Leigh Metcalf has let us in on her top hidden-away fabric-shopping haunts in London so you can stock up your fabric stash! Leigh is the author of London Stitch & Knit (Black Dog Publishing), and she's inspired us to keep the search for London haberdashery haunts going. So we update this post regularly with new insider tips for where to visit if you're heading London-way or if you're a Londoner looking for fabric shops near me.
"We all love fabric and haberdashery shopping – but tracking down the best stores can be tricky. That’s why I wrote London Stitch & Knit, a useful, beautiful guide to all the great crafty supply shops in London," explains Leigh.
Many of the shops featured in the book are well known and have a rich history, such as Liberty, while others like Sew Over It have a huge following both online and in the real world. But there are some special shops that are thriving businesses but a little more underground (some literally!). Here are my favourite London hidden gems.
Looking for a sewing shop near me or haberdashery near me in London? Read on to discover your new favourite fabric shops…
1. Barnett Lawson Trimmings
Inconspicuously located in a Soho basement, Barnett Lawson Trimmings is one shop you'd never notice unless you knew exactly where to look. Its obscured entrance may make it feel like a members-only club, but everyone is welcome – and with more than 12,000 items on offer, including embroidered trims, silk flowers, sequins, beads and feathers, any sewist will be giddy to browse the (crammed) aisles.
- Find them in: Central London
- Visit their website: www.bltrimmings.com
2. William Gee
If you're the type of haberdashery shopper who wants to get in and out without distractions or the temptation to buy every single thing, William Gee is perfect.
This east London haberdashery takes an old-school approach to helping customers: simply go to the sales counter and ask for what you want. No frills, no fuss, but everything you need in a flash.
- Find them in: East London
- Visit their website: www.williamgee.co.uk
3. CM Buttonholes
David Miller, in his one-man, one-room workshop tucked down Wardour Mews in Soho, makes buttonholes on just about any garment.
From period theatre costumes to fashion students’ collections to home-stitched dresses – if you're not up to the buttonhole challenge, David is happy to do them to an impeccable standard.
He also offers a covered button and cufflink service and will rivet or grommet garments as well.
- Find them in: Central London
- Visit their website: www.dmbuttons.co.uk
4. Stag & Bow
For sewists travelling south of the river, Stag & Bow is a must-visit. They offer an excellent range of vintage fabrics, dressmaking books and sewing patterns, lace and trims, all displayed alongside a great selection of locally handmade gifts.
If there's any one thing in particular that interests you, such as vintage sewing patterns, just tell the salesperson and they're likely to pull out heaps more than what is on the shelves.
- Find them in: South East London
- Visit their website: stagandbow.com
While the majority of haberdashery shops featured in London Stitch & Knit are in London, a handful are outside the city and worth a day trip, such as Wayward in St Leonards.
Vintage lace, ribbon, buttons and trims overflow from almost every nook and cranny in this beautiful mess of a shop. One could easily spend a few hours admiring the unique pieces that owner Andrew Hirst has collected over the years.
More like this
If you can't make it to St Leonards, he also has a stall at the weekend market on Portobello Road.
- Find them in: St Leonards on Sea
- Visit their website: www.wayward.co
All photos copyright Leigh Metcalf, used with permission of Black Dog Publishing. See more of Leigh’s work at www.leighmetcalf.com.
More fabric shops in London to explore!
Looking for more fabric shops near me? The capital's a big place! So if you can't travel to Leigh's suggested shops, we've asked Melanie Yurt (founder of South London-based modern makers That's Well Lush, who specialise in me-made soft furnishings) for her insider tips on where else to add to your must visit list of sewing hot spots in the capital. We've also included some recommendations from craft writer Rachel Avery to help you find a haberdashery near me, ensuring you don't miss any sewing shops during your trip to the capital.
6. Cloth House
Cloth House is a haberdashery haven where your inner magpie is bound to be released. This Soho-based shop has been in the area for 20 years and they stock a gorgeous selection of fabrics and trimmings. From novice sewists to costume designers, this Mecca of crafty goodness appeals to everyone. They source their beautiful fabrics from all over the world and work closely with local textile traders and artisans to celebrate traditional skills.
You can shop the plethora of fabrics online, but if you want to visit in person it’s currently open by appointment only, so book ahead!
- Find them in: Central London and North London.
- Visit their website: www.clothhouse.com
7. Goldhawk Road fabric shops
A stone’s throw away from the bright lights and swanky stores of Westfield, head to the streets of Shepherd’s Bush and you’ll uncover a fabric haven. Goldhawk Road is where to head to discover an abundant congregation of fabric emporiums. A casual stroll along a 200-metre stretch of road will quickly transform into a whole day of shopping thanks to the enticing stores brimming with fabric and haberdashery finds. It's close to Hammersmith and Shepherd's Bush tube stations.
- Find it in: West London
8. Rolls and Rems
"This is where I often go and it's always busy," says Melanie. "It's always busy and has a large selection and helpful staff. It's got an affordable selection and the knowledgeable staff know everything you could need for sewing."
- Located in: South London
- Find them here: www.rollsandrems.com
9. Liberty London
Iconic Liberty fabrics feature in crafting stashes up and down the country, and there’s nothing quite like seeing the craftsmanship up close. Why not treat yourself to a leisurely wander around the legendary department store and its wonderful fabric hall? The store’s founder, Arthur Lasenby Liberty, adored fabric and collected pieces from all over the world to sell when he first started trading in 1875. Don’t know where to begin? "The Tana Lawn cotton is Liberty’s bestseller for a reason," Rachel says. "The versatile fabric is soft, durable and available in a seemingly endless number of patterns." If you can't make it to London, their fabrics are also available online, and are widely stocked elsewhere so look out for it in your fabric stores near me
Located in: Regent Street, Carnaby
Visit their website: libertylondon.com
10. Joel & Son Fabrics
An Aladdin’s cave is a term thrown around wildly by haberdashery stores and fabric shops, but Joel & Son Fabrics really is a crafting paradise. The endless rolls of fabric come in every print, pattern and hue imaginable. Although their website is abundant, they do keep exclusive gems for in-store customers, and people travel from afar to get their hands on them. It's located close to Marylebone and Edgware Road underground stations.
Located in: Lisson Grove
Visit their website: joelandsonfabrics.com
Looking to stock up on sewing supplies? Check out our guides to the best sewing machines for beginners and sewing kits for beginners. If you're new to sewing, explore our sewing for beginners and how to use a sewing machine guides.