Thursday, March 10, 2011

Fabric Shopping in LA

So what is up with the Fashion District in LA? It kind of sucks. I went there last week to search for some wool for this fashion show coming up, and man the trip was almost not worth it. . .

Well, I had gone to all two of the fabric stores in San Diego, exhausted all of my online resources (at least within my budget), and decided that it was necessary to make a trip to LA to find some more stuff. Before the trip I had bought 1 piece of wool online from Black and Sons, and some shirting cottons from

Our first stop was International Silks and Woolens. We got there a bit late after a couple of wrong turns, but we made it, and I found 1 piece of wool that I liked that went with the color palette, and was in my price range. I was a little bummed because I was expecting to find almost everything I needed there. But, they have a ton of great wools there so that is worth going to just to look and dream up some suits.

When we were driving a few miles in the wrong direction looking for IS&W, we happened to see Mood Fabrics on the corner. So after IS&W we stopped there. I had heard so much about Mood, and for some reason I was not expecting much, but man they had some really nice stuff. I only bought one cotton there (the wider red pin stripe) but man I was impressed. They had a great selection of wool, just not the colors I was looking for. Oh, and there coating section was great. I could have made about 17 coats from all those good fabrics, plus they had a really good cotton shirting section.

So there we were in LA, rented a car to drive up there (ours probably wouldn't have made it), it was getting a bit late in the day, and I only had 2 fabrics. As a last resort (because I had been there once before and was pretty disappointed) we headed to the Fashion District downtown where there are a ton of fabric stores lining the street. We put an hour's worth in the meter ($3) and stopped in a few of the stores. Everything there was all jersey knit, metallic spandex, glittery, shimmery, and synthetic, but there was no wool or cotton as far as I could see. I was about ready to give up and say lets go home when I remembered that Black and Sons was in LA, luckily it was also downtown so we didn't have too drive far to get there. We got there about 2o minutes before they closed, and boy I hit the jackpot. They had the best selection of wool, and it was all organized so well, easy to see, and there was some stuff on sale too. I cleaned up. Bought the rest of the wool that I needed, and all for less money than I had planned on spending. Shit yeah.

That was a couple weeks ago already, and I have since gotten all of my designs in order, measured all the models, made most of the patterns, and have fit a couple of them. If posts about this project are a little scarce is it because I literally have to spend every waking hour working on this fashion show, but I'll try.


Cosmo said...

It sounds like you missed Michael Levine's. They have a really nice selection but they are kind of expensive also around michael levines they have some decent little shops though most of the nicest silks are in the home dec shops. All of the shops are a little dive-like but if you spend the time you can find great stuff. Also if you were at mood not too far from there is the silk trading co. and F&S fabrics. I am not from here and haven't gotten used to it all yet, but it doesn't really suck.

Sugardale said...

Thanks Cosmo,

I knew I has to be missing something. Both of my fabric shopping experiences there have been just ok, and I was getting a little worried. During both of those shopping trips I was looking for very specific stuff. I am sure that if I had a day to just look, I would find some good stuff. Thanks for the tips.

Peggy said...

I just got back from the district and each time I go I find new "gems". You have to think of it as a treasure hunt. You have to search and search in stores but there are some beautiful fabrics to be sure. Target Trim - ooo la la. Unique trims and a selection that boggles the mind. Mike's Fabric on Wall was closed by the time we got there but they have a small but very high quality selection. Tex Camel on 9th has great linen. Then there is the zipper store on Wall (can't remember the name). I never knew there were so many different types of zippers. Give the area another try. It is worth going. I live in SD too and there is nothing here. Next time I am going to the wool shop you talked about.

Karmel said...

To say that your shopping trip to the LA Fashion District was just ok and you almost didn't find any wool means you missed the mark. Everything is down there including wood and wool blends. It takes time to navigate all the stores so that you know who sells what fabrics and who has the best bargains. I hope your future trips will be more fruitful.