Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Buying Zippers in NYC's Garment District

SIL Thread at 257 W. 38th Street in the Garment District offers zippers in all types of teeth and colors

When I need a separating zipper or closed zipper cut to size, I usually head to SIL Thread. This is for those cases where I don't need my zipper to be a star, just functional; for stunning Riri or Lampro zippers I go to Pacific Trim (Riri) or Botani Buttons (Lampro).

Here are the steps to buying a zipper to-size at SIL:

1. Decide on what kind of teeth you want: Brass? Nickel? Molded plastic?
2. Factor in your application: If you're making outerwear you'd probably want a zipper with a wider tape and larger teeth, but something more delicate if you wanted an exposed zipper on a dress. SIL has many choices for tape width, weight and zipper teeth size.
3. Find the right color zipper for your garment
4. Take your zipper to the counter: Tell your cashier what size zipper you want out of the one you've selected, and whether you want it to separate (like for a jacket application) or closed (like in a dress or skirt). Pay for your zipper and then wait while an employee cuts it to size for you.

Today at SIL I bought a separating zipper with molded plastic teeth that I'll use on a spring jacket I'm making. It cost me just $4 and I only had to wait a few minutes while it was sized to 12 inches.

Even though Coats & Clark has expanded its zipper offerings to keep up with the styles, and they served me well for many years, I love being able to buy zippers that look more RTW. What about you, readers? Where do you buy your zippers?

SIL offers a large selection of colors and zipper teeth styles.
When you've chosen the right zipper for your application, take it to the counter to buy it and then have it cut to size

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

NYC Trim Store Review: East Coast Trimming

Address: 142 W. 38th Street (between Seventh and Broadway), New York City
Phone: 212-221-0050
Hours: "Flexible." Monday - Friday 9:30 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.; Saturday 11 a.m. - 5 p.m.; Sunday 12 p.m. - 5 p.m.
Best for: Too soon to tell as the store only just opened

Good news, readers! A brand-new trim store just opened in the Garment District and I think you're gonna like it. East Coast Trimming, on W. 38th Street between Seventh and Broadway, is an attractive trim and notions store that should please shoppers who are looking for a thoughtfully curated store. Its well-designed interiors and ample lighting (good lighting is so rare in the Garment District) put it in the same company as fellow trim stores M&J Trimming and Botani Buttons.

According to owner Donna Teves, a former Pacific Trimming employee, customer service is what will set East Coast Trimming apart from its competitors. I did like the fact that when I told her I had been searching the Garment District high and low for these Clover Wonder Clips, she promptly tracked down the information and said she'd stock them for the store. The two times I visited the store staff was always on hand to assist customers.

I don't think it's fair to do a full review on this store, seeing as how the inventory is clearly evolving. (It's surprisingly heavy on things like cotton twill and webbing, for example, and the only zippers I saw were Coats & Clark in packages like a Jo-Ann's store.) So I plan on checking back regularly and will update this post in six months or so. In the meantime, stop by and welcome Donna and her team to the Garment District. I'm sure she'd be happy to hear what kinds of things you'd like her to stock.

I love the black shelves and the cute boxes.
Look at this! Track lighting! So you can actually see the colors of the items you're looking at. You have no idea how many times I've asked Garment District store employees if I can have a swatch to examine outside before buying, just because their lighting is so damn bad and I can't tell if I'm looking at navy or black.
I adore how these covered jumbo snaps are stored in little pill bottles.
If you need webbing at reasonable prices, this is the place.
Thank you, Tricia, for tipping me off to East Coast Trimming!

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