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Conversational Threads

Stores in London (UK)

Michelle | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

I am planning on being in London (UK) in a few weeks time, and was wondering if anyone can recommend a good fabric/notions store to visit.  The only one that I’m familiar with is ‘Liberty,’ (which I absolutely love) but any other suggestions would be more than welcome.

TIA,

Shelly 

Replies

  1. carolfresia | | #1

    Hi, Shelly,

    Check out the newest issue of Threads (No.108, Aug/Sept 2003), which should be on the newsstand...now. On p. 18 there's a list of fabric stores in London, and it looks very enticing. Have a great time, and I hope you find some great stuff!

    Carol

    1. Michelle | | #2

      Hi Carolfresia!

      Thanks for replying to my query - I am a subscriber to Threads Magazine, however, since I live in Israel, it takes a little longer to arrive - I hope that it arrives before my departure, however, (if it isn't too much of an imposition,) would it be at all possible to post a few addresses?

      (I hope you excuse my 'chutzpah')

      Greetings from Jerusalem

      Shelly

      1. GhillieC | | #3

        Here is a quick answer from someone who lives within 50 miles of London.

        Try John Lewis's, a department store in Oxford Street and Liberty's another department store in a side street parallel to Oxford Street and on the corner of Regent's Street. JL's fabric department has shrunk a lot in the last few years, as has Liberty's which now sells little more than their own famous prints at outrageous prices.

        There are a whole group of fabric shops in and around Berwick Street, which runs South from Oxford Street. Most of them are quite reasonably priced. This area is part of Soho, there are lots of strip joints and worse, but you don't have to look in that direction. It is perfectly safe during shopping hours but I am not sure I would want to wander there alone very late at night. Don't miss The Cloth House, including the basement, Borovick's which supplies glitzy stuff for stage costumes, Soho Silks, which does not have silk and Silk Society and Broadwick Silks, which do. There are others as well.

        There is a shop in Regent's Street which sells mens's tailoring fabrics. I can't remember the name.

        Joel's in Church Street, of the Edgeware Road, sells very expensive designer fabrics. I find the store completely disorganised so you need to know what you are looking for and ask one of the very helpful assistants to find it. When I was there a lady asked for navy blue all over lace. The assistant found five and was still hunting them down when I left.

        The Threads article also listed one which appeared to be near Shepherd Market, where I am told there are several good fabric shops, and some out in the East End which sell Indian Sari type fabrics. I have not visited these. If you are going out there you should try to get a look at Brick Lane as well. The Brick Lane philosophy is that the longer the length you buy, the cheaper it is per metre but if you have flown into London you might not want huge quantities of fabric. I think Brick Lane Market functions on a Sunday as this is an area where a lot of ethnic minorities live.

        There were a few others on the Threads list which I can't remember, including a couple I had not heard of. One I think was near Portobello which you might also like to visit.

        If you are from the States I think you will find all fabric more expensive than back home. It can also be frustratingly difficult to find fabrics from the English and Scottish mills as so much of it is exported.

        An unlikely source of good London shopping information is the London Underground website http://tube.tfl.gov.uk/ Look at the 'going out' section. The Tube is a convenient, if rough and ready, method of getting about. You can buy day tickets.

        The classier shops should be able to sell you stuff tax free if you are taking it abroad, it is worth asking. Credit cards etc. are accepted just about everywhere except a few of the Berwick Street shops and the markets.

        Hope that helps, come back if you need more information.

        Cheers,

        Ghillie

        1. JeanetteR | | #4

          Shelly,

          I hope you enjoy your trip to London!  How was the wedding?  Our daughter's is two days away and we're all like cats on hot tin roofs!  One more bridesmaid's skirt to finish.....  Jeanette

          1. Michelle | | #6

            Hi Jeannette!

            Its wonderful to hear from you again.  (and thanks for remembering our son's wedding!)

             It was truly a very joyous affair with lots of wonderful friends, family, delicious food and superb music and lots of dancing in true Chassidic tradition.

            My daughters looked absolutely stunning in their dresses - (I'll try to post some pictures)

             - My advice for 'pre-wedding nerves' is to bare in mind that not everything is within our control - one just have to leave certain things to the powers from above!  (Besides, have you ever attended a 'not nice' wedding?)

            Have a wonderful day!

            Warmest regards from Jerusalem,

            Shelly

          2. JeanetteR | | #7

            Shelly, your Son's wedding sounds like a wonderful from-the-heart affair, that went off in true style.  It is lovely to hear back from you and to know that all went well.

            Fiona's wedding was last saturday, and went much better than I expected.  The Groom's family are all musos, and one brother arranged all the music, including writing a special descant for one of the hymns!  Lots of medieval music, including recorders and a harp, and an a capella choir, which toned in well with whole theme, the bride's dress, and the outfits of the bridesmaids.  there was a really lovely atmosphere, and DD said she wouldn't have changed anything!

            Lots of their friends helped out with the food, and my best friend made the cake(s), and a great time was had by all.  Our twins were mercifully well-behaved, and made up for this yesterday when we went with our oldest girl to the zoo!  they kept running off and being really naughty.

            I'd love to post a picture of her dress, but don't know how to upload into this chat site, can anyone explain how, please?

          3. Jean | | #8

            It's easy.(Assuming your picture is scanned into your computer somewhere.) Scroll down until you find attach files. Click it and a box will pop up. Click on Browse and find your picture in your computer and open it. The file name will come  up  automatically in the box. Click upload. That box will turn white, when the color changes back you are ready to load another. Click  Done when you are finished. You can then either click Preview or just click Post.

          4. JeanetteR | | #9

            Jean,

            Thanks for your help, I'll note and keep these instructions, but my DH has worked out that you can access these on http://members.iinet.net.au/~tiare/the-wedding/

            Please forgive me if this is boring to other readers, as I already posted this link within the discussion on knitting pleats.... of course I should have started another discussion!

          5. Jean | | #10

            Beautiful! Now if we only had a sound track to go with the photos!! :)

          6. JeanetteR | | #11

            Thanks, Jean.  My MIL said she wished it had've been video-ed too, but the bride didn't want it.  The groom and his three brothers are all into choral music, and it was really lovely, the first one for the processional was in ancient Spanish, and translated roughly as, come to me across the water my love and I will pick you roses 'Passe el Aguoa', or something like that... one of the others was 'Gaudete' in Latin (even I knew of that one!), etc.  Lovely, and my daughter the bride said she wouldn't change a thing!

            Edited 7/24/2003 3:15:06 AM ET by Jeanette

          7. Jean | | #12

            Glad to hear that good music is still alive and well in some parts of the globe anyway. :) Wonderful!

          8. SisterT | | #14

            I would like to add my voice to the voices of praise on the wedding.  I just stumbled across this thread.  Did you make the bride's dress?  If so, when you figure out how to post the pictures, could you post a close-up of the sleeves?

            The whole wedding looks like it was beautiful!  Those dresses hand beautifully on the bridesmaids! 

            ST

          9. JeanetteR | | #15

            ST,  Thank you for letting me know you enjoyed seeing these wedding photos.  The bride is my daughter Fiona.  I started out making her dress and cut out a first toile, but she decided that her designer friends would make it at mate's rates, and I got the peices back overlocked to embroider.  We do not have the formal photos back yet, and none of the others we have show the sleeves any better.  The dressmaker took a back view photo of the dress and sleeves on the day, must follow up on this and ask for a copy!  I made the bridesmaids' skirts, with only 13 days' notice!

        2. Michelle | | #5

          Hi Ghillie,

          Thank- you so much for such an informative reply.  I'm really very much looking forward to this trip......I never get tired of visiting London!

          Shelly

  2. Mala | | #13

    Liberty's is still a must even if it is only a thin shadow of its former glory. see if they still have an oriental section. i have found treasure trove in the way of sari and sarong lengths there in the past. Liberty's was started by people with creative flair, its style was so richly individual that it still clings even now that the earnings per square inch guys are in charge. John Lewis has decent stuff at reasonable (for London) prices but so much less of it every year. between those two and nearer to J.L. is McCulloch & Wallis, Dering Street (off south side of Oxford Street and roughly opposite the west corner of J.L.) they have mostly samples and you order, but the range is good and they have some stock and a very good range of trims and notions. while there pick up a catalogue and then you can mail order when you get home and start "I wish I'd got that..."

    Joel's is definitely the most exciting.

    have a good trip.

    MaryOC

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