Buying Fabric in San Francisco

Front of Frabric Outlet store showing signage

Here’s what it looks like from the outside

I made a visit to Fabric Outlet in the Mission District of San Francisco in order to post a review as a community service to you all.

In truth, I was was pretty keen to to see the place as it had such good reviews on line.

I’d been to the Mission District before, where Fabric Outlet is located, in order to visit Gracias Madre vegan Mexican restaurant, which Tinkerer and I were invited to on a previous holiday after requesting an authentic San Francisco dining experience. I loved Gracias Madre but I think it’s fair to say that Tinkerer regards vegan cheese as a bridge too far.

I remembered the area around the 16th and Mission BART station as grimy and impoverished. This time I visited in the mid-morning and I found the area downright unpleasant.

If you decide to visit, wear closed shoes, or at least your Birkenstocks to get your feet off the ground a bit. I understand that homelessness and poverty are complex problems to solve, but getting a street cleaner out on a regular basis should be manageable by the local authorities. The stench of urine around the BART station was overwhelming. And don’t get me started on the pigeons. If you have a bird phobia at all, stay away.

Interior view of fabric Outlet showing rolls of ribbon

And the inside

It was a short walk to Fabric Outlet and I recommend visiting if you have a need for a specialty fabric or anything unusual such as fake fur, or leather, or sequins. The range is excellent and includes notions, patterns and upholstery fabric. Prices seemed reasonable to my inexperienced eyes and they had a 40% off promotion running on the day I visited. Sadly for me the promotion didn’t include oil cloth, which was the one thing I was looking to buy.

The style of the store was also more human than you might find at a fabric store at a suburban mall, perhaps due to it being located in a basement and having fewer bright lights to dazzle you.

The only fabric I brought home that day was a couple of metres of new quilting type fabric from Thrift Town next door. I’m still not sure if it is 100% cotton or a blend, but as I’m planning to use it for rug weaving I’m happy either way.

 

 

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4 responses to “Buying Fabric in San Francisco

  1. Great photos and interesting post! I’ve never been, but it looks like an interesting adventure to The City.

    • Thanks for commenting. I try to be fair with my reviews but in the end it’s my opinion. If you do go to The City I’d be interested in hearing your impressions. Or your recommendations for Northern California in general. I’m heading back to Australia soon but I’ll be back, for sure.

  2. Looks like you’re having an interesting trip! Are you in the US just for fabric shopping? Did you go to Britex in SF? I love going there ven though there’s no much for quilters. So many amazing fabrics and interesting folks shopping there.

    • Thanks for the tip about Britex. I’ll note the name down for my next trip. I’m back in Australia now and in the process warping a rag rug with a huge cone of yellow carpet warp from the US. If it works ok I plan to dye the warp yarn for other projects.

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