    purdygirlpeg | | #99

    Fabric is a great souvenir; it packs well, not fragile. I bought two bolts of handwoven cotton fabric in Chang Rai, Thailand in the mid '90s. More recently we were in Waikiki and I found a fabric store where I bought Hawaiian and Japanese quilting cottons at a great price. Next trip: India?

  100. grami | | #100

    Fabric makes the best souvenir. I love bringing back fabric from my travels as its an everlasting memory of my trip

  101. Kareemah | | #101

    On my very first trip to London, GB I made sure I visited Liberty's. I bought 3 lovely pieces of fabric,only one of which I've had the heart to cut. I won't tell you how log it's been since my first London visit :)Liberty's also has the best afternoon tea service, I highly recommend a trip!

  102. b2textiles | | #102

    Yarn, fabric, thread, spinning fibers, textile and sewing tools: all of these things have come home with me, or been shipped home, during various travels. Each time I use any of these tools or supplies, I remember the people I met when I purchased them, the place, the joy of sharing textile passions (which seems to work out even when there are no common languages among participants). France, Spain, India, Massachusetts, Vermont, Ohio, New Brunswick, Quebec, Nova Scotia, New Mexico, Tennessee, North Carolina, California, Florida, Kentucky, Rhode Island, Honduras, Mexico, Alabama, Bahamas, England and more places have provided treasures and memories. India, though . . . it would take several lifetimes to discover all the regional textile traditions in India. I would love to go back to take another try at it!

  103. g_fox | | #103

    During travels for business trips and for family vacations, I try to find time to explore local fabric or needlework shops. Knitting a garment or sewing a quilt or garment from those purchases is a fun way to remember the individuality of both small towns and large cities. Also my a passion for textiles gives my family and friends good clues as to what I will enjoy as gifts.

  104. User avater
    2tango | | #104

    A girlfriend of mine used to bring back the most fabulous Thai silks that she would use for reversible vests for men, they were fantastic. I myself would love to fabric shop in India someday.

  105. RondainBend | | #105

    Ahh its how it all began, downtown Kappa, Hawaii I found a the softest little jacket, my first exposure to bamboo fabric! Next thing I knew I was in a fabric store for the 1st time in over 20 years. Where had I been... Besides finding the luscious bamboo, there were tons of gorgeous hawaiian and fabrics from Japan.... I had to buy another piece of luggage and have been hooked ever since! My latest..... Gorgeous Pendleton Wool!!!!! Love it and thank you Threads for giving me the inspiration and tools to sew fun creative garments!
    Ronda in Bend, Oregon

  106. suec47 | | #106

    I love to find new fabric sources when traveling

  107. beadembroiderer | | #107

    I have really enjoyed shopping for fabric on trips to the point of excess, especially when we are on a car trip! I love batiks for clothing and wearable art items,etc. I also like to go to the shops mentioned in Threads when you do articles on fabric crawls. I am planning one in Seattle and one in Vancouver, BC. I have such a stash of fabric and yarn that I have spread through the majority of the basement.

  108. User avater
    chelosunny | | #108

    My fave thing to do is to buy fabric. On a three year trip around the world with my dh and pre-schooler, we bought fabric everywhere and had it made into local fashions, for the three of us. Our second child was born en route in New Zealand where it was economical to shop the op for hand made knitted baby things. Indonesia is the best for ikat and batik.

  109. User avater
    WillaMcNeill | | #109

    Shop when I am out of town? Oh yes! In fact, I am more apt to shop away from home. In another life time, I traveled extensively out of the country as well as across it. Just wish I had been more into stashing then.

    These books look wonderful. Sensual. Rich. Colorful. Inspriring.

  110. LindaCdnRock | | #110

    I had my daughter bring me back some beautiful Thai silk when she backpacked in Asia. I cannot wait to make something very special with it. I always shop for fabric when I am away. You just never know what you will come home with. I travel for my day job so I get opportunities to shop all over! My stash though may get too large before long!

  111. SueBee256 | | #111

    I always try to buy at least fat quarters when I travel. I enjoy making bags with them.

  112. User avater
    Patty88 | | #112

    I was in Penang, Malaysia, back in 1994 and had a dress and blouse made with china silk. I returned in 1997, and tried to find some of the same material. I spent more for 2 yards of that material than I spent on both the dress and the blouse! It was beautiful material, but I think I got taken!

  113. judyoday | | #113

    Before traveling somewhere, I always search online for fabric stores and then make time to visit them while in that location. I have found some amazing fabric stores this way such as Sew To Speak in Columbus, Ohio and Vien Dong Fabric in the DC area. So fun and I always come home with something special!

  114. user-178494 | | #114

    Fabric is my favorite thing to buy when I travel.

  115. ClassyCasual | | #115

    I've been fabric shopping several places in the US. My dream is to fabric shop in India! John Gillow's books look like just the thing to prepare me for my dream trip!

  116. sewleslie | | #116

    I've bought fabric in India, Japan, and many places in the U.S. I fabric or yarn make great souvenirs.

  117. immc | | #117

    I have traveled with the specific intention of buying fabric away from my home town! My mom, sister, and I used to make a trip to a mill end store an annual summer pilgrimage. Imagine how delighted I was to find that I could buy fabrics from Indian and Hmong women at a flea market near a small California town where I lived later. I wasn't able to travel, but the fabrics had come to where I was!

  118. Tokyonna | | #118

    I once visited a remote weaving village in the mountains of Chiapas. The women there wove bright shawls based on the colors of the flowers grown in the valley. On the wall of the weaving cooperative was a mural showing a sleeping woman, with another woman hovering over her. "That's the Weaving Goddess," they explained of the hovering woman. "She visits us at night. All our designs come to us in our dreams."

  119. Fripperie | | #119

    I bought a beautiful old piece of toile at a London street market many years ago.

  120. LDL | | #120

    I make an effort to purchase a bit of fabric from everyplace I travel to - inside and outside of the U.S. In the 70s I purchased some lovely lavender print cotton in Switzerland and some "burn out" rayon in France...I made my version of a German dirndl...I think a vicarious trip to the Eastern lands of India and beyond would do my little textile-loving heart good...very GOOD!

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

More From Threads

Discussion Forum

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All