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Topic: Fabrics in the Bay Area?  (Read 2033 times)
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« on: October 19, 2011 07:22:02 PM »

I'm new to sewing--not even new so much as I haven't really started yet. The only place I can think of for fabrics and supplies is Joann's. I'm not that impressed with their fabric selection, and was wondering if there were any other shops you could recommend. I'm looking for either:

A. dirt cheap (could be vintage, used, anything as long as it's not hideous and stained) fabric to experiment with
B. interesting, unique textiles--as long as it's not too expensive (i.e. nothing over like $20 a yard)

« Reply #1 on: November 04, 2011 03:23:11 PM »

Try the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse.  creativereuse.org/

I can recommend a few east bay stores, but if you want cheap stuff to play with, it would be either Joann's or Hancock's. 
« Reply #2 on: November 04, 2011 04:08:56 PM »

Hi, Penguillama -

I moved to SF 2.5 years ago and wondered the same thing and here's what I've found so far - hope it's helpful!

Fab Mo: They collect fabric swatches (everything from small bookmarker size to entire rolls) and do a monthly distribution (free! of course, they're a nonprofit and accept donations) in Mountain View. You have to schedule an appointment to go since it's a small space and there are narrow walkways in between tables of fabric - I usually talk a friend into going with me and we make a day of it (morning appointment, lunch somewhere and hit a couple of thrift stores on the way back home):


Discount Fabrics: 2 great locations - I live in Inner Sunset, so I frequent the one on Irving and 23rd (maybe 24th?) more often, but I've been to both and they have a pretty good clearance/discount area:

Fabrix: Small, crowded, but lots of fun - and I never just go hear - it's on Clement Street - lots of other great places to stop in the neighborhood.

StoneMountain Fabrics (Berkeley): Only been once - A little fancier, but I heard it was the best place in the East Bay, so I had to stop in at least once - pretty good selection; just don't know it that well:

Daiso: Japanese version of a dollar store (1.50, actually). There is a pretty good craft section and they have a bunch of fabric panels (about bandana-ish size) mostly with Japanese-themed graphics. Also another tough place to just go get fabric, though (there are 2 locations in SF - Market St and another one in Japantown; and there is also another one in the Serramonte Mall complex, you can see it off the 280 fwy).

nerd. serial hobbyist. militant friendly.
« Reply #3 on: February 08, 2012 06:54:01 PM »

I'm not sure where in the bay area you're located, but when I was in the south bay I used to go to a fabric store in San Jose called Fabrics R Us. It's on Berryessa Road around North East San Jose. It's great if you're not super specific about the fiber content. Most things aren't labeled very well, and I couldn't find much cotton when I was there. But there's TONS of different fabrics to choose from and the prices are pretty good (and if you get an assistant who likes you, sometimes they'll give you a discount). They also tend to add extra fabric to your cut because they're not cutting precisely. They usually put a bunch of rolls outside that are on sale at some ridiculously low price. And there are 3 different shops in the same shopping center that are all owned by the same store, but each one has some different things (like one has more formal fabrics and another has more home decor). Just to warn you, though, the staff are all Chinese and don't speak a whole lot of English, and the place is pretty cramped because of how much fabric they have. But it makes for some awesomely cheap prices. And if you're on the hunt for some pretty Chinese fabrics, they are definitely the place to go.

I sew, crochet, bead, make natural toys for kitties, and so much more.
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