UPDATE: Please see this post about the council’s plans to demolish Goldhawk Road and what you can do to stop it!! – melissa 6 Sept 2011
I can’t believe that I’ve lived in London for 6 years and not been out to the Goldhawk Road fabric shops yet. I mean, I’ve heard people talk about them, but it’s a full hour on the tube for me to get there, so I’ve just never really seen the need to explore…
Until yesterday, when fellow sewer Anwen took me by the hand and showed me around her favourite fabric shops there.
WOW. I was prepared to see a lot of fabric shops with an awful lot of fabric stuffed inside, but I wasn’t prepared for the incredibly high quality of the fabric in the shops. Polyester was in the minority, with a huge range of silks, woollens, suitings, and other really luxurious (and usually hard to find!) fabrics being the norm, and at really reasonable prices, too.
I had a strict budget I imposed on myself, and I only spent twice that. Ummm. But I still came away with a nice stack of fabric, and a ton of research for next time!
Just like my review of London haberdashery shopping, I thought I’d give a rundown here of the highlights from yesterday, though there are at least six other shops next to these that we went into but I didn’t write down the names and addresses of. Most of the shops seem to be open Monday-Saturday, though I imagine they’d be really very crowded on Saturdays if you decide to go then. Goldhawk Road tube station is on the Hammersmith and City Line, but you could easily walk from Shepherd’s Bush station (so when the Central Line station there reopens that might be more convenient). See the map at the bottom of the page for details, but roughly, turn right out of Goldhawk Road tube station and prepare to enter FABRIC NIRVANA….
A to Z Fabrics – 53A Goldhawk Road
Our first shop, where I ended up blowing all but £6 of my initial budget. Oh dear, I thought I’d peaked too soon, but I got three lovely fabrics for winter…
(left) Black wool sweater knit with purple flecks – £5/m (talked down £6 after I ummed and ahhed)
(bottom) Speckled black and white 100% wool British suiting – £10/m
(upper right) Super super soft grey marl jersey – £4/m
Classic Textiles – 44 Goldhawk Road
The most silk charmeuse I have EVER seen in one shop. This stuff is like golddust here in the UK, usually going for £50+ per meter. And here it was, in a million colours for £7.50. I was lightheaded and giddy at seeing this, and I don’t think it was just from the heat upstairs… If you go here, make sure you go all the way to the back of the ground floor because the stairs down to the basement are easy to miss, and the rolls of fabric down there are no kidding, about 20 rolls deep on either side.
At this point I was beginning to see why they don’t list anything online – even just documenting the first five feet inside the door would take a month!
Also silk jersey for £14/meter (£8 for silk blend jerseys that felt just as nice), wool jersey for £9, slk double crepe for £9/m, a huge range of British-loomed wool suitings…
I didn’t actually buy anything here due to a bit of overstimulation on my part, but Anwen got some amazing finds, and I’m definitely coming back for wedding fabrics! I love a store that puts the silk jersey swatches right by the tills for impulse purchases! They certainly know their clientèle..
Fabric World – 49C Goldhawk Road
I only had some change in my purse after the first store, but I still had trousers on my mind, so I made a savvy purchase and used up exactly the change I had left!
Silver grey denim with a slight crosswise stretch – £2.99/m
Yes, that’s right – silk charmeuse in a million colours for £6.95/m (there’s actually a whole other rack to the left of this that’s not in the photo
Also a beautiful range of coloured leather skins (I very nearly bought some mustard yellow for a new purse, but decided I could get it cheaper than £15 at a leather shop by my office), waterproof trench coat fabric, and a huge array of denim.
A One Fabrics – 50-52 Goldhawk Road
Walking inside, I tried to keep myself on track by chanting “Must think ‘bottom weights’, must think ‘bottom weights’, don’t be distracted by the pretty shiny things…” in my head. I think it worked, because I came away with some brilliant cords for fall and winter trousers…
Red and olive green corduroys – both £3.50/m
1 meter remnant of beige corduroy – £1 (I found this after I was debating whether to buy 1 meter of beige anyway for a particular BWOF skirt! Score!)
Lycra knit – £3.50/m (as were the whole rack of similarly beautiful lycra knit prints, including this in a red colourway, too)
Plus Gutermann thread, buttons, zippers and other bits of haberdashery, and 100% cashmere coating.
I restocked my trouser zipper and thread supplies and alas, out came the card since I was down to 60p in my purse!
I’ve added all these to my London sewing and haberdashery stores map, which you can see in a larger window, complete with reviews, by clicking the link underneath…city-guides, shopping