Touring the Garment District

For the first session of my field experience class (aka study tour), the class explored the garment district. The difference in fabric choices varied astronomically from Kent, Ohio, where the only choices are JoAnn’s Fabric, Hobby Lobby, or Walmart (if you’re desperate). Comparing the two areas would be like tasting food from Chipotle and Qdoba and looking for similarities. Yes, both places serve “Mexican food”, but one obviously does it better. In the same way, New York has better fabric options.

We visited Elegant Fabrics, known for its fabric quality and pre-cut swatches. Located at 222 West 40th Street, Elegant Fabrics offers a wide (and I do mean wide) selection of fashion fabrics and those for upholstery. Local apparel production companies source from here. I was even sent here by my internship on a run (More information on my internship can be found in a future post). The prices here are on the pricier side so a better option for a college student would be Mood Fabrics.

A few streets away on 225 West 37th Street, Mood Fabrics is located on the third floor. They have fabric, but also all the notions you could ever want from zippers, button, and thread to trims of all kinds in so many different colors.   

Plus they have examples of what can be done with the items there for when you are out of inspiration. 

If you are unlike me and don’t mind crowds, this is the place for you. Every assignment will feel like you’re on Project Runway. I’ve also heard that Swatch the dog (from the show) is always there so you can say “Hi” to him. Crowd-phobic friends that have been here longer than me recommend other shops like B&J (525 7th Ave) and Fabrics & Fabrics (270 West 38th Street).

Last stop of the day was Around the World Fashion Publications on 148 West 37th Street. Like the name implies, this store sells a wide range of magazines, including international ones. They don’t allow photos inside the store, but from the store window, it’s obvious that they have a lot of magazines. New York City’s Garment District will be an amazing resource for me as I spend my semester here. I hope I am able to learn it like the back of my hand.

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