Wednesday, May 17, 2006

New York crafters' resources

See the updated version here.

So you're coming to New York and want to check out the crafty shops. This is a short list of my favorite places. It's not a complete list of all available shops in New York City, but if you have other favorites to add to the list, please leave a comment.

Fabric Shops
525 Seventh Avenue,
between 37th and 38th Streets, 2nd floor
Open Monday through Saturday
By far the best 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 voiles.

Rosen and Chadick
561 Seventh Avenue, 2nd floor
Open Monday through Saturday
Great selection, great prices, helpful and friendly staff. This is usually my first stop in the garment district.

Gray Line Linen
260 West 39th Street
Open Monday through Saturday
All linen, all well-priced and beautiful.

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

Tinsel Trading
47 West 38th Street
A treasure trove of trims, both new and vintage. Lots of other fun things as well. Give yourself lots of time to browse, and be sure to ask questions since the history of the shop is fascinating. This is a wonderful place to spend an afternoon.

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)
Open Monday to Saturday
You've got to see this place. Now with multiple rooms carrying buttons, beads, ribbons, bag handles, you name it. You won't believe your eyes.

Tender Buttons
143 East 62nd Street
Open Monday to Saturday
Like stepping back in time someplace in Paris, this tiny shop stocks beautiful vintage and antique buttons. It helps to have a particular project you're shopping for, or you may get your wallet into trouble here.

Steinlauf & Stoller
239 West 39th Street
Open Monday to Friday, 8-5:30
I wrote about this place last week.

Pacific Trimming
218 West 38th Street
The displays aren't as appealing, but the prices are much better than the competition. Selection varies, and don't let the disorganized chaos of the place turn you off.

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 (yeah, don't go on Monday like I always seem to do)


137 Sullivan Street
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!

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.

Japanese Craft Books
1073 Avenue of the Americas (near 40th Street, across from Bryant Park)
Their brand new location, which I haven't had time to visit yet! At the Rockefeller Center location all the books were 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. I could personally spend hours browsing the craft books, so watch out!


Anthropologie Rockefeller Center
50 Rockefeller Center
New York, NY 10020
Any Anthropologie store will do, but especially the flagship is a fantasy of beautiful displays and inspiring ideas. Have someone you love hold your wallet while you browse, and tell them not to let you have it until after you leave, no matter how much you plead. Really.

ABC Carpets
888 & 881 Broadway New York, NY 10003
Wander the floors of the home store and you'll find all sorts of treasures. Be sure to check out the children's mezzanine if you have kids.

693 5th Ave
New York, NY 10022
Be sure to browse the floral shop at the front of the first floor. This entire store is curated to feature beautiful and unusual items.

Outside Manhattan

Brooklyn General
128 Union Street
Yarn, fabric, books, wool felt, milk paint, vintage buttons, and kids. Only the kids aren't for sale. A nice selection of vintage fabrics as well.


  1. Anonymous10:40 PM

    How awesome of you to put this all together; I've printed it out already! I'd add ABC Home/The Silk Trading Company for inspiration! (Definitely not bargains but it's so heavenly in there!)

  2. Anonymous10:48 PM

    Ahh, so useful. I can't wait to go to them all.

    2 more good places for Japanese craft books: Book Off, 14 E 41st between Madison and 5th Ave (used books and right next to a yummy cream puff shop) and Asahiya, 360 Madison Ave (actually on 45th down a bit from the corner of Madison)

  3. this is wonderful. i need to make a trip there to visit family, this may motivate me to make it sooner then later. thank you

  4. This list is great! Thanks for sharing. I want to plan a trip to New York now!

  5. this is GOLD!!!

    i love your idea of setting up a craft to do for different cities. it's really really smart. i'd love to help out if you get that going!

    thank you lisel!!

  6. Anonymous7:43 AM

    downtown yarns -- like the store, they've gotten a LOT more inventory as they've gone on -- but I was once in there listening to an employee say very nasty stuff about another yarn store. that's not cool. yarn stores should stick together, no?

    purl is a pretty shop -- but i find the women who work at yarn connection on 37th and madison are a bit more knowledgeable -- the store isn't as prettily arranged but they are major rowan stockists and have some great stuff.

    and while recommending that store, i will give you two DON'T GO THEREs: Gotta Knit on 6th and 12th, notorious among NY knitters for horrendous service; and Yarn Company on Broadway & 82nd or 84th or whatever, the ones who've published a few books. You go in and ask a question about yarn and their answer is "Do you know we have celebrities knit here?" And I say "Why would I care"?

    cheers ;)

  7. Great resources. Thanks.

  8. Anonymous11:04 AM

    liesl ... store hours for m&j trim open 7 days ... yeah!!!

    Store Hours
    Mon - Fri : 9:00 AM - 7:00 PM
    Saturday : 10:00 AM - 5:00 PM
    Sunday : 12:00 PM - 5:00 PM

    ... thanks for posting great resources ... happy day ... happy knitting ... happy sewing ... happy spring ... ina and gumby ... the (girl) dog that tante sophie has ....

  9. yes thank you for posting these!! and extraordinarily well-timed; i'm going to new york tomorrow morning. !

  10. thank you for this list! i second book-off, and i also love daytona trimming, school products for yarn and knitting supplies, and i've heard good things about new york elegant fabrics.

  11. Anonymous5:40 PM

    I soooo want to be there!

  12. Anonymous4:57 AM

    It's so good of you to put all these excellent recommendations in one post. I need only print off the page and I'm set for several days' happy shopping when I next come to NY. Wonderful. Thank you.

  13. Anonymous10:20 PM

    Great list, and I keep meaning to tell you (since back when you wrote about City Quilter) that there is a really good quilt shop in Berkeley Heights New Jersey called Quilt Connection if you are ever out in the 'burbs. I used to live in Maplewood, and that was my favorite in the area. I wasn't too impressed with City Quilter. But I'm sure I'd die for Purl Patchwork.

  14. thank you so much!
    this is wonderfully helpful.

  15. thanks so much--
    especially about the resource for japanese crafting books. Always on the lookout for those.

    Several new shops to check out!


  16. Ah, MOOD. Made famous by Project Runway. I'll probably never get to NYC. Hmm.. but I might think about making a similar list for the bay area.

  17. Anonymous2:22 PM

    also featured on project runway (if you notice the plastic bags), my favorite ribbons and trims store: daytona trimming. (39th between 7th and 8th aves.)
    no big secret but i thought it deserved another mention!
    ps. i would love a bay area version of this list!

  18. Anonymous7:00 AM

    I'm not a blogger just a reader and fan. I feel like I am letting you in on a secret. You probaby already know about it but just in case. Strange name but really good yarn deals especially if you buy the whole cone, they will help you see if it is enough.

    School Products Co Inc
    (212) 679-3516
    1201 Broadway # 3 (near 30th St. no store front on the third floor)
    New York, NY 10001

    School Products is Open:
    Monday through Friday
    9:30 – 6:30
    10:00 – 3:30

    Also any suggestions for where to buy interfacing?

  19. Thanks for this. I've been searching the web all day for some underwire, and in just 2 min on your blog I found what I needed. Awesome!

  20. Anonymous11:44 AM

    Thank you for posting the wonderful info on all your favorite shops. I live in Austin Texas and I'm headed to NY next week. I plan to visit most if not all of the stores mentioned. We have an emerging community of crafty folks but limited access to resources, inspiration and shopping. Thanks again! M

    PS - love your flickr gallery

  21. Anonymous3:13 PM

    There are so many stores to weed through in the city...I didn't know where to start, really. But now I do. Can't wait to check them all out. Thank you so much for putting this together!

  22. Wow, I just ran into your blog. Thanks so much for listing all these NY craft resources!! Although NY has so many stores, sometimes I wish it was as easy as popping into a Jo-Ann's for everything!

    Also, two more to add:
    Lion & the Lamb for knitting supplies on the UES.
    Toho Shoji, for Japanese beading crafts =)

  23. Anonymous12:39 AM

    The Wool Gathering is a yarn shop on the UES. The owner was rude and the yarn very overpriced. The same EXACT yarn can be found in shops in other areas of Manhattan and Park Slope Brooklyn, for HALF the price- not on sale. I will not patronize that store again.

  24. You should check out Knitty City on the south side of 79th between Amsterdam and B'way. Really nice people and it feels like the old Upper West Side in there.

  25. Anonymous2:25 PM

    Thank you so much for this post! I live in NJ (but am originally from Upstate NY) & I plan to start making ALOT more day trips into the City to find stores just like the ones you've listed! I knew they had to be there...I just didn't know where!

  26. Anonymous4:10 PM

    I had some dealings with NY Elegant Fabrics for my job and the folks there were very helpful. I didn't have much time to look around, but I still managed to find several fabrics I'd like to go back for. I finally made my first trip to Purl and Purl Patchwork after work on Friday and they were worth the trip, if just for the beauty of the shops. I decided to buy myself an Amy Butler bag pattern at Purl Patchwork and the shop assistant spent much time helping me to select coordinating fabrics and I left with all the notions I need to complete the project. I can't wait to go back for more of their tempting but well-edited fabrics!

  27. Anonymous8:58 PM

    If you want to make a day of it, you don't even need to leave West 38th Street. Have a cab drop you off at the corner of 6th and W. 38th - or roughly in front of M&J Trimmings. (There is a big LOANS sign next door in case you get into trouble at M&J, LOL!)

    Turn right going out the door of M&J & head north a few steps to the corner of W. 38th. Turn right (east) onto W.38th. Down that block on the south side ("your side") of the street is "The Store Across The Street" - Tinsel Trading's ribbon & paper shop. Further down is So-Good Ribbon, and you'll pass some other trimmings place(s) on the way.

    When you reach the corner of 5th Ave., you can cross over to the north side of 38th and use the ladies' room at Lord & Taylor, LOL! Then continue walking west on the north side (the "Lord & Taylor side") of that block of 38th. You'll pass Hyman Hendler ribbon, Tinsel Trading Company, Lou Lou Button (69 W. 38th), and I forget what-all else.

    You can really make a crafter's day of it on that block of W. 38th between 5th & 6th Ave.! It's easy to catch a cab again on 6th, or walk up to Bryant Park and relax. And isn't there a new-ish bead store somewhere on 6th around there?? (I may be imagining.)

  28. Anonymous4:37 PM

    I actually don't mind Yarn Co --- but it can be hard to find help when they are busy (which is ALWAYS).

    I just took a trip out of NYC and found a wonderful yarn/weaving store in Austin TX called Hill Country Weavers (hillcountryweavers) -- they were so helpful and even ordered a whole bag of yarn and had it sent to my apartment.

    Also in Austin silk road fabrics (srfabrics) has a beautiful, quirky selection of fabrics and buttons. Also very helpful service.

  29. Thanks for posting such a great list -- it's helped my find great stuff in NYC! Just wanted to let you know that I think your address on Grey Line Linen is incorrect -- you have it on 29th street. I tried to find it and couldn't so I just called and she said it is 260 West 39th street. Haven't tried yet to verify, but will soon!

  30. Yep, it is on 39th street. I pass it on my way to class. The site is with an A instead of the E.

    Thanks for this list! I was googling fabric shops in nyc and I found this. Thanks!

  31. Anonymous6:46 AM

    Thanks for compiling such a great list of stores. I visit NYC every 6 mo. for work and took a whole day this time to go shopping. I had so much fun!!! I have been to Purl Patchwork before, which I loved, but I wondered if there were any other fabric stores, maybe a little bigger. I looked in the fashion district, however, most of those were apparel rather than quilting fabrics. Any suggestion??

  32. I`ve been to NYC last week and enjoyed buying in Toho
    Shoji store!
    They have beautiful stuff.
    990 6th Ave (between 37 and 38th st)

  33. Thank you so much for this - I have a last minute trip and you've made life so much easier for me!