As a native Philadelphian and sewing fanatic I know all the places to buy fabrics in city of Brotherly Love. Although we no longer have the density of fabric shops that we once had (nor the manufacturing) we do have a handful of gems that hold their own. Here I’m breaking down my favorites with a focus on sourcing fabrics for garments (not upholstery or drapery).
Fleischman’s Fabrics on Fabric Row: Fabric Row in Philadelphia located on South 4th street between Bainbridge and Catherine streets used to be the only place in town to purchase fabrics. Previously 30 fabric stores lined the block. Today only 10 remain. And of those, most lean towards interior decorating fabrics vs. garment making fabrics. Hands down my favorite fabric store on Fabric Row is Fleischman’s. The customer service is top notch, they have nearly every sewing notion and gadget known to man and a quality collection of fabrics. This is my go to place when I need high quality notions or a nice basic such as a black ITY or pinstriped wool. 749 S 4th St.
Jomar: I’ll get straight to it. This place is a dump. BUT they have rock bottom prices on quirky fabrics and a variety of trims and notions. If you you’re willing to look hard enough you can find some quality stuff. When I was just starting out this was a great place to source cheap fabrics that I wasn’t afraid to mess up. If you’re brave it’s worth a gander. Two locations, one in South Philly, 22 Jackson St, and one in the Northeast, 5300 Whitaker Ave. The Northeast may be slightly better.
Gaffney’s: Ohhhh Gaffney’s where would I be without you? Owned and operated by the same family for 30+ years, Gaffney’s Fabrics located in Germantown is a fabric bargain hunters dream. This place is packed to the gills with deeply discounted fabrics. From colorful ITYs to funky knits, bright laces and even organic printed cottons this place has everything. Prices are rock bottom and it seems there’s always some sort of sale (Memorial day, July 4th, Christmas, Mother’s day). As with most discounted fabric shops the fabrics’ fiber content is not labeled so you won’t always know what you’re getting, especially if you’re a newbie sewist. But, if it feels good on your skin and you like it, get it, it won’t be there tomorrow. Make sure you check out the basement for even deeper discounted fabrics as well as the remnant racks. I’ve made a number of projects from Gaffney’s remnants. Shopping tip: this place can get PACKED in the afternoons and on the weekends. If you’re lucky enough to have a weekday morning free I highly recommend going at that time. 5401 Germantown Avenue
Handcraft Workshop: If you’re looking for designer indie fabrics such as Art Gallery and Cotton and Steel this may be the only place in Philly where you can find them. The Handcraft workshop is located in the artsy neighborhood of Mount Airy, just two miles north of Gaffney’s. A highly curated selection, fabrics are displayed neatly on racks. The shop contains other needlework crafty stuff such as embroidery kits as well as some key supply items such as rotary cutters, machine needles and measuring tape. The Handcraft Workshop also has a busy class schedule which I’ve taken advantage of including an open sew night. 7224 Germantown Avenue.
And if you’re hungry after all this fabric shopping check out my favorite bar in Mount Airy, Earth Bread and Brewery. Super cute spot with tasty treats and cold beers.
Got a Philly fabric shopping question? What’s your go-to spot?
Happy sewing and styling,