A new to me shop exists in Sydney. I say new to me because it has existed for some time. It sits in the middle of Sydney's rag trade district in Surrey Hills and is aimed towards the professional buyer. This is where they go to buy a bolt of fabric and a box of notions for professional design samples.
Off Commonweath Street and up Ann Street there is a plain brick building. Climb the stairs past the notions floor and offices to the fabric floor. There are folders on the counter with swatches sorted by fabric type. Be amazed at the choice. Downstairs on the first floor there is also every button, zip, braid, elastic, feather and notion one can think of, to the point that it is overwhelming if you don't know exactly what you are looking for.
But if you do, the staff are very helpful. I also found that even though the shop is geared toward bulk buying and the system of asking then being served, they do not mind if you venture behind the counters and were even ok with a few photographs.
There are cards with swatches on each section too.
Fabrics are sorted by type. Silk, linen cotton, lace, knits. It goes on and on. Mostly plain colours, in fact I do not remember seeing any prints there.
The cutting/rolling counters.
When you have decided and ordered your fabrics you go back down to the notions floor to pay then go back upstairs to get them. Because I was buying in 1.5 or two metre amounts (it goes by half metre increments) I was charged a $3.90 minicut fee on each piece purchased but the total was still reasonable for what I bought and for the quality of the fabric. They have good quality here. I not no remember seeing any cheap or nasty fabric!
I did not get any photos of the amazing notions floor. By the time I went back downstairs with my purchases and camera in hand there was a gaggle of design students trying to talk the manager into giving them free pieces of fabric. I literally could not get past them so I chickened out!
My booty. Indigo shirting weight chambray and thick terry towelling and a beaded motif just because ..
I had previously been looking for terry towelling everywhere with no success. I want to make a zippered mini robe to throw over my swimmers at my local fitness club as there is a long cold corridor between the sauna and the indoor pool. I am very happy with my purchases but yesterday when I went to Spotlight for something else guess what they had finally ordered in? Yes you guessed it, terry towelling.
Mine's better though :)
From now on if I end up taking any visitors to Sydney on a little tour of my favourite Surrey Hills fabric shops I will include E.M. Greenfields to make a great little triad of The Fabric Shop, E.M.Greemfields and then Tessuti, and then one of the yummy trendy cafes on Crown Street, all within walking distance to Central Station. Maybe I should hire a mini bus and start some tours hehe