Not all the great fabrics of New York are to be found in the garment district. There are some fantastic stores selling textiles all over the city. I was interested in checking out three in particular.
First was Mendel Goldberg. This small store on the edge of Chinatown specializes in imported wool and silk, and has the most beautiful selection of tweed and bouclé imaginable. The place reminded me of the old Waechter’s Silk Shop that was located in downtown Asheville until the late 1970s. It’s a narrow little space, and both walls are lined with the bolts and rolls of fabrics. It’s the type of place that you rarely see any more.
On the left side of the store are the bolts of wool, which was on my shopping list. I want to make a jacket, but I did not want the added problem of having to match a stripe or pattern. I wanted dark blue. I no sooner specified what I was after before the shopkeepers were pulling the bolts that matched my description. It was hard, but I was able to settle on a stunning black and blue wool.
Then it was to the wall of silk to choose a lining. Again, the lazy cutter that I am did not want a pattern that would have to be matched. I found a dark blue with a light blue and white flower that had the added attraction of a woven-in dot pattern.
I hope you all like my choices:
Totally different but just as wonderful, I was delighted to visit the Marimekko flagship store. Vintage clothing lovers might know Marimekko as an iconic 1960s brand. Marimekko was founded in Finland in 1951, originally as a fabric design business. Soon they began making clothing from their brightly colored fabrics. The brand was carried in the US by Design Research and was perfectly in step with the Op Art influence that was showing up in fashion in the mid 1960s.
Their fabrics and many of the articles they make from them are still manufactured in Finland.
Marimekko occasionally does collaborations with other brands, like these Converse sneakers.
A cheerier store would be hard to imagine. But I do have one that is in the running.
Les Toiles du Soleil features canvas fabrics and things made from them, imported from France. It’s like a little touch of France set down in Chelsea.
The fabrics are woven in the Catalan region of southern France on antique looms.
The totes, small bags, and hats are actually made in the store. There is an on site seamstress who works in the rear of the store.
Real espadrilles, made in France.