Field Trip Friday: New York City Fabric Distric

A quick little post about New York’s Fabric District (or Fashion/Garment District.)

This area of Manhattan is found on 37th-40th Streets between 7th and 8th Ave.  Most of the stores on these streets look like this. (Very different that Purl Soho!) Knowing that most of the fabric in these stores is for apparel, I knew I probably wouldn’t buy much, but I still wanted to check out the area.  I did see a few bolts of Alexander Henry quilting cottons, but they were priced the same as most independent quilt shops. And no, I didn’t go to Mood. (Should have.)

Since coming home, I found this blog, Lindsey T Sews about visiting New York’s fashion district. Great resource! I wish I’d seen it before I went there.


Some more things that caught my eye in the Fabric District: Spandex World!

Who knew??


Everything you need to create your own Vegas Show Girl outfit!


Traveling Juki sewing machines!


Walls of Ric Rac! Behold the myriad of color and size options.


These trims were in the same store as the ric rac. (Like an idiot, I didn’t keep track of the store name or address but I think it’s on the north side of 39th, half way down between 7th and 8th Ave.  If I find my receipt, I’ll add the info.)

There were lots of similar trim stores in the area. Not nearly as well-lit or aesthetically inspiring as M & J Trimming, but prices were cheaper.  M & J was also more convenient and organized: you were able to put the individual bolts of trim into your basket and carry them to the counter to have them cut and measured.  Much easier to browse.  This place I had to find someone with a pair of scissors and point to what I wanted and they would cut it for me.  I felt a little more pressure about hurrying and might have bought more but I didn’t like having someone hover next to me while I was trying to decide.

And there were two cats living in this store.

This is my haul from this place.  Isn’t that turquoise ric-rac awesome? No, I don’t know what I’m going to do with the European trims yet. But now I have them when inspiration strikes.  All this was around $8.  My much smaller haul from M & J Trimming was around $6.

So, depending on your preference, you can trade convenience and aesthetic display for cheaper prices and cats. New York has it all.

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  • Reply
    Laurie, the girls and Scott
    July 2, 2010 at 2:00 pm

    I love the Swiss Miss theme. I'm eating Hob Nobs today and thinking of you.

  • Reply
    July 2, 2010 at 2:12 pm

    can't believe you didn't go to Mood! That would be so cool!

  • Reply
    July 2, 2010 at 2:15 pm

    Thanks for the tip on Lindsey T Sews!! Great!

  • Reply
    July 2, 2010 at 2:32 pm

    This comment has been removed by the author.

  • Reply
    July 2, 2010 at 2:34 pm

    I also went to the garment district 2 years ago. Although a quilter, I couldn&#39;t help but get caughtup in all the fabric! At Mood, I bought a couple yds for apparel, but I&#39;ve yet to pick out the patterns. What a cool place to visit…<br /><br />I think you may be interested in my new blog Gen X Quilters (and Y too!). Please check it out if you have the chance!<br /><br />http://

  • Reply
    Calli Makes Do
    July 2, 2010 at 3:36 pm

    Oh my, we love Hob Nobs at our house too. Thank heavens for the little British section at Kohler&#39;s. It was so fun to hang out last night… I feel so lucky to count you as a friend!

  • Reply
    live a colorful life
    July 2, 2010 at 3:57 pm

    We went to Spandex World too! Who could resist??

  • Reply
    July 2, 2010 at 4:23 pm

    i&#39;m swooning over that turquoise ric rac!! I love NY!

  • Reply
    July 2, 2010 at 4:47 pm

    I got lost in the fabric district when I was 18. But I was looking for a knock off purse and I didn&#39;t appreciate AT ALL what was there. I am kicking myself now. When I go back there will be no looking for cheap purses! I love your field trip posts. It&#39;s like my own mini summer vacation!

  • Reply
    Quiet Quilter
    July 2, 2010 at 6:43 pm

    I would go dizzy with all the choices!!

  • Reply
    Simone de Klerk
    July 3, 2010 at 1:21 am

    All those ribbons hanging there ~ what a dream!

  • Reply
    July 3, 2010 at 3:23 am

    I love to visit NYC but I have never been to the garment district so I will have to put this on my list of things to do when I go back! Thanks!

  • Reply
    July 3, 2010 at 3:03 pm

    oh that wall of ric rac is fantastic!!!

  • Reply
    July 4, 2010 at 1:48 am

    I wish I lived in New York…..I want that ric rac. I now have ric rac envy!!!!

  • Reply
    Sarah Craig
    July 4, 2010 at 7:10 am

    I want to go back!!! I miss those shops….

  • Reply
    July 4, 2010 at 9:37 am

    Wow…I want to go in the store that has all the ric Rac trim. Is that still spandex world?

  • Reply
    July 5, 2010 at 6:03 pm

    Have MERCY! I love that first photo. I&#39;ve been much more into clothes sewing lately… that looks like so much fun, all of it.

  • Reply
    amy smart
    July 6, 2010 at 2:20 pm

    @pinkstilettos: Sorry for the confusion. The ric-rac was at a different store that sold mostly notions, trims, and buttons. I&#39;m still trying to find what I did with the address info (d&#39;oh!). But it was amazing. As always, I am wondering why I didn&#39;t get more!

  • Reply
    July 9, 2010 at 2:39 pm

    I would be throughly distracted by the ribbons O.o And I can not ever bring my grandma intoa place like that. I know for certain she&#39;d spend 6 hours in front of the ric-rac *laugh*

  • Reply
    Nanette Merrill and daughters
    July 13, 2010 at 1:56 pm

    This post is killing me. As is your flag quilt. Me wanty!

  • Reply
    July 31, 2010 at 9:17 pm

    That place on 39th is called Daytona Trimmings. It&#39;s wonderful!

  • Reply
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    […] And here they are.  A gorgeous, light, open space with high ceilings and everything beautifully organized. I loved how uncluttered the store felt. (Rather different than shops in the Fabric District.) […]

  • Reply
    Field Trip Friday: M & J Trimming, Manhattan - Diary of a Quilter - a quilt blog
    October 6, 2016 at 4:04 pm

    […] If you’re going to the Fabric District in NY, M & J Trimming is totally worth the stop!  Next field trip: The Fabric District. […]

  • Reply
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