Quite a few of the visitors to my blog and the Felting and Fiber Studio Site are students doing textile courses such as those offered by City and Guilds. I know that supplies can be very expensive, especially when you have to buy a lot of them for course work. I use quite a lot of fabrics in my felt work, both for nuno felting and for using as lining fabrics. I also buy lots of fabrics just because they're gorgeous :) The main place I get my fabric supplies is Abakhan, and the majority of fabrics in Beyond Nuno (apart from the silk) were bought from there. If you're in the UK, especially the North West England, you might have heard of them. There are 8 stores in the UK: Birkenhead, Chester, Hanley, Liverpool, Mostyn, Preston and Bolton. They also have some stores in Estonia and Latvia.
On Thursday I went to the shop in Manchester. Luckily, the Post Office I went to beforehand had shut down, and I didn't have much money on me, so I stuck to what was on my list and just got a few extras :) The Manchester branch has pretty much everything I need; apart from the fabrics, I get my DMC thread from there, sewing machine thread, zips, bag fasteners, clasps, bobbins. They have items for all kinds of crafts, scrapbooking, cardmaking, handles for handbags, purse clasps, knitting and crocheting supplies and more dyes than I knew existed :) If you look on the website at the list of stores, it gives you a list of products available in each store.
In Manchester at the shop on Oldham Street, they have a selection of fabrics on the roll, bolts of fabric and a massive selection of remnants sold by weight, though these aren't 'scraps' or small pieces, they are all at least 1 metre in length. I only had organza and DMC threads on my list the other day and I got a gorgeous selection of organza colours off the roll, I also got some gorgeous organdy. The golden piece next to the copper cost me 64p! I can't wait to use it.
I did buy a couple of things that weren't on my list, but they caught my eye and weren't huge pieces. They are both georgette fabric, this one was the biggest piece and cost about £2.30.
And this gorgeous patterned piece cost £1.80:
If you have a store near you, it really is worth going in to see what they offer. Just don't be surprised if you end up with enough fabric to re-upholster your couch and make new curtains for every room :) I remember going for a family day out about 20 years ago to the store in Mostyn, and I noticed on their website that if you're planning a group visit to Mostyn, there are lots of offers and discounts available. If you don't have a store near you, the website has lots of great things to offer and postage prices are one standard delivery charge depending where in the UK you are. Have a look and hopefully save yourself some money :)
If anyone knows of any other great fabric stores, please feel free to mention them in the comments :)
2 weeks ago