31 October 2015

By the Yard - two fabric stores in London

The neo-Tudor Liberty store.
During a recent vacation in London, I journeyed to two wonderful fabric stores. No, I didn't visit Liberty, although their Tana lawn is a favorite, and is widely available here in the US and through mail order.   Using my convenient prepaid subway Oyster card,  I went a bit further afield than the Regent Street location of Liberty, to Islington in fact.  After arriving at the Angel Tube station I walked about 10 minutes to Ray-Stitch, my first stop.

Ray-Stitch, in Islington.

Helpful store associate cutting fabric.

This store sells fabric for actually making clothes, as opposed to so-called "quilt" fabrics.  I use many apparel fabrics for my quilts, as the quality is much better, and, honestly, if you are going to spend 100 hours to make something, shouldn't the materials be worthy of your time?

Lots of patterns, notions, other goodies.

Bolts of fabric; cutting table.

Books, magazines and mannequins with samples. Inspirational!

A rainbow of buttons.

My way back to the station took me along a pedestrian street called Camden Passage, with a variety of small boutiques, including vintage clothing stores, and a special destination for this chocoholic: 

Truffle flavors include Bakewell Tart and Pimms Cocktail.

Vintage clothing store, Camden Passage.

I also enjoyed the Loop yarn store, although I have a moratorium on any yarn purchases at the moment.  London shop windows are rewarding for those of us who are easily entertained.

Papier mache mascot by Julie Arkell in Loop's window.

Well, I was almost back at the station when I realized it was lunchtime.  Food is expensive in London, so I went to the Tesco's grocery store across from Islington Green park, bought a salad and a bottled iced tea, and found a bench back at the park. Cheap, good, and with a side order of people watching for free.

Next, onto Berwick Street  (Tottenham Court Road station) and the Soho location of Cloth House.

Shell and horn buttons, ticking, shop sign.

All kinds of fabrics - linen, cotton, technical, knits...

Well, I could have bought everything in this treasure house, but limited myself to some hand-printed fabrics from India.  Students receive a discount here. 

Downstairs for velvet, special occasion fabrics...


Shopping is thirsty work, and I enjoyed tea at Yumchaa, around the corner from the store.  My only regret is that I neglected to buy some of Yumchaa's loose tea to bring home. Maybe they'll come to the States, she thought, with hope...

Busy tea emporium.

Some of my purchases at Cloth House and Ray-Stitch.