There are some large, chain fabric stores that are really great. I like knowing that if I need a specific item JoAnn Fabrics, Hobby Lobby or any of the other chains will have just what I need. But there are definitely more options out there that are really worth checking out. Especially in Los Angeles. There are great stores spread throughout L.A. but most of them are in the Fabric District. With dozens and dozens of shops it can get overwhelming. This series will highlight some of the shops you’ll want to make sure you stop at.
Some great stops in the Fabric District:
920 S. Maple Ave
Michael Levine has 3 stores on S. Maple Ave. The largest carries quilting and apparel fabrics. Everyone loves Michael Levine. They’ve got great knit and apparel fabrics, wool, Liberty and designer quilting cottons. There are often good deals along side the expensive fabrics. This is where I bought this beautiful mustard ruffle knit fabric. Across the street is the Upholstery & Drapery Department. You’ll love the selection! There’s a great sale section as well. The store you’ve probably heard of is the Michael Levine Loft. This is where you find the cheap fabric. $2.50 a pound. Most of the fabric is in giant cardboard boxes and you have to dig through to find something good. Rolls of knit line the walls. These are also by the pound and are great jersey knits. You can walk away with 3 bags of fabric for $35.
418 E 9th St.
L.A. Alex is a good place if you’re looking for linen, wool or minky. There’s a large selection of other less desirable fabrics as well but look around and you might find a gem.
Murano House of Fabrics, Leather & Rugs
531 E. 9th St.
This is a great place for leather scraps. You can always talk them down or get them to cut a scrap smaller if you don’t want the whole piece.
701 E. 9th St.
If you need a whole roll of knit, this is a great place to stop. I’ve been able to get them to cut me a few yards off some of their rolls.
517 E. 9th St.
Penguin Textiles is small and you might walk right past it. But take a minute to stop. I’ve found some beautiful chiffon and sequins here. It is open and clean. A great stop.
425 E. 9th St.
Top Trims is full of more trim than you could ever want. Don’t expect bargain basement prices, though. You’ll find good quality trims here. Definitely worth a stop.
Tips for finding great fabric:
Many of the shops downtown are overcrowded and full of undesirable fabrics. You’re probably best to just skip those. Make sure you discuss the price (talk them down!) BEFORE they cut it. And keep an eye on your credit card. I’ve never had a problem but I’ve read reviews of people having their card numbers stolen. But don’t let that deter you! It’s a lot of fun downtown!
Do you have any tips for finding great fabric in the Fabric District?