How to Navigate the NYC Fabric Stores

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Want to shop and learn how to navigate NYC Fabric Stores? The New York City Garment Distric is a maize of wide main streets crossed by short, narrow side streets. Don’t know where to start? Here is a stop by stop, step by step tour of my favorite places to shop!

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Let’s Start Shopping

The best place to start your NYC fabric stores adventure is by taking the train is Grand Central Terminal.  If you are coming in on Amtrak and start at Penn Station, this will work for you too. Our starting point for all other travelers is Mood Fabrics. I like to start at Mood for two reasons: 

  1. It can be overwhelming at the end of your trip when you are tired.
  2. When starting from Grand Central, your bags are empty on the longest part of the walk – important to consider.

Speaking of bags.  I take one wheely carry on bag (this is a good one from Amazon) with a backpack inside. This is a day trip itinerary, so I’ll pack water and some snack bars incase I get hangry. Ready, Set, Go – NYC fabric stores here we come!

When you arrive at Grand Central Station, you need to exit the station through the 42 Street Door.  Turn right, you should be facing Madison Avenue. Walk to Madison and turn left and walk 5 blocks (these are the short blocks) to W 37th Street. Turn right on 37th Street, you are headed West and the streets will change from E to W.  You will cross 5th Avenue, Avenue of the Americas, Broadway and 7th Avenue.

Mood Fabrics

Mood Fabrics is halfway down the block on the right side of the street, 225 W 37th Street, take the elevator to the 3rd Floor and have FUN! The attendant at the door will ask you to check your bag, this is another reason I like to start here – my back is empty! Be sure to have your camera ready, Swatch is a quick one! I usually spend 1 to 1 ½ hours in Mood depending on my list.

Elliott Berman Textiles

Next stop is Elliott Berman Textiles. They are a wholesale and online shop that is open to walk-ins during the week. They are not open on the Weekend. When you walk out the door of Mood turn left, walk to 7th Avenue.  Take a right on 7th Avenue then a right on W 35th Street. EBT is on the right side of the street at 225 W 35th Street. They are on the 7th Floor. They have lots of great imported French and Italian fabrics.  You do have to hunt – it is a fun and quiet place to shop. I reviewed Vogue 9305 using some beautiful gauze from ETB.

Nothing at EBT has a price on it, so you have to buy on faith or keep asking for help. When you have made your selections, one of the girls will follow you around with a pair of scissors and cut what you need off the bolt. I usually spend ½ – 1 hour here.

B&J Fabrics

About this time I am ready for a coffee and muffin. There is a Starbucks in the lobby of our next stop, but there are lots of great places along the way.

Next stop is one of my all-time favorite stores – B & J Fabrics!  525 7th Ave, New York, NY 10018 Take a left out of Elliott Berman and head back to 7th Avenue. Turn left on 7th Avenue, B & J is 3 and 1/2 blocks, between W 38th and W 39th Streets. You will need to cross 7th Avenue. They are on the 2nd Floor.

Be prepared to want to by everything. I always spend a lot of money in this shop.

All. The. Pretty. Things.

They carry and extensive line of suiting and dress shirt fabrics, cottons, and a large array of silks and specialty fabrics.  Here you shop by the hanging sample. Then you take your selections to the staff and they will fetch to bolts for you. Also, if you decide on a bolt on the floor, ask the staff for help.  They would prefer to move everything around themselves. I have been known to spend up to 2 hours here. They are the best!

My last stop is Pacific Trimming 218 W 38th St.  I like to stop here last so I can get all the buttons, zips and trim I need for my purchases.  This way I have all the fabrics with me and can match colors and textures. From B & J, take a left out of the building and cross 7th Avenue at W 38th Street.  You should see Pacific Trimmings, it is on the left side of W 38th one building down. Okay, I know, that’s a lot of NYC fabric stores; but it’s not an everyday trip!

From here you can easily make your way back to Grand Central Terminal, 89 E 42nd St, Turn right out of Pacific Trim, Walk up W 38th to Madison. Turn left on Madison and walk to 42nd Street to the Grand Central Terminal.

Catch your train, rest your feet and enjoy your fabulous fabric!

Other Shops To Consider

Leather Impact is on the 10th floor, in the same building as B & J Fabrics. I haven’t been to their new shop here, but in the old shop you had to be buzzed in. They sell top quality leather.

Until this last trip, New York Elegant Fabrics would be my last stop, they were on W 40th street and have a large selection of discount fabrics.  They are moving to W 36th street in the Fall of 2018 to a much smaller shop.

There are lots of great, small shops all along the route.  You should top in and take a peek. You can get some great deals.

Let’s Go Shopping

I run guided shopping tours several times a year in NYC, register for my newsletter to find out when the next one is happening!

Of course, if you can’t get to NYC, all of these shops have great online stores with helpful staff. I hope you enjoyed my post about how to navigate the NYC fabric stores – turn by turn directions.

Sew What’s Fabulous


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