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Friday, December 3, 2010

NYC Fabric Store Review: Spandex House

Address: 263 W. 38th Street, New York, NYC
Phone: 212-354-6711
Hours: Monday - Friday 9 a.m. - 6 p.m.; Saturday 10 a.m. - 5 p.m.
Store web site: Spandex House (Call for swatches to be sent in the mail)
Best for: Spandex, well duh. But also really nice lycra prints and soft cotton-lycra solid knits

If sewing activewear or swimwear is your thing, or you make costumes for ballet and dance, you need to visit Spandex House in NYC's Garment District. This store is the epicenter of all things spandex and lycra. The prices are reasonable, the bolts are wide (usually about 72 inches), and the sales staff is attentive.


In business since 1991, Spandex House serves the small and medium-sized designer and manufacturer, according to Sabudh Nath, Spandex House vice president. "We are the starting point for these companies, who use our fabrics for their samples," says Nath. A new but expanding market for the company is the hospitality industry, with event planners ordering yards and yards of spandex to make no-iron chair covers.

Before I went into my I-hate-sewing-knits phase, I shopped quite a bit at Spandex House. Their cotton lycra (available in solids and stripes only) is the best quality, perfect for t-shirts and loungewear. One of my most favorite summer dresses was made from Spandex House black jersey. If you want to make a DVF wrap dress there are tons of jersey prints to choose from (on the first floor just before you get to the stairs). A couple of times a year Spandex House will place its remnants in huge boxes throughout the store, and these are loads of fun to dive through. I found some Lands End swimsuit fabric in one that I turned into a skirt to slip over my bathing suit.

Bottom line: Don't rule this store out if you aren't big on sewing activewear or costumes; there's plenty of top quality lycra and cotton lycra for dresses, tops and bottoms.

Spandex House's wall of fame is heavy on figure skaters.

You're looking at all the mesh options here, on the second floor. The first floor has printed mesh, like florals and abstracts.

The row of cotton lycra solids and stripes on the second floor. You would not believe how soft this fabric is. If you like to make your own t-shirts and knit blouses, make a stop here.

Spandex prints on the first floor.

Plenty of sparkly stuff for costumes and party wear.

You'll often see recognizable swimwear manufacturer names at Spandex House, like Roxy.

6 comments:

  1. I went here once and was simply blown away by the size of the place. They also have that little Hindu (?) temple on the second floor. An amazing selection of stretch fabrics!

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  2. Great review, Meg! Also wanted to mention that they have powernet in many different weights for cheap.

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  3. I was in NYC for the first time this summer, and Spandex House was my surprise favorite spot! The sales staff was friendly, and I found all sorts of gems.
    Thanks for your reviews!

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  4. I LOVE Spandex House. Yes, it can be overwhelming, but the website is a great place to start. I found very high quality Supplex here (great for wicking properties) and have gotten great cotton lycras for under garments and tees. I also bought Roxy swim suit fabric here. So so cute.

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  5. I have ordered from them and their service is amazing! Of course the fabric was exactly what I needed.

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  6. I've ordered from Spandex House for a football jersey that needed re-sized and they were great to work with. I'll check them out in person when I come to NY in October!

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