The London Bead Co., London, UK

As an embroiderer, it’s often difficult to find shops that stock more exciting thread than just the standard DMC/Anchor floss ranges. It can even be difficult to find places that stock embroidery-suitable fabrics that are more exciting than 14 count Aida in white. This is why it’s always so exciting to find a place like The London Bead Co., which while formally being a shop for all things small and shiny, has one of the most beautiful thread collections I’ve ever seen. I think only Old World Designs comes close!

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Bernina Shop, Zürich

One of the nice things about being in Switzerland, as well as the beautiful scenery, perfect trains and wonderful cheese, is the number of Bernina stores dotted about the place. Some of them are in surprising places, it often feels like you’ll see one in every small village, but they are usually excellent haberdasheries as well as sewing machine technology wonderlands.

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Zürcher Stadler, Lyssach

I’ve ventured far out of my way to visit craft shops before, some of which were rather off the beaten track, but I’m not sure any have proved quite as impossible to get to Zürcher Stadler. This isn’t so much because it is in the middle of nowhere, or because the sat-nav can’t find it, but because the road network leading to the place has a strategically placed no entry sign that seems to make it impossible to enter the estate where the shop is. I won’t say how we overcame that particular obstacle but plan your visit and route in advanced.

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Revisiting Dongdaemun Market

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My visit to Dongdaemun Fabric Market in Seoul last year left me with the impression that this was one of the best fabric markets in the world. Having the chance to revisit it this year, I’m pleased to report that it is just as fabulous as ever with plenty to see and do.

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Visiting St. Gallen, Switzerland

My first adventure of 2019 was to St Gallen, a Swiss town famous for its bustling textile trade and, if you want to be fair to all the official Swiss languages, otherwise known as Sankt Gallen/Saint-Gall/San Gallo/Son Gagl. As you might guess, its history in the embroidery, lacemaking and fashion industries has left a footprint of the city of great interest to anyone with a passing interest in textiles, crafts and art and this charming little place has plenty more feasts for the eyes as well.

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Papillons à Nyon

Visiting the little town of Nyon, Switzerland, you might have the impression that this picturesque point on Lac Leman is a quiet, sleepy place, perfect for sipping coffee and strolling around, gazing the medieval architecture. Tucked away amongst the beautiful buildings and several thousand years of history though is a beautiful little shop that is a must-see for any embroiderer, Canvaes Folies.

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