Tour of the Garment District in New York City

During the first week of October, I visited New York City for a week. The first day that my sisters and I were there, we visited the garment district.  The fabric shops in the garment district are mostly on 39th and 40th Streets, between 7th and 8th Avenues. There are also all kinds of trims, buttons, beads, and thread stores in those blocks. So you can wander through all kinds of goodies in a few blocks.

I didn’t take the photo above, but found it online at http://www.allianceforamericanquilts.org/ This area was under construction while we were there so you couldn’t even see this guy in the foreground of the photo. The fabric stores are amazing because there are rows and rows of all different types, colors and styles of fabric. Most of the store don’t want you to take photos inside so any inside photos were found on Yelp.

Many of the stores are on the second floor so you have to look up to see where they are. We visited New York Elegant Fabrics and B&J Fabrics. It was actually overwhelming to see the rows and rows of fabric bolts all piled on top of each other in a rainbow of colors.

I did take the photos above in the hallway before going inside B&J Fabrics. These are made from either swatches of fabric or larger pieces. They aren’t sewn together as far as I could tell so that they could be changed out to a different fabric.

The other fun thing as you walked along was the Fashion Walk of Fame That told a story about many different fashion designers. I didn’t even come close to taking photos of all of them.

Mood

And then there was Mood. Any of you who watch Project Runway, know about Mood. This is the store where the designers rush around trying to find just the right fabric for their upcoming project in half an hour or some other limited time period. You would really have to know what you wanted in advance, because there is so much to from which to choose.

From any kind of silk to every color of leather, the aisles are overflowing with fabric, trim, feathers, buttons and more.

Swatch

And a trip to Mood can’t be had without seeing Swatch, the dog.

Mood Bag

So what did I buy? Can you believe it? Only this bag from Mood. I didn’t buy any fabric at all. It was just too overwhelming to even consider choosing much less paying those prices!

 

 

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22 Responses to Tour of the Garment District in New York City

  1. How fun! I’ve never been to NY. I would go nuts surrounded by all of the colors, textures and patterns! Not to mention all of the fun embellishments that could be found. An artist’s paradise!

  2. Karen says:

    What a terrific trip. Thanks for sharing these great photos. When I get to New York, I will have to follow in your footsteps!

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Karen – let me know and I can give you some tips about NYC if you go. I have been a couple of times and it takes a bit of orientation to find stuff.

  3. Marilyn aka Pandagirl says:

    It is overwhelming to go into these fabric warehouses. We have two here and I’ve been to one in LA. I would only go again if I were looking for something specific otherwise you can get lost. And I can only imagine the prices in NY! :-). Oh all those buttons, yum.

    It sounds like you had a great time. A great sister vacation! Thanks for sharing!

  4. Penny Peters says:

    Hi Ruth, What a fun day you must have had taking in the Garment District. I do watch Project Runway (taped so I can speed past the drama in the middle of the program), so it would be great fun to visit Mood. You pictures of it remind me of a small fabric shop we visited in Madrid with the most beautiful silks in a huge array of colors and prints. Lovely! Penny

  5. Laura says:

    I’ve been to Mood and also to several other shops in the Garment District. Some are hard to squeeze through, they are so packed that you can’t even pass someone if they’re in the way. Kind of claustrophobic, and definitely overwhelming! You definitely have to know what you’re looking for, otherwise your mind goes into overload. But it’s fun to see it all!

  6. Teri Berry says:

    What fun, sounds like my idea of heaven! Kudos to you for resisting the temptation to spend, that must take a will of iron!

  7. koffipot says:

    Wow! Such a feast of fabric, so much to choose from, where to begin? A wonderful experience though I’m sure. I love the statue. 🙂

  8. luvswool says:

    I remember visiting the garment district in the mid-1980’s, and it was quite a place to see. It’s good to know that it’s still a lively place, considering the massive outsourcing overseas of the garment industry. How fun that you could visit with your sisters, and thanks for sharing those great photos.

  9. It looks like a great time. I imagine NYC prices would have kept me from buying too. Good fabric is harder it find these days and it is always expensive.

  10. zedster66 says:

    I get overwhelmed just in Abakhan with all the gorgeous botls and offcuts. And I have a hard time paying more than £3 per metre! I usually buy from the oddments baskets which are done by weight and I don’t know the price till I get to the counter! It looks like it was a good experience anyway 🙂

    • ruthlane says:

      Thanks Zed – yes, I don’t really even pay $10 per yard most of the time unless I really have to have it for some reason. I always wait for the sales. It was fun – I hadn’t planned on buying anything anyways.

  11. Flextiles says:

    Wow – just too much choice! Like you, I tend to shut down when faced with such an overwhelming selection. 🙂

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