Tuesday, June 10, 2008

NYC Fabric Store Review: Rosen & Chadick Fabrics

Address: 561 Seventh Avenue (west side of 7th, enter on 40th), 2nd floor and 3rd floor, New York, NYC
Phone: 212-869-0142
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 am - 5:45 pm; Saturday 9:00 am - 4:30 pm
Online store: n/a
Best for: the personalized service

Since 1952, Rosen & Chadick Fabrics has been a customer service favorite of designers, fashion students and home sewing enthusiasts alike.

Rosen & Chadick Fabrics is the rare Garment District store that manages to do two things at once: Sell top-quality fabrics while providing top-notch customer service. I'm placing the emphasis on customer service here because that's a quality shoppers have reported lacking at some of the other well-known garment center stores.

I got a warm welcome from David Chadick when I walked into his store on a recent Saturday. When I told him I was in the market for interlinings for a coat I was making, he knew right away what I needed and pulled out several bolts for me. (Asking about interlinings at another popular fabric store in the area got me nothing but blank looks.) I saw David give the same level of customer service to other shoppers in the store—and this was before I told him I write a blog about stores in the garment district!

I found scrumptious high-end fabrics of all kinds in this bright, well-lit store that overlooks the garment district: silks, cottons, wools, shirtings, necktie silk twills, laces, velvets, brocades and more. I fell in love with silk charmeuse chain prints created just for Rosen & Chadick in several colorways. The windowsill on the second floor that faces W. 40th Street is lined with bright cotton prints—something you tend not to see so much of in the garment district. While I was there a woman was picking out cotton prints for a quilt she was making.

Will you be jumping for joy over the bargains you found at Rosen & Chadick? Nope. Their prices are what you would expect for fabrics of this quality. I paid $32.95USD per yard for a silk twill print. But the blouse I made out of that silk twill turned out great—every time I wear it I say to myself it was worth every penny and then some.

That's David Chadick on the right helping a customer. He wants you to know that he's usually dressed in a suit, but it was a Saturday when I snapped this photo.

Loads and loads of fabric to choose from, but it's just the right amount. You can shop here without going into shock from fabric overload.

Making a bridal gown in the future? Look at all this exquisite lace.

Colorful cotton prints line the windowsill that overlooks W. 40th Street.

These silk charmeuse prints were created exclusively for Rosen & Chadick.

Rows and rows of silk prints. I think I spent 45 minutes here trying to decide which one I wanted to take home most—tough because I wanted them all!

Tuesday, June 3, 2008

NYC Fabric Store Review: N.Y. Elegant Fabrics

Address: 222 West 40th Street, New York, NYC
Phone: 212-302-4980
Hours: Monday - Friday, 9:00 am to 6:00 pm, Saturday, 10:00 am to 5:00 pm
Online store: n/a
Best for: Faux furs, theatrical fabrics, and lots of everything else

Brace yourself before entering New York Elegant Fabrics: It's BIG!

New York Elegant Fabrics has to be one of the largest fabric stores in the Garment District. With some 20,000 square feet and two levels, this store seems to have a little bit of everything. Don't let the "elegant" in the name fool you as it did me: I was expecting to find a store with only laces, brocades and materials for gowns and the like. But New York Elegant Fabrics has fabrics ranging from cottons and shirtings to real furs and fake furs. It feels more like a traditional fabric store you might find in any major city but without the notions and patterns.

Prices at New York Elegant Fabrics seem to be on par with Mood Fabrics and Rosen & Chadick: No bargain-basement prices here. I saw many of the same types of fabrics you'd pay less for at Paron's, like wool suitings. But I also saw silk charmeuses in playful prints that would be great for jacket linings, and specialty fabrics, like brightly-colored, quilted nylons that would make cute barn coats or vests for little girls.

According to Charles Yoo, the owners' son, New York Elegant Fabrics does steady business with the theatre industry, providing fabric for shows like "Wicked" and the Metropolitan Opera. You can see that costumers would easily consider this store their favorite place for one-stop shopping—it's just so big, and the staff is very helpful. New York Elegant Fabrics has been selling to retail customers in NYC's garment center for more than 20 years.

Truthfully, I was a little overwhelmed the first time I visited this store. There's just a lot of fabric to see (not that that's a bad thing). I feel I need to go back a couple more times before I can realistically assess where this store rates on my need-to-visit fabric shopping list. Until then, if you have the time and since it's just down the block from Paron Fabrics and Paron's Annex on W. 40th, do pop in New York Elegant Fabrics.

That's Charles Yoo, son of the owners, behind the counter. He's incredibly helpful and friendly.

You'll find rows and rows of printed silk charmeuses to choose from. Lots of fun jacket and coat lining options here.

Just to give you an idea of the store's prices.

I thought these double-sided, quilted nylon fabrics in bright colors would make cute jackets for toddlers and little girls.

The faux furs looked high-quality and there is a large selection.

New York Elegant Fabrics has the real stuff too.

Looking for cotton shirtings? This store has plenty of options.

You'll find loads of specialty fabrics, like this appliquéd sheer georgette.