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Conversational Threads

Fabric shops in paris

bevchris | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

Hello.  I will be spending a few days in Paris in June.  I would love to visit some fabric stores and wonder if anyone can recommend some to me.  Thank you.


  1. woodruff | | #1

    In downtown Paris, Bouchara, 2nd floor (the French first floor) at the corner of boulevard Haussman and rue Lafayette, is right in the big shopping disrict, next door to Galeries Lafayette. The downstairs has bath and kitchen linens. The upstairs has gorgeous fabrics and notions.

    The Marché Saint Pierre in Montmartre, a rabbit warren of streets just below the gleaming white church, Sacre-Coeur, is the fabric district. Lots of little stores sell home dec fabrics there, but there are two big, multistory fabric stores (magazins) which have a good selection of garment fabrics. These two are basically across the corner of the street from each other:

    Tissus Reine, 3-5 place St Pierre (http://www.tissus-reine.com/) is the more upscale of the two. The ground floor is garment fabrics and patterns; the second is upholstery and notions; and the third has a lot of lightweight, beautiful, and unusual curtain things (voilage-“veiling”), and some children’s fabrics

    Tissus Dreyfus (http://www.marche-saint-pierre.fr/) is a multistory affair, overall a little cheaper than Reine, with some really bargain stuff, and some very nice, unusual things, like heavy felted dufflecoat wool sometimes. You can “entrez” the store at the website, and take a little tour of the floors.

    Patterns are not self-serve in France. I find it useful to write down the brand and numbers of patterns I’m interested in, and hand them to the maiden who waits on you.

    There are lots of merceries in this neighborhood, and that’s where you buy thread and patterns, but it’s another place to find sewing notions that are hard or impossible to find here.

    You probably know this, but it's important when you enter a store with few enough people that you are likely to be noticed to say "Bon jour, Madame (or Madamoiselle)," and "Au revoir, Madame (or Madamoiselle)," when you leave. Just "Bon jour" is better than nothing, but to be polite, add that title. It is considered impolite to just go in and out without acknowledging the personnel in any store, unless there's a mob of tourists in it.

    1. bevchris | | #2

      Thank you for the recommendations, I can see I am going to have a great time exploring these shops. 


    2. marg | | #4

      Did you tell her about the place about a block from the Ritz Hotel? I love that little store (I haven't been to paris in about 3 years)  nothing under $50.oo  a yard.

    3. cynthia2 | | #5

      Dear Woodruff.  Just wanted to thank you for the info on fabric shops in Paris.  Your original message was posted to Bevchris, but it happened that I was also headed to Paris.  Just got back a few days ago.  Had a great time and loved the fabric shops, especially the small shops in Montmarte.  I wasn't thinking, though, and went to Montmarte on a Saturday afternoon.  It was just me and about 5,000 of my closest Parisien friends!  Everything was incredibly crowded, but somehow nothing gets me down when I'm in Paris and shopping for fabric.  I ended up not buying anything this trip due to the prices and the crowds.  I was headed back to pick up a few pieces that I had seen early on in my browsing, but was gridlocked in foot traffic and finally just gave up and hopped the Metro back downtown.  Still, it was a great afternoon and I really appreciate your tips on where to shop.  Best, Cynthia

      1. woodruff | | #6

        I'm glad you had a good time, Cynthia. Always remember, too, that when in Paris (or anywhere else in France), you find yourself getting tired or frustrated, the best thing to do is to go to a bistro and order a glass of Sancerre. It's sauvignon blanc, just a nice crisp white, done exactly the way it should be, and a glass or two will put things back into perspective.

        1. cynthia2 | | #7

          Excellent advice. I found myself doing just that with alarming regularity. My choice was champagne, though, usually with a nice wedge of goat cheese. Calories eaten in Paris don't count, you know.

          1. woodruff | | #8

            Good choice. As a rule, anything eaten or drunk before four pm has no calories, anyhow.

    4. proegge | | #9


      Thank you so much for this info!  We will also be in Paris this summer (I love the sound of that!), and I am happy to have this information.  We were there 2 years ago as well, and I remember passing these shops when we left Montmarte, but my husband said we didn't have enough time for me to look.  (I think he was afraid we would never leave).  I had no idea they had more than one floor-I thought they were small shops.  I believe I will tell him to find something else to do for awhile this time!

      Also-thank you for the info on greeting the shopkeepers as you enter and leave.  We are sponsors on a trip with high school band and choir students and this is precisely the kind of information we like to be able to tell them.  We want to make sure they make a good impression on the people in the countries we visit.

      Thanks again


      1. woodruff | | #10

        Paula, your first impression of the fabric shops in Montmartre was correct: They are indeed mostly small shops--but Dreyfus and Reine are big, each with several floors, and are really not to be missed.

  2. jatman | | #3

    You probably already know this but in case you don't - if you buy any patterns you should check to make sure they come in a language you understand.  I was in Belgium a couple of years ago and bought several Burda patterns.  Instructions were in 8 languages but none of those languages were English.

    Have fun in Paris!


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