People are always asking me where I buy my fabric from. I am based in West Yorkshire so most of my favourite suppliers are up in the north of England! As the textile capital of the UK, Yorkshire has the most amazing selection of factory shops, designer seconds, manufacturers, Asian importers and other hidden gems. I defy you to find anywhere in the UK with a better range of amazing, unusual and CHEAP suppliers.
Unravel is one of those hidden gems – a treasure trove! It is a pretty little shop Denby Dale that is over-spilling with 2 floors of fabrics and haberdashery. It specialises in ethnic and handmade fabrics that the owner, Mary, goes to India and Nepal to source herself (how jealous am I?) As well as the ikat weaves, the block printed cottons and the boro / sashiko fabrics, there is a good range of more standard dressmaking fabrics and crafting cottons, trims elastics, crochet, embroidery and quilting supplies. If you love handmade textiles, this is the place for you!
Bombay Stores A huge mecca of wonderful fabrics and haberdashery based in Bradford. Unusual fabrics – very ornate, appliqued and embroidered stuff as well as all the basics. The most amazing range of braids, beading and accessories, a lot of it with an Asian / Indian bias. Lots of good theatrical fabrics as well as a specialist wedding fabric section. They ship busloads of arty crafty people here for day trips – need I say more. I wouldn’t say its as cheap as some of my other favourites but wins on range and originality.
Cannon Mills Market in Bradford is certainly not the on the glamorous side of fabric shopping. In fact is pretty grotty, BUT on the plus side, it is the cheapest place you will ever come across. There are LOADS of stalls that do £1 per metre fabrics. It has a strong Asian bias with the types of fabrics but there is plenty of other stuff there if you are willing to look for it.
Eme Cloth & Yarn Based in Ilkley and owned by the friendly Emma Garry, this is a great little shop packed full of high quality, beautiful fabrics. They include designer remnants, crepes, wools, jerseys and a wide range of gorgeous cottons by Amy Butler and Joel Dewberry (to name just a few.) Emma also runs sewing classes and sells her own range of simple patterns perfect for beginners in the shop. They also stock Sew Different patterns!
Fabricate – Mirfield – is a great stylish little shop with an enthusiastic and chatty owner, Philippa. They sell a small but comprehensive range of fabrics, patterns, books, trims and sewing kits. They also run a lot of different sewing workshops to suit all tastes. That includes zip workshops, group bookings, beginners, overlocking, cushions, pattern grading – you get the picture? They cover it all!
Fabrics 4 all – is a relatively new Leeds based shop that is definitely worth a visit. It is a decent size with a comprehensive range of dressmaking, crafting and quilting fabrics as well as some interesting sewing patterns. It is easy to access and easy to park – just near Armley prison on the opposite side of the road. They also stock Sew Different patterns!
Fabworks – One of my favourite places in the world to lose a few hours. Fantastic old mill full of fabrics based in Dewsbury. Lots of rolls of designer seconds, including Liberty and a beautiful range of Avoca fabrics. Everything from silks to leather, buckles to brocade. Wide range of furnishing fabrics as well as dress fabrics. Excellent prices but beware, there are rarely repeat orders of anything – once it’s gone it’s gone! Fabworks have recently started to supply online. There is only a fraction online of what is available in the shop but there is still a very comprehensive range of linen, wool, cottons, scuba and more. They also stock Sew Different patterns!
The Fabberdashery is a little gem of sewing heaven in Halifax. They run a whole host of sewing classes including lots of patchwork, quilting, felting and dressmaking. They also stock a good range of quality dressmaking and quilting fabrics, trims and accessories.
The Fent Shop The Fent Shop in Skipton has always had a reputation for being a sewers paradise. Bursting to the seams with its vast range of designer fents and rolls of fabrics for curtaining, upholstery and dress making and an ever increasing range of craft cottons and fat quarters, haberdashery, trimmings and lots more.
Whaleys are a Bradford fabric manufacturer with a factory shop. It’s just a little door on the main road with strange and short opening hours. However, it does a lot of undyed / raw fabrics including silks, linens, cotton, jute, wools (over 450 different fabrics). Fabrics are available by the metre or full roll and I seem to remember there is a minimum spend (around £20 I think).
Boyes in Brighouse has got better and better over the years. It was initially just the basics of fabrics and cotton, BUT they now have an extensive range of haberdashery, trims, dyes, craft and patchworker equipment – amazing looking rulers and templates, not to mention needles, buttons & poppers, storage solutions. They even have felting equipment the last time I visited.
Yorkshire Fabric Shop This is a really comprehensive and easy to use website for furnishing fabrics. It’s also well worth a visit if you can make it the premises. It’s HARD to find, hidden in the middle of an old mill complex in Batley, but it’s worth it when you get there. There are more than 3.5K fabrics in stock. The owner, Jay, buys direct from the manufacturers of Europe so they are not branded fabrics but prices and quality are good with a really wide range and some cutting edge styles, AND they have a large remnant section. By remnants, I mean several metres on a roll that range from £5-£15 / metre.