Wednesday, March 9, 2011

NY Elegant Fabrics

Note: This store has changed, improved, and been explored much more thoroughly since this post was written, and a deeper explorations have yielded so much more information about their offerings.  More updated reviews have come since, but I leave this post here, since Meg's post is equally valid - just a different perspective!

Meg's review from 2011 is below:

NY Elegant Fabrics is another Garment District store I wish I could wholeheartedly recommend when people ask me about must-visit stores in the area. If my recommendations were based solely on the friendliness of the proprietors, then I'd say yeah, definitely go here because I really like Charles Yoo.

But honestly, readers, I don't enjoy shopping at NY Elegant the way I do at some stores in the Garment District. The layout is confusing. The lighting is poor. The bolts are stacked too high and it's difficult to pull a bolt out on your own unless you're really strong. And—this is the kicker—the prices seem higher than elsewhere in the area. Significantly higher. I rarely buy anything here other than linings.

Enough about what I think about NY Elegant. Readers, what are your opinions? Please leave a comment here.

Cotton prints in spring and summer colors.

NY Elegant always has a huge array of colors to choose from. Points for that.

Linings are reasonably priced here. These poly prints are $6.95/yd.

I do like how swatches are already cut for you, ready for the taking.

One of the few stores that sells Liberty of London fabrics.


  1. I love to go in here to see the really high end fabrics in the front of the store(where there is light), but the rest of the store? I could have written exactly what you did. I hate places that are so dark it's impossible to really see the color. There is that hidden staircase in the back I discovered a few years ago that leads to a loft that's really dark. I don't even know if this has always been here because the staircase is almost hidden. I have never bought anything in this store and I agree, I think that the prices are high.

  2. Thanks for the tip on where to purchase good lining. I am curious about the price of Liberty of London fabrics. It is not easy to find.

  3. I guess I'm with you and Nancy on this one...I always check out the front of the store too and buy ALL of my hard to match bemberg linings from this store. They have an amazing assortment! I also agree with you about the friendliness of the proprietors. I got there one evening as the store was closing and because I knew what I wanted they let me in to buy my lining. That was really appreciated!

  4. Fairmount, it's $38.99/yard there.

  5. $38.99 - Ouch! But thanks for the info. Mimi

  6. I really like the store, and compared to what stores I have locally, I'm a happy kid in a candy store there. If I see a bolt I want that's buried deeply, I can always find friendly staff to help. The store is well-staffed & I've never had to wait to get fabric cut. I like their readily-available swatches, their selection is fantastic (as you said, lots of colors), and one time I got a discount on my bill by mentioning your blog! Their prices don't scare me -- if I want cheap, I go to some of the little stores that have fabric stacked up even worse, have all kinds of crazy lighting, and don't have a/c. NY Elegant was an oasis of cool in more ways than one last summer when it was sooooo hot in the city!

  7. I've never shopped there when I was in a hurry. As a result, I've never felt overwhelmed. The staff have always been friendly, as you said. I missed the Liberty of London fabrics in the crush. I'll have to look the next time as I love Liberty. I've bought bemberg lining, corduroy and silesia. They have a very extensive lining selection, as noted.

    I went there because an FIT student told me that they give a discount to people with an FIT ID. It's 8 or 10%. That helps. If you take a credit course at FIT even as an evening or weekend student, you get an FIT ID, which is valid for many student discounts.

    New York Sewer

  8. Liberty is $38.99? B & J offers the cotton lawn for $36 a yard. But NY Elegant is at street level while B & J requires one to enter a deep lobby and to take an elevator. So I can see someone visiting NY Elegant if they were in a hurry.

    NY Elegant is on West 40th Street, which is another plus. If I use a certain subway exit, I climb up the stairs and Paron is a couple of doors away on the south side of 40th Street, NY Elegant is further down the block towards Eighth Avenue, Steinlauf is on 39th Street, Sil Thread is on 38th Street, all west of Seventh Avenue.

    Psychologically, NY Elegant seems more convenient than B & J, which is on the other side of Seventh Avenue and I always have to look up Mood's address. Mood I find truly overwhelming. I get a headache every time I walk in there.

    If I'm pressed for time, proximity is critical.

    NY Sewer

  9. for me, it's about the bemberg selection--so many colors--and the wool crepes/gabardines. the color selection and seeming quality of the crepes makes it my preferred stop for that kind of fabric. i never buy cotton prints here, except for the odd yard of liberty (i prefer B&J, purl, or online ordering from shaukat) but i have had good luck with high-end fabrics such as woven wool cashmeres.

  10. I agree with your assessment--the prices are unreasonably high here. I've only gone in twice, I think, because of that. But I am not a "shop with a mission" fabric shopper, more of a "browse and see what catches my fancy." If I needed a specific fabric I'd be more inclined to visit them.

  11. I always look for fabric there, but I never seem to buy anything. BUT I do love that up in that loft area, along with wool coating and sweater knits and all kinds of faux fur and leather, they have some truly fun and crazy stuff. If I ever want to make a see-thru orange vinyl raincoat with a "muppet fur" collar, this is where I will shop.

    And I will definitely go for linings now that I am in the know!

  12. Clio:

    Re the "fun and crazy stuff," I once saw someone at the front desk talking excitedly about a white, laser-cut plastic fabric that was something like $60 a yard. There was only a bit left and the customer was asking to be notified when more came in.

    NYEF definitely has its fans.

    New York Sewer

  13. i cannot say enough wonderful things about this store. it does not matter what i need or request , they always have something. when i am in town it is a 'must stop" kind of place. they have a wonderful selection of printed silk chiffons as well as nice burn out velvets, compared to Mood fabrics it is downright organized! i am located in another city and call or email swatch requests, does not matter the request , i receive pages of choices. I think everything is priced accordingly. i have even been told by the owners that if they dont have it they will find someone who does! who offers that kind of customer service ? i am a big fan of B&J fabrics but NY Elegant is at the very top of my list.


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