Thursday, February 26, 2009

NYC Fabric Store Review: Chic Fabrics

Address: 225 W. 39th Street, New York, NYC
Phone: 212-398-9451
Hours: Monday - Friday 9:30 am - 6:30 pm; Saturday 10 am - 6 pm; Sunday 11 am - 5 pm
Online store: none available
Best for: One of the few stores in the district open on Sunday

Of the many small fabric stores that populate W. 39th Street between 7th and 8th, Chic Fabric is one of the better ones. And it's open on Saturday and Sunday.

Ever been shopping in one of Mexico's border towns? There's lots of little shops that tantalize you with bright colors and shiny objects, and you think oooh, I'm gonna get some bargains here. But then you get a little closer and you see that while there may be some hidden gems, there's a lot of cheap and tacky stuff for sale.

That's what shopping on W. 39th Street in the Garment Center NYC is like to me. There are undoubtedly some fantastic bargains to be had on top-notch fabrics but you'll have to wade through tons of polyester and other man-made fibers to get to them. Because I usually don't have a lot of time to spend when I'm in the Garment District, I prefer to head straight for my favorite stores where I know and trust the quality.

That being said, some sewists may only have the chance to shop for fabrics and trims in the Garment District on a Sunday, when very few stores are open. If this were my situation, I'd try Chic Fabric. Here I think you'll have a better chance of finding decent fabric. I bought some cotton-with-lycra there for $4 a yard, and other sewists have reported being pleased with their cotton shirtings. Knowing your fabrics and your fiber contents helps when shopping on W. 39th because few stores label their fabrics.