Thursday, February 26, 2009

NYC Fabric Store Review: A.K. Fabrics

Address: 257 W. 39th Street, New York, NYC
Phone: 212-944-5693
Hours: Mon-Fri: 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Sat: 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Online store: A.K Fabrics;
Student discount with ID? Yes
Best for: Basic fabrics at affordable prices

A.K. Fabrics is the Gap of the garment district: When you want the fabric equivalent of a plain white t-shirt or a pair of khakis, this is the place. Stocking the basics in mostly natural fibers, A.K. Fabrics carries cottons, denims, wool, silk and velvet.

And the customer service is first-rate. Sali Raddani, whose father opened A.K. Fabrics thirty years ago, helped me with the fabric I bought, and her cuts were generous. (Love a store with generous cuts, don't you? Paron's is also good this way.) As I browsed the store, her two brothers Azam and Khan asked if I needed any help but then didn't hover when I told them I was just looking. A couple of times, people walked in off the street asking for fabrics and if they didn't have what they were looking for, Sali, Azam or Khan pleasantly directed them to other stores in the area.

A.K. Fabrics has an online site, though it really represents only a fraction of what the store on W. 39th has to offer. Sali says you can call and describe what you're looking for and they'll be happy to send swatches or fabric to any state or country. Daytona Braids & Trims is just a couple of doors down from A.K. Fabrics, so you can get your fabric and trim in one fell swoop. If you don't need to be wowed by designer fabrics and want quality basics at affordable prices, check out A.K. Fabrics the next time you're in the area.

That's Sali Raddani in the corner. Her father opened A.K. Fabrics 30 years ago.

A.K. has an ample selection of cotton prints, many with stretch. Some of the prints look a little dated.

I also saw wool suitings, gabardine and cotton shirtings at A.K. Fabrics. Fabric prices range from $1 to $35 per yard, according to Sali Raddani.