Sunday, November 16, 2008

New York crafters resources

Periodically I try to update this list of great places to visit when you're in New York. It's been a while since the last update, and the list could still use some additions. But here it is in the meantime. More to come as I find time:

General Fabric
525 Seventh Avenue between 37th and 38th Streets, 2nd floor
Open Monday through Saturday
By far the best fabric resource ever. Be sure to check out the inspiration walls, where the staff has collected tearsheets from fashion magazines and attached similar fabric swatches. B&J carries everything from luxury fabrics (unbelievable silks and embroidered, beaded fabrics) to basic cotton canvas (in a plethora of colors). Also a fantastic selection of Liberty of London Tana Lawn. Schedule a lot of time for this stop; you'll be overwhelmed by the selection.

225 West 37th Floor, 3rd & 4th floors
If you're willing to dig, you can find some good deals here. They carry almost everything, including luxury fabrics, and can be very helpful.

Paron West, Paron Annex
206 West 40th Street
Open Monday to Saturday
I sometimes do very well at these shops and sometimes leave empty handed. You never know.

Ribbons and Trim
28 West 38th Street
The most inexpensive, and perhaps the dustiest.

Daytona Trimmings Company
251 W 39 At Fashion Ave
New York, NY 10001
I rarely find what I need/want here, but many other sewers are big fans.

Tinsel Trading
1 West 37th Street
A treasure trove of trims, both new and vintage. Lots of other fun things as well. Does anyone happen to know if their ribbon shop is still on 38th Street? I'm unsure, since they recently moved.

Hyman Hendler
67 West 38th Street
Dusty, musty, and messy, but gorgeous ribbons. It's worth digging through the bins, although you may be surprised at how expensive a yarn of ribbon can be.

M&J Trimmings
1008 6th Avenue (between 37th and 38th)
Mon - Fri : 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
Saturday : 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
Sunday : 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM
You've got to see this place. Now with multiple rooms carrying buttons, beads, ribbons, handbag handles, you name it. You won't believe your eyes. Another place to spend a lot of time. Bring a shopping list or you might be thoroughly overwhelmed.

Tender Buttons
143 East 62nd Street
Open Monday to Saturday
Like stepping back in time, this tiny shop stocks beautiful vintage and antique buttons. It helps to have a particular project you're shopping for, and don't be surprised if those buttons you love cost more than last month's rent.

Steinlauf & Stoller
239 West 39th Street
Open Monday to Friday, 8-5:30
I wrote about this shop previously. An excellend source for whalebone, patternmaking paper, interfacing, grommets, bra hooks, and anything else you might need.

Quilt Shops
Purl Patchwork
147 Sullivan Street (between Houston and Prince Streets)
Monday to Friday 12-7, Saturday & Sunday 12-6
My favorite quilt shop.

The City Quilter
133 West 25th (between 6th and 7th Avenues)
Open Tuesday through Sunday


137 Sullivan Street
(212) 420-8796
Monday through Friday 12-7, Saturday and Sunday 12-6
My favorite yarn store. Close your eyes and pick a yarn; whichever it is, I'll bet it's gorgeous! If you love luxury yarns, natural fibers, and Lorna's Laces you'll be in heaven here.

Downtown Yarns
45 Avenue A
Cozy, nice selection, great window displays, and really helpful employees. And that screen door just feels so welcoming, like returning home after a long day.

School Products Co Inc
(212) 679-3516
1201 Broadway # 3 (near 30th St. no store front on the third floor)
Monday through Friday 9:30 – 6:30
Saturday 10:00 – 3:30
Sunday Closed
It's been a while since my last visit here, but this shop is usually a good source for affordable yarns. Really the only source in the city for machine knitting yarns (on cones), and they often carry leftover samplemaking yarns from Seventh Avenue.

Japanese Craft Books

1073 Ave of the Americas (6 Ave bet 40 and 41 St)
phone: 212-869-1700/ fax: 212-869-1703
Mon-Sat 10am-8pm/Sun 11am-7:30pm
All the books are in Japanese. So what? The photos and styling of Japanese craft books are terrific, and the directions are usually clear enough to follow even if you can't read what they say.

Book Off
Bookoff USA Incorporated
12 E 41st St At 5th Ave
New York, NY 10017
(212) 685-1410

Asahiya Bookstores New York Incorporated
52 Vanderbilt Ave
New York, NY 10017
(212) 883-0011


Brooklyn General Store
128 Union Street
Brooklyn NY 11231
I love this shop for it's size and unusual offerings (including some great vintage fabrics). It's always a pleasure to visit.


ABC Home/The Silk Trading Company
888 & 881 Broadway (at about 19th Street)
M-F: 10-8, Sat: 10-7:00, Sun: 11-6:30
Be prepared to spend hours at this unusual department-store-styled exotic furnishings store. My favorite areas are the children's section (in the back of the shop and up a half-flight of stairs) and the jewelry. But don't miss the bath department, the quilts, or the furniture. Oh never mind; see the whole thing. It's all worthwhile.


  1. Thanks so much for this list! I've heard/been to some of them but haven't hit any of the fabric or trim stores. On my next visit to NY, I'll definitely have plenty to do!

    One note, Kinokuniya has moved. They're across from Bryant Park now on 6th Ave. How do I know this? Because despite looking it up in the phone book in May and seeing the new address, I still walked over to Rockefeller absolutely positive that I knew better! (I was sure that the phone book must simply be wrong. Not me. Never me.)

    Again, thanks so much for all the great info!

  2. Collette, you're absolutely right. Thanks for reminding me to fix that. Cheers!

  3. Ah, yes thanks for the reminder about Kinokuniya.
    Great list!

  4. Great list! I'm making note of a few I didn't know about.

  5. Thanks for this awesome list. You have no idea how many times I refer to it!

  6. I can't believe how timely this post is because we are going to be in NYC in a couple days visiting family! On my list (before you posted these wonderful resources) were Purl, Mood and MJ Trim. Thanks for the additional ideas!

  7. Your list in and of itself is a treasure trove! Thanks, Liesl!!!

  8. In September 2007 and in August 2008 I was in NYC and I carried your tips with me all the time! I dragged my poor husband through most of the places you suggested! :)

  9. Just in time, I go to NY tomorrow so I have a great list! thanks!!!

  10. It's so hard for me not to go to all of these places this time of year. My budget is really spent for gifts already and not everyone on my list "appreciates" handmade gifts the way I do. (dolts!)

    Thanks for the great list. I worked on 39th between 5th and 6th for four years and spent many lunch hours lurking around these places. I didn't have a sewing machine then, so I spent more money on beading and jewelry making! Also a great district for that endeavor.

  11. I almost don't want to share this treasure, but...

    Save-a-thon fabric store on 104th and 3rd Avenue has AMAZING deals ALL the time - fabrics on teh lower level, crafts on the upper level. I just got some AWESOME AWESOME batiks for $2.99 per yard. It's a catch as catch can, and they don't always have the same stuff, but they are AWESOME!

  12. Thanks so much for the great resource list, I'll be sure to keep a copy on hand to give out to all of my artists who ask for local suppliers!


  13. Gemma1:28 PM

    Oh! Thank you SO much for these great resources!

    I am headed for the City soon and now have a very special tour to plan :)

  14. Thank you so much for putting this together. I am heading to NYC from Australia in a couple of weeks, and - husband and toddler permitting - hope to check out some of these stores. Purl, at least, is a definite!