When I visited Britex Fabrics last year, I mentioned in the post that it had moved location shortly after my visit. It hasn’t moved far, and is located now just around the corner at 117 Post Street in Union Square. I’m pleased to say that the move hasn’t impacted their stock much and there is even now a new little resident sheep on the second floor.
Britex Fabrics is still gorgeous, with a wall of satins to one side and a new little addition that I love, the wall of velvets and velour cushions. This is definite stand there and squish territory. Unfortunately the labelling is a little confusing, as there are a whole load of different fibre content combinations but not all of the range come in a full complement of colours, definitely a bit of a shame.
The fine trimmings section upstairs is still absolutely fabulous, with lots of vintage, custom pieces if you want to add a few zeros to the price of your outfit. Ribbons galore too, and I highly recommend checking out some of their custom dyed ribbons that come in some stunning space dyes both on silk ribbons and velvet. The silk ribbons are suitable for embroidery too.
I don’t think I fully appreciated how great the trimmings section was, particularly the sale and offcuts, during my last visit. It’s not quite Lacis, but it will do! With the new Bernina, I’ve been pondering whether to have a go at some ‘home décor’ projects, like cushions. I probably still have some lingering trauma from my school textiles class, where we were forced to create an ‘African Inspired’ cushion from horrible, limp calico, with savaged applique and too much Bondaweb. All the design and mood boards and evaluations sheets couldn’t have saved mine from being downright hideous and the fact that I didn’t actually know how to sew a seam…
Thankfully though, this monstrous creation was no indication of future success and, having now learnt all the required construction skills, I can create something that doesn’t just look laughable. I don’t normally like white as a colour, but when I came across this divinely soft and fluffy faux-fur fabric, I knew I wanted to have a go at making a small cushion with it. Maybe combined with some of the awesome bling piping, maybe not.
I think most of my original comments about Britex Fabrics still apply, lots of lovely things, a little on the expensive side for fabric but definitely worth keeping an eye out for the sale items and a lot of the trimmings and accessories are really wonderful. The only thing I have found over several visits though is that the customer service can be a bit… varied. If you’re looking for something specific, it’s not the easiest shop to find things in and I cannot understand the logic behind the organisation of the cottons/polyesters/anything goes section upstairs at all and it does seem some of the staff share a bit in my confusion. Lots of them are very friendly and helpful but others seem a little perturbed at the sheer intrusion of a customer requesting any information at all…
I still like Britex though, even if most of the fabrics are beyond my price range. I think I’d be more comfortable seaming together a load of ten pound notes and chopping my pattern out of that and it would even be cheaper than a few some of the bolts! I’ve been spoilt though, as I’ve recently been to Seoul, South Korea and the fabric markets there even make the Yongle Fabric Market in Taipei look like a drop in the ocean.
So for now, goodbye to California and its breathtaking coastline, flawless skies and endless haul of way too many crafty places. My personal favourites on this year’s tour were: Lacisby far, the SF School of Needlework and Design and ScruffyQuilts. Here’s hoping some conference takes me back next year! Soon to come will be a trip out east to the most mindboggling fabric markets and learning a few new things on the way.