Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Why Panda?

And then there's Panda.

247 W 38th St  New York, NY 10018

(212) 302-9434

I have wanted to write about Panda so many times, but have found myself stumped each time I start. Set up more like a well- organized factory supply room than a retail environment, Panda, despite being nestled among several seemingly similar stores, holds a space and purpose of its own on that busy stretch of 38th Street.

In the beginning of the business (1992), Panda's main customers were local sewing factories because the local business was big at that time. But now, their main customers are major apparel manufactures and factories in South America instead of small local sewing factories. Luckily for us in New York City, they have a location right here, giving us access to their products.

From my perspective, the main reasons to go are the zippers and steaming/pressing supplies. They provide a brief zipper education on their website, to help you know what is available to choose from.

Seam bindings, thread, zippers, cords, glues, fasteners, tools, notions... it isn't very "browseable" for the easily overwhelmed, but will absolutely satisfy those who know what they want. They have particularly interesting zippers, elastics, velcro, cups, pads, irons, steamers... it just goes on and on... and on...

In my opinion, Panda is aimed at the sewing professional, rather than the hobbyist, with an emphasis on selling items in quantity. No time to waste, consistent stock, clearly marked items available in ample quantity. If you are local (NYC), and meet a minimum purchase amount, they will deliver items to you personally. Now, seriously, you can't beat that, can you?


  1. I've only bought small things, but they've always been nice.

  2. Panda's where I bought my Mundial buttonhole scissors several years ago. I had not seen them elsewhere in the GD.

    They're in a great location, steps from the Post Office, SIL, and an entrance to the Bricken Arcade building, where Mood is. Definitely on my GD beaten path.

  3. Lots of good stuff here. I like the fact that the comments here have highlighted the things I did not mention: that it is a great place to buy small things, too, and its proximity to lots of other garment district destinations.

  4. I stopped in the first time with no particular shopping list. They were at street level, so they were accessible. I was drawn right to the scissor display, and that's where I spotted the buttonhole scissors. I also got some large black & silver hook & eye tape, which was displayed on a counter.

    It's one of those places you can step into & immediately see things you didn't know they had, but also one of those places where you can go in to ask about something specific that they might have behind the counter. I remember pricing elastic thread there for my designer friend. I made a mental note, too, that they had "hardware" (zipper pulls, cord locks, etc.).


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