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.