Friday, October 16, 2015

Off the Beaten Path... Mendel Goldberg

If you want to make a Chanel-inspired jacket, this is the place!
A New Yorker all my life, I had never actually ventured all the way down to Hester Street to see Mendel Goldberg Fabrics for myself. 

That is, until yesterday...  

Yes, I've heard it is a great place, highly praised by such quality sewing professionals as Susan Khalje and Claire Shaeffer, but, until now, I simply hadn't explored why.

While inside this delightful, quiet store, I had a wonderful conversation with Alice, the host, great-granddaughter of Mendel Goldberg, and personality of the shop, who greeted me warmly and explained what sets her family business apart from the garment district fabric stores.  

Now, I understand.

In business since 1890, this small boutique fabric shop is a carefully and beautifully curated collection of exquisite fabrics hand selected by Alice (Goldberg) from the finest mills in Europe.  A New York Times article written about the store gives a beautiful impression of its history.  I saw wool guipure, brocades to die for, and colors and prints that are absolutely swoon-worthy. No kidding.

Pictures of the fabrics don't do them justice.  Visit, see, and touch to learn for yourself!
They do not sell notions or trims of any kind, so plan accordingly, as you will only be shopping for your "star of the show" fabric here, and will need to purchase your other supplies elsewhere.

I was fortunate enough to accidentally eavesdrop on an appointment with a shopper (yes, they do allow appointments) during my visit, and was truly impressed by the level of customer service the client received. Advice like, "I would not suggest that fabric for you.", and "You'll need more yardage to create that." was offered with a firm and patient tone, and she even went the extra mile to give more suggestions, which included products inspired by the client's requests during the appointment, which were then happily retrieved from the downstairs inventory.

Where they win: Quality, Curation of goods, Shipping options and Customer Service.  If you are the right type of client for this shop, this is a unique and fabulous resource.  I must have touched just about everything they have to offer during my visit, and was truly thrilled with the experience.

This is a place to go for fabric to create special-occasion wear or high-end pieces. Before visiting, be sure to note the prices of the fabrics on the website, because that is the ballpark range you should be expecting to see when shopping there.

Mendel Goldberg Fabrics
72 Hester Street
New York, NY 
Tel 212-925-9110

Worth noting - this business has been in the same location since 1890.  That means, in addition to all of the changes our city has faced since then, it has survived BOTH 9/11 and Hurricane Sandy.  Now, that's resilience!


  1. Thanks. I've never visited, although I've heard a lot about the place.

    BTW,it's "guipure".

    1. Thanks! genuine typo... embarasssed - I speak French, actually!

  2. I took a look at the website. Ack! Pretty, but really out of my price range.

    1. Katie, you'll get there... when you're famous, Babe!

  3. This is a truly amazing store to visit. When I get up my courage to make another little French jacket with really expensive fabric I will shop there. Thanks for your take on Mendel-Goldberg.


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