Tuesday, October 8, 2013

NYC Fabric Store Review: Fabrics World USA

Originally posted 7/10/12 - Updated today

This post has been revised today (October 8, 2013), because the only experiences commenters have shared on this business so far have been negative ones.  True to my responsible blogging philosophy, I feel compelled to let you know what I hear about this store, too.  Please read viewer comments below this post, and caveat emptor, folks.

Once upon a time, when I was a college freshman who sewed alot of her own, quirky clothes, I earned the nickname "Stripes" among a group of people who later became friends ( a clique, really) because they didn't know my name. Then it became a joke, and it kinda stuck. In that very geometric, Bennetton, assymmetric bobbed-haircut era, I made lots of striped skirts, pants, and deliberately cock-eyed Issey Miyake inspired stuff, that I would still wear (although a bit differently) today.

And this is why I am reviewing a store into which I randomly wandered on a day when I was actually headed elsewhere.

This store has an uninspiring, but fairly organized layout, and a distant, distracted staff, but that's no biggie... In fairness, it was a brutally hot day, and brutally hot inside the store as well. I just wandered in to take a peek at the piles of fabric inside. Now that I think about it, what drew me in were the colors.

You may wonder why I am featuring such a store here, but, frankly, their complete, deliberate disregard for current trends was refreshing. If you were blindfolded and led into this store, and asked what year we were in when the blindfold was removed, you actually wouldn't know. No color stories or fabric types seem to dominate in this store. That's actually kinda cool, don't you think? Allowed me to hit the "creative reset button", so to speak.

Now, this is not an insult to the proprietors of this store, but if you like a bit of humor/personality in your clothing, or if you make costumes, this is really the place for you! Completely reasonable prices, and lots of things that S-T-R-E-T-C-H.

And then, I noticed the stretchy, t-shirtlike knits toward the back, and had my own personal 80's moment. Lots of stripes, in color combos that sang to me in a sort of Depeche Mode, Simple Minds, Breakfast-clubbian medley. Deliberate, bold stripes of color reminiscent of Molly Ringwald, John Cryer and Anthony Micheal Hall.

80's teenagers among you... can you feel it? And, remember the wardrobe of Mrs. Roper from "Three's Company"? She's been my muse a few times in the recent past. Seriously.

And then, against my will, I started to hum... and dream... "Don't you... forget about me..." I was in love. You can bet I'll snag a few things there. Don't worry; I'll update the look. Cue the music. (... "the look of love... that's the look... that's the look... the look of lo-uh-uh-ove... LOOK OF LOVE!")

Fabrics World USA
252 West 38th Street


  1. Fun review! One day when I get back to NYC I will definitely have to go here.

  2. Great review Mimi, hoping to visit NYC garment district one day... in the meantime I visit via your blog posts :)

  3. I have to warn you against this place. I'm a designer in NYC and buy production wholesale fabric in the garment district often. I just dealt for the first time with Fabrics World. They 1)tried to double the price they had initially quoted me and then 2) sold my assistant a bolt of fabric that was flawed. I later noticed it and called them -- it turns out they knew it was flawed and knowingly sold me faultly goods. There are a lot of reputable fabric vendors in the neighborhood--this one is the kind that gives garmentos a bad name. If you do deal with them, bargain hard and triple check your fabric and receipt.

    1. HORRIBLE customer service. Wrong colored fabrics sent many times, omitted items from orders, then refuse to correct the matter. Broken email address doesn't work. When you call they are rude, you can't understand the broken English they speak, and the act like you are lying about the mistakes in your order.

    2. Thank you for your feedback! As fun as it was to browse their offerings, I have heard nothing but negative feedback about this store. your feedback is very helpful to me, and the garment district community as a whole, so I will be revising this post accordingly. I appreciate you letting me know what your experience has been.

  4. Excellent Store.....I have visited this store many times. Every time I got what I need. They have huge collection of spandex. specially spandex print. Their prints are reorder able. Great store and customer service is awesome. I highly recommended this store.

  5. I resently purchased 6 differnet fabrics on NOvember 11, 2013 after a week I called the store to find out where my order was and they said they lost it. Now broken english is not a issue for me, however the first person I dealt with was a guy and then a girl that said she was the manager and was sending me my fabric and a couple extra yards do to the error. So yesterday November 25, 2013 I call again and the man takes my number AGAIN and says I will call you. Well its now November 26, 2013 I call again and he tells me that the order was shipped he thinks last Wed but has no tracking number for UPS and tells me must talk to manager. So I ask when will this happen, he says she be in around noon I call and he says no I said 4 so I call again and tell him if I do not get a call by tomorrow I will contact the Attorney General and turn you in.. SO they have my money and I have no fabric. SO VERY DISAPPOINTED>>

  6. I'm ordering from this company for almost 3 years. I never had any issues with them. They are very co-operative, quality also great. Almost every time they shipped on time. One time one of the product was out of stock but they called me and informed me. I like this company. It nice to do business with them.


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