London’s Best Fabric Shops – Fabric Hunting In The UK

London's best fabric shopsLondon's best fabric shops are pretty much on each extreme of the scale.  One with one the softest cottons in the world and the other with a bold mixture of color and texture to tickle the imagination of any costume designer.

Ever wonder where the fabric used in the costumes for the one of the most popular HBO super series comes from? Well, I'll show you in this article. This is a visual tour of London's best fabrics shops that I hope you will enjoy.

London the cradle of Elizabethan Theater where more than 600 years ago gave birth to Shakespear whose plays are still performed all around the world, is also the birth of one of the best fabric shops in the world.  In my opinion of course!  But I am sure those that have been there would agree.

I wrote a while ago about a visit to what I thought was the finest fabric shop in the world in Florence, Italy.  While I'll still stand by that call, I think these shops in London are very much up there on the list of the world's best.

A Visit to the World's Finest Fabric Shop

Liberty of London

Liberty of London started its history back in 1875 as Liberty & Co, founded by Arthur Lasenby Liberty who brought back from his travels in Africa and the Middle East, rolls of fine cotton and printed them in London.

As with many visionaries, Mr. Arthur Liberty teamed up with fashion designers to print what they had in mind, offering the customer a new and refreshing approach to fashion.

London’s Best Fabric Shops

For 143 years, people from all over the world have flocked to this spectacular place to enjoy a collection of an eclectic and tasteful array of fabrics from cotton lawns or better know as Tana lawn, to poplins silks, wools, twill, and jerseys.

“Liberty is the chosen resort of the artistic shopper.”

Oscar Wilde

Aside from offering exquisite textiles for clothing, the store boasts expositions from talented textile artists and quilters.

While inside Liberty of London, I had the opportunity to chat with the wonderful embroidery designer Heather Everitt.  Her exquisite butterfly designs are nothing short of extraordinary.  If you leave in London check her out.  She offers classes and workshops throughout the year.

One of the best parts about this fabric shop is that you can also buy patterns and notions designed with the fabric on offer in mind.   Even if you are not into sewing, there are even some ready-made items for sale with this exquisite materials.

Walk a little further into the store and you will encounter one of the most wonderful collections of upholstery fabrics I've ever seen.

Some inspirations for your home.  I know I wish I had a couple of these sofas around my house.

London’s Best Fabric Shops

The Berwick Street Cloth Shop

My next stop is The Berwick Street Cloth Shop, a short seven minutes walk from Piccadilly in the heart of Soho.

This shop is what you will find aspiring and seasoned costume designers, Indy designers, and fashion students.  For a small shop, the offerings are quite extensive, specializing in texture and colors.

This is truly an Alibaba's cave, great damasks and man-made furs, soft organzas and crisp taffetas that will through you in a spinning creative cycle.   I was able to see wonderful intricate weave when the applied light would transform the atmosphere of an entire room.  London's best fabric shopsI think I could drop a pretty penny in this shop.  Sadly, it is difficult to photograph, due to space and lighting, but I hope you take a couple of hours and venture into this shop.

I'm told that this is where five seasons of Games of Thrones costumes have come from as well as many movies such as Cinderella, Pirates of the Caribbean: On Stranger Tide, and Maleficent to name a few.  I had the pleasure of meeting Sophie, the store manager, who took me around showing me the many fabrics housed in the shop. Her enthusiasm and love for textiles was contagious.London's best fabric shops

Call ahead if you want to speak to Sophie.  She works only Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays.  Let her guide you through a most creative stimulating tour of the shop.

Hope you have enjoyed my picks on London's best fabric shops.  Both establishments have, in my book, the most important ingredients, great products, and great people to show them to you.  What else could you want when fabric hunting in the UK?

How to find London's best fabric shops

Liberty London

The Berwick Street Cloth Shop

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25 Responses to London’s Best Fabric Shops – Fabric Hunting In The UK

  1. Ann says:

    I lived in a London suburb and at one time worked in that city not far from Liberty’s. I used to drool over their fabrics but, sadly, could not afford to buy them. It is an amazing shop and the timbers came from two warships – HMS Impregnable and HMS Hindustan. It is a unique and wonderful shop. Long may it survive in Great Marlborough St and grateful thanks to its founder. If you are there at Christmas the window displays are amazing.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Wow! great bit of history lesson , thank you! Yes must visit in Christmas. I think Christmas in the northern hemisphere is so lovely.

  2. Joanie Korte says:

    I managed to spend several pounds at Liberty of London! I brought home beautiful floral fabrics to sew beautiful quilts. When I see it on the shelf I just touch and feel this silky cotton and then I can’t bear to cut it up, so I just enjoy feeling the texture and it makes me smile. Yes, I’m a fabric junkie ?

  3. Veronica says:

    Shaukat Fabrics on Old Brompton Road is absolutely amazing and has more Liberty fabric than the Liberty store (and at better prices)!

  4. Janine says:

    Misan has 2 shops on Berwick Street and is absolutely worth a look. They have a sale section in the basement. Liberty, Cloth Shop and Misan make for a great day of shopping.

    There are also 2 fabric shops within walking distance of each other on Essex Road in Islington – Sew Over It and Ray-Stitch.

  5. Kathy says:

    Good timing. I am heading to London in 3 weeks. My husband is there on business and I will have to occupy myself for a couple of days. How much fabric will I be able to pack to come home. I will have to pack strategically

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      I think best to check with the airline you are flying with, if bought online you can purchase extra weight, I always do, there never seems enough space in my suitcase for fabric…

  6. Titch Stitch says:

    Cloth House, London on Berwick Street, Soho is another fab shop selling exquisite cottons, linens, wools, and vintage fabrics and haberdashery, plus much more.

    With ethical values and responsible sourcing, it is a favourite among designers. The website is lovely, too – pure eye candy – but the shop in Soho has the most to offer.

  7. Hilda G. says:

    This is great. I am making my way to London in a few days and this is so close to the area I will be staying in. Can’t wait to visit them.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Please do let me know how you liked this shops. If you find any gems let me know, love to see what you get. Happy Travels!

  8. Bridgette says:

    I’ll have to check these out when I go to London again in November. Thanks for highlighting them for us. I can’t wait to explore!!!!

  9. Cathy Falbe says:

    JOEL & SONS has the most luxurious fabrics in London. Couture in all fabric types. If you want fabrics (wools, silks, cottons, knits) to make a fantastic garment, this is the place to visit. Look at their remnents. I always schedule a stop by when visiting London.

  10. Rosemary says:

    This is a comment of nostalgia and from another century, but when I lived in the UK in the 80’s, I loved to go to Selfridges and visit their fabric department. It was a whole floor of colorful and rare materials, complete with international shoppers looking for sari material and other fine silks.

    Alas, we moved away 30 years ago, and since then, many department stores have abandoned sewing materials entirely. My memories remain, but today’s shopping is a different experience.

  11. Kathleen Chambers says:

    I have been to Liberty, it is overwhelming, I would go back in a heartbeat.

  12. Susan says:

    Goldhawk road also has quite a few fabric stores as well. I was surprised to see so many linens, wool and velvets offered in many of the stores. Easy access from the tube.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Would have to have a look next time in London, thank for the tip. Anyone in particular?

      • Stephanie Marachli says:

        Maura…Susan is correct about Goldhawk Rd but she did not mention the actual Shepherds Bush market off Goldhawk Rd . About half way down the market is ” Dave Horatha & Co. They sell fabric for as little as £1 a meter ( great for beginners) They sell other items like towels and bed linens. Recently bought some fab cotton placemats which i made cushions with.Also a little way down is an amazing bits & bobs tiny shop that is packed with all those extra sewing essentials needed for projects buttons,ribbons,cottons,lace and an array of other lovely items. I recently bought from her some gorgeous frogs for a Chinese type tunic I made and her prices are incredibly low. Well worth a visit.

  13. Edith Richards says:

    You’ve just put someplace new on my bucket list! These shops look fantastic. I’m hoping to go to London this summer. I hadn’t seen your article on the shop in Florence. That place really looks like it’s worth a visit too.

    • Mayra at So Sew Easy says:

      Indeed they are, would love to see what you pick would you share your haul with us? Kind Regards, and happy travels.

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