Monday, 14 September 2015

A List: My Favourite Online UK Fabric Shops


Back in 2009, I made a list of all the lovely UK fabric shops that I knew of and shared it on my blog - that worked really well because at that point there were relatively few fabric shops stocking more modern prints over here. To give some context, just a few years earlier, in 2007, I actually had to import most of my fabric from America! However, with a now mind-boggling array of fabric shops in the UK, updating my list to include every single one that exists would feel more like composing a telephone directory than sharing a handful of well-loved gems, so I thought I might start my list afresh, picking out my favourites and sharing the things that they specialise in.


For ease of shopping, I'll separate things out into dressmaking, quilting, interiors. When I say that these shops are my favourites, please bear in mind that I haven't shopped at every single one of them - some are just window-shopping favourites!


My Favourite Dressmaking Fabric Shops

Girl Charlee - specialises in their own-brand knit fabrics. I've been delighted with the quality of everything I've bought.
Ditto Fabrics - a wonderful shop, based in Brighton, which stocks a beautiful range of dressmaking fabrics.
Backstitch - Alice stocks everything from Atelier Brunette, to denims, jerseys and coatings. Fabric is always nicely cut and posted speedily!
Stone Fabrics - Stone stock an incredible array of mainly unbranded dressmaking fabrics. View each fabric with full description and price online, then ring to order - it feels deliciously old-fashioned to speak to a real person and their service is friendly and their delivery quick. 
Truro Fabrics - A huge selection of dressmaking fabrics with everything from unnamed knits to Liberty corduroys. I've bought several unusual knit fabrics here and have always been delighted with the quality.
Guthrie and Ghani - They stock a fantastic mix of designer dressmaking fabrics and unbranded one-offs. The owner, Lauren, frequently makes her own clothes from the fabrics, so her a blog is a good place to go to get an idea of how the fabrics drape once made up into a garment too.
Sew Over It - a really well edited selection of dressmaking fabrics, including crepe, rayon, jersey, silk and wool. I usually want a bit of everything whenever I visit.
M is for Make - Kate offers dressmaking fabrics from established designers such as Nani Iro, Liberty, Cotton + Steel, Atelier Brunette, Robert Kaufman's chambray range...the list goes on. It's all good.
Dragonfly Fabrics - From boiled wool to stretch crepe, Dragonfly tend to stock high quality fabrics that have a price tag that reflects this - my go-to when I want to make something special. Service is excellent and the owner, Dorte, is an experienced dressmaker, so will be happy to offer advice as to fabric suitability.
Merchant & Mills - purveyors of hard-wearing, high-quality fabrics, offered in a muted, earthy palette.
Fabric Godmother - offer a beautiful selection that feels as though it's been very carefully chosen. I always love popping by to see what Josie has in stock. She seems talented at winkling out very wearable, grown-up animal prints (I'm still wishing I'd bought these no-longer-available pelicans)
Offset Warehouse - for ethically produced dressmaking fabrics, this is the place to head. Offset Warehouse offer a wide range of substrates from India, Cambodia, Europe and China.
MacCulloch and Wallis - It's not the best website and it doesn't offer the best fabric descriptions, but it does stock high-quality, unpatterned fabrics that can be hard to find elsewhere.
Ray-Stitch - a modern, often organically-produced, range of dressmaking fabrics.
The Village Haberdashery - A lovely range of dressmaking fabrics, think stripy knits; Robert Kaufman's chambrays; designer rayons; Liberty print cord; and a large selection of double gauze.


My Favourite Quilting Fabric Shops

Plush Addict - an absolutely vast range of modern designer prints (alongside a selection of plush fabrics for cloth-nappy making, which is how this business began!).
Sew and Quilt - this shop reminds me of a bowl of iced-gems with its sweet range of 1930s prints. It also stocks all the English paper piecing paraphernalia you could wish for from glue pens to templates to pre-cut paper pieces.
Shaukat - probably the largest selection of Liberty Tana lawns online in the UK and sold at more reasonable prices than you'd find in Liberty itself. If you happen to visit the store in person, service is uniquely unfriendly, but I now rather fondly regard that as a part of the Shaukat experience!
M is for Make - with a very defined style, it always appears as though Kate only sells exactly what she likes herself. Which luckily is what I often like too. Go and have a look and hopefully you might like it as well. The emphasis is on crisp, edgy, modern prints in shades of grey, mustard and teal...with a few other colours occasionally mixed in.
Tikki Patchwork - a large selection of 1930s prints, as well as a good source of Kaffe Fassett and Philip Jacobs. (Updated to add: Discount Code 'Flossie10' for 10% off until the end of September 2015!).
The Running Chicken - stockists of Quilt Mania books and Jen Kingwell patterns. Both very good things that are harder to find in the UK.
Backstitch - an easy to navigate website with a beautiful selection of fabrics.
Cotton Patch - this is rarely my first port of call as the website isn't terribly easy to navigate, but I often visit their site when I can't find what I'm looking for elsewhere and find that they do invariably stock it! An absolutely huge range of fabrics, batting and quilting paraphernalia - they often stock obscure templates and tools that you can't find anywhere else over here. If I'm in a hurry, I usually pay extra to have things delivered more speedily as their regular service is very slow.
Eternal Maker - designer quilting fabrics along with some more quirky imports and good basics.
Pelenna Patchworks - Pelenna are fairly unique in offering freezer paper templates for English Paper Piecing, which you can iron straight on to your fabric - helpful when thread-basting shapes.
The Village Haberdashery - Annie stocks a beautiful range of fabric and has a knack for getting new collections in before anywhere else!
Eclectic Maker - a beautiful collection. Order a fat quarter and it comes folded in their trademark origami style, which makes it feel even more special!
Fabric HQ - Rae stocks a large, bright and colourful selection of modern fabrics.
Hulu - a modern site with a focus on more traditional-looking fabric prints, such as French General (which they always carry a huge selection of!).


My Favourite Interiors Fabric Shops

Abigail Borg - Abigail's fabric designs are my absolute favourites. They're suitable for cushions (see some I've made earlier, in the photo above), curtains and light upholstery.
Liberty Furnishing Fabrics - Alice Caroline stock an amazing range of Liberty prints on interior weight linen, velvet and voile. Their Secret Garden inspired fabrics make my heart feel heavy with want!


And if I Could Shop Anywhere In the World...

Purl Soho - This New York shop seems to have the most amazingly well-curated selection of fabrics and their blog always has simple and unfussy projects that always look incredibly stylish.
The Workroom - maybe it's the mix of dreamy fabrics, against a backdrop of gorgeous dogs lounging around, while stitchers come together to baste their quilts over cake that I see on Instagram, but this is high on my list of quilt shops that I wish I lived nearer to. It's quite a long way away though, in Toronto, Canada. The owner, Karyn, always make the most amazing clothes too. 


Finally, some specialist shops that are worth mentioning: 

U-Handbag - if you're interested in bag making, head over to Lisa's shop for all the supplies you'll need.
Sew Curvy - offers everything you'll need to make corsets, from complete kits to fabric, patterns and supplies.
Curtains Made Simple - As well as creating custom-made curtains and blinds, this online shop also stocks Ikea fabrics by the metre! A brilliant resource if you don't want to have to visit Ikea in person.

Happy shopping,
Florence x



16 comments:

  1. brilliant list, you've included some of my favorite shops too!

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  2. Great resources! Who knew there was a market for making your own corset!!!

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  3. Love this list, thank you. There are some shops I have not explored yet.

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  4. Oh this is wonderful!! Thanks so much!

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  5. Oh this is wonderful!! Thanks so much!

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  6. So useful - thank you for the time it must have taken to write this.

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  7. Oh Florence you are such a gem for including Sew and Quilt! Thank you :-) Ah, you've made my day.

    What a selection we have now in the UK, I too remember importing all my fabric from the US! Great to support our home grown businesses. I still buy from many of these shops as well, apparently having a quilt shop yourself still does not feed the fabric desire ;-) x

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  8. This is great, thank you! I just moved to Scotland from the US so I've been wondering what the all good online UK options were. Perfect timing!

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  9. As someone who is rarely able to get beyond her rather uninspiring local fabric shop (I often feel like kicking the owner up the backside and saying "Pleeeeese pull your finger out and make some effort!") - this is really useful. Re The Cotton Patch - I know what you mean about their website, but in their defence I'd like to say that I emailed them for some wadding advice at the end of last week, got a lovely reply that day, ordered the next day and received it today. They couldn't have done it much quicker.

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  10. Oh, and could I also recommend Organic Cottons ( www.organiccotton.biz) who do a huge selection of really lovely and often unusual cottons, linens and bamboos. They are only online but will send out samples. They are also as far as I can find out the only UK company to sell Scanfil organic cotton thread, which I love. They are super to deal with, very friendly.

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    1. Hi Lizzie - Great shout! They're a fab company with great textiles and ethos. We also sell Scanfil threads on Offset Warehouse (super hard to get hold of!) You can find them under "haberdashery".

      Sounds like you're all about organic and Fairtrade fabrics, so I think you'll quite like a browse of our fabrics too ;)

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  11. Thanks for putting this together Florence, it's a great resource as well for those of us on the continent. I made a point of visiting Village Haberdashery last time I was in London and had a ball picking out some Yoyogi Park and some Kona cottons plus some odds and ends.

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  12. Thank you so much Florence - what a fantastic list. There are definitely some of my favourites in there, and lots more that I can't wait to have a look at. I feel that my wallet may be significantly lighter by the end of my next browsing session!

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  13. Oooh thank you sooo much for including us Florence! What a fabulous surprise! Such a shame you couldn't make our fabric party the other week (did you see the photos!? http://on.fb.me/1iBjoS0 super fun). I'm sure there will be other fabric parties in the future, so hope to see you there! :D

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  14. Thank you for the mention Florence! X

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  15. Hugs for including us, Florence. Xx

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Thank you so much for taking the time to leave a message - it's always really lovely to hear from people.

I now tend to reply within the comments section, so please do check back if you've asked a question or wish to chat.

Florence x

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