Updated, since much of this information has changed since I wrote this post on 5/12/12.
If you have wondered why that official-looking kiosk sits there on the corner of 39th Street and 7th Avenue, and then walked right past it, wondering "What's that booth with the button got to do with me?"...
Well, here's your answer. A whole lot, actually. Daunting as it may seem, it is there to serve the professional, the aspirer, the student, the hobbyist - anyone with questions about where to get anything related to the industry in the garment district. You may just learn that there are plenty of ways you can improve your projects, or simplify your projects just by finding the right business or service provider.
Today, I walked in, rain soaked, and asked my question.
"Do you know of a company that will fuse interfacing to fabric? Just a small length, for one garment?"
"Hmmm..." said the cheerful young woman at the desk. A few keystrokes, and she handed me a list of 21 businesses in the garment district. The only drawback is that they are addresses, short descriptions, and contact info, so we only know that they all do some sort of fusing, but there is still additional legwork for me to do to find out which business is the right contact for me. Since you can't really expect to drop in on most of these places, you do need to go home to do the homework/research, but hey - so much better than doing your own Google search, right?
Using this service effectively requires you to know the correct terminology, and be patient with the answer(s). There are so many possibilities, fabric types and manipulations possible, that their resource database is VAST, and only YOU know what you need, your budget, and what type of business you want to work with.
The best part, is that when you do research the companies, you end up exploring paths you never even knew were available to you. Who knew pleating, shirring, smocking, and jean stressing could be done just for you, just for one project, too?
They also give you a free, lovely Fashion District neighborhood map, listing the restaurants and other common needs in the area. This is ideal for the tourist, but it does feature many of the true garment district neighborhood haunts.
The Fashion Kiosk... Click the link above for more detailed information.
So, in a nutshell, the booth is great. Step inside... but this is New York, folks... Have your question ready. And use the right terminology. No guessing and sentences filled with "You know what I mean?" No one's got time for that.
Here's the booth as of yesterday (10/9/15)
Months of construction. Vacant for now.
Oh well, you can always buy a map instead!
I walked past or photographed the big button for years before I finally stopped in one hot summer day. (Hey - they have a/c in there!) I asked for a list of "all the fabric, notion, and trim stores" in the GD, and was handed a great 6-page list. I studied the list that night & found that they had some places I didn't have on my list, and vice versa -- I had stores they didn't have listed. So that left me wondering how a store actually makes it into their database? No big deal, as 6 pages of stores will keep anyone busy for days and easily max out a credit card, but I thought that was interesting. If I hadn't been to the GD before, or hadn't read this blog, I might have missed a store, heaven forbid! LOLReplyDelete
I also liked finding out (online) why the button has 5 holes instead of the usual 4. And the big angled needle makes a great backdrop to lean against, like a real tourist, while someone takes your picture. There, or at the man/machine statue right next to the kiosk. Major GD photo op corner! :)
You know, I commented to the woman how surprisingly cozy it was in there, and she seemed like she hadn't noticed. Ha! I don't know what their criteria is for listing, but I get the distinct feeling that the businesses they recommend are vetted somehow. There don't seem to be any fly-by-night type of businesses on the list, and on this occasion, and for my inquiries in the past, it seems that they don't recommend any newbies. And yes, great photo op near the button!Delete
I'll take info about the GD however I can get it -- in person at the Kiosk, on the Fashion Center's website, on this blog, or by doing the legwork & stumbling across stores. I find I have to use all those methods to keep my finger on the pulse of business in the GD, as stores open, close, expand, or move all the time.ReplyDelete
When I'm visiting NYC and paying for hotel days, I feel I should arrive with a shopping plan in mind. If you're a first-time visitor, confused about what's available, or didn't have time to do any research, then the Kiosk should be your first stop! I even passed along one of their helpful maps to a non-seamstress who was going to visit Midtown, since the map had so many restaurants & services listed.
I believe I've done a search through their website. It's a lot of info. FIT had a fair open to the public a few months ago in which various vendors from the Garment District had tables.ReplyDelete
I'll have to check out the Kiosk sometime.
New York Sewer
please share with us the research on fusing! that will be wonderful to know :-)ReplyDelete
Well, the answer can really be found here: http://www.lindsaytsews.com/2008/07/it-only-looked-like-journey-to-hell.htmlDelete
There are many places who will do it, but, true to the NY garment district way, whether or not they will help you, depends on how little of a bother you seem to be, and how quickly you can express what you need. They're not trying to build relationships here, they just want to efficiently meet your need, accept payment, and be done with it.
Oh, and this was one of the shops recommended on the kiosk list.Delete
Why does the big button only have 5 holes? Inquiring minds want to know!ReplyDelete
I never noticed that! Ha! Now my mind won't rest until I find out!!!!Delete