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Online Fabric/Notions/Supplies in NZ

NY2NZ | Posted in Equipment and Supplies on

Hello everyone,

I’ve just moved to Lower Hutt New Zealand from the US and am having a time and a half trying to find certain things here that I took for granted back in the US.  I could go online and order whatever I wanted but now, I am at a loss.

Specifically, I sew mostly clothes for myself and my children, everyday wear and  I am looking for:

Linen Fabric (in the land of Flax – I even asked the lady at the Evans fabric shoppe about that and she had a smirk and said that was a good question); Rayon Fabric; Hemp Fabric; Cotton Embroidery Thread; notions such as hook and eye TAPE; chalk pens, wooden buttons, etc.

So if any of the Kiwi’s or Aussies have any information and links I’d be so appreciative.  I’m a bit nuts right now (TradeMe is good for some things, but not everything, and as I said before, I’ve been to Evans, as well as Spotlight (not what I expected at all) and the local fabric shoppes.

Thank you so much in advance!


  1. JudyNZ | | #1

    Hello NY2NZ, and welcome to NZ.I'm in the North Shore City (Auckland area) and can't help much with linen fabric in the Wellington area. It might be helpful to try Spotlight. I know they have a branch in central Wellington (near the ferry wharf) and may also have one in Lower Hutt. They do quite well in the notions area, including chalk pens and possibly wooden buttons, but you need to know what you're looking for and find it for yourself!!To make contact with a wonderful group of Quilters in Wellington, you might try the ladies at NZ Quilter Magazine in Kilbirnie as a point of first contact. Phone 04 934 3424. They love fabric and would certainly help if they can. The magazine also has a bookshop and Gallery called Taia Textile Bookshop. I can't find the address in the latest magazine, but they will be closed for the holidays until 22 January. There is also an embroidery & quilting retailer called Nancy's. They were in the city, but I heard they were to move soon. Try phoning them for another group of fantastic crafty, arty, fabric-loving women!!You may also find the Yellow Pages useful for fabric retailers.As far as the Land of the Flax goes, our type of flax (Phormium tenax) is quite different from the linen flax (genus Linum). NZ flax is used more for craft-type purposes, and I don't think it's possible to use it for fabric. I'm pretty sure that linen fabric is not made in NZ.When I was going to dressmaking classes I found fabric retailers through the teacher and other students - networking really. The shops up here are often out of the way, and look more like warehouses.I hope that you will settle well in Lower Hutt, and enjoy your time in New Zealand.Best wishes

    1. NY2NZ | | #2

      Hello Judy,

      Thank you for the information.  I actually went over to PatternReview and renewed my membership to see if there were other people from NZ on there and I found them.  Got some great info on places in the Wellington fashion district for fabric, etc. so I'm off to there tomorrow. :-)

      I know the flax used in the Maori craft (and grows wild here) is different than the flax that usually is used in dressmaking.  I think I was most surprised that most of the fashion fabric stores in the Hutt were Poly intensive and not much linen at all.  I can't understand that as linen is so versatile and perfect for the climate here (if sewn properly, of course).

      Also been looking into taking some classes at NZ Fashion Tech in Wellington too.  Left a message and sent an email to see if I can get into the class starting in July 08, figuring that would be a great way to spiff up my skills and get some networking done for supplies.

      I'll ring up the ladies at NZ Quilters too (I saw that mag today in Evans when I went to get zips for the kids school satchels today.....interesting).   I am finding that a lot of people who do sew here, are either into quilting or home dec and not much fashion sewing, except special occasion.  Not much different than in the US really, depending on where you are in the US that is.

      Thank you again


  2. User avater
    bevaau | | #3

    Just a quick suggestion - try asking for 'Velcro' rather than hook and eye tape - even Spotlight should have it!

    1. NY2NZ | | #4


      You just made me smile....Velcro is a brand name and I remember asking for it that way in one shop in Florida and I got a lecture on how its Hook and Loop tape, NOT Velcro.  LOL

      I meant hooks and eyes, like the kind you would use for a bra, or a corset.

      (I wonder what happened to that witch who gave me what for....hmmmmmm)

      Thank you! :-)


      1. User avater
        bevaau | | #5

        Sorry, I didn't read carefully enough!! Our Spotlight has bra backs but I understand that some of the Spotlight stores in NZ are even worse than ours. Good luck in hunting!

        1. NY2NZ | | #6

          No Worries, you made me smile when I needed to...thats a good thing :-)

          I've been hearing the same thing about Spotlight Oz vs Spotlight NZ.


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