Fabric and wool shopping in London and beyond

I wasn’t going to do one of these posts, so didn’t take photos of all the shops I visited, but I decided that it might be worth reporting some of the more memorable shops that I did take photos of, plus a few other bits and pieces.

First up was a lovely shop in Lymington in the New Forest, where the owner was completely delightful and didn’t mind at all that I spent time browsing without buying anything. During our chat she told me that the relatives of many of her customers make a special visit to Lymington to shop here, which tells me that it’s a pretty good shop in local terms.


We visited the town of Painswick in the Cotswolds which has a very few shops, but one of which is a fabric shop!


This town is really lovely, with almost every building being constructed from the local stone, but the thing that really struck me was the way these yew trees in the churchyard have been trained. Look at that avenue over the path.


Painswick also had a craft exhibition with some wearable art. The local young people who make these items are then given the opportunity to intern with designers. Such a worthy cause.


Bath, of course, revealed a couple of beautiful shops. First up is Wool, where I did make a little purchase of some alpaca to knit a jumper on the journey round the country.


and then there was The Makery. I thought it would be a much larger shop, but it was quite charming and I could have bought everything.


but I confined myself to an espadrille kit.img_7737-1

I found inspiration all over the place. I took a sneaky photo of this Druid at Stonehenge because I loved her cloak. The hood and the detailing around the bottom are just gorgeous. I even quite like her headdress!


I’ve just had another look at this cloak and realised that it is very like an academic gown – my hood is a similar shape and I have been known to store my car keys in it during formal occasions 🙂

We were wandering around London (getting lost) when we came across Berwick Street which has a whole row of fabric shops. I had no idea! I did visit them all, but they were far, far too expensive for my rather thrifty habits. img_8569

This is the window of Cloth House – lots of vintage things in this store.


I did buy some waterproof fabric in this shop – Misan Textiles. It’s for my next raincoat. Here I am trying not to look guilty about blowing the budget – not that I really care!


I didn’t even go into this one!


and yet another!


I haven’t included photos of all the stores, but there are quite a few.

I bought a tiny bit of tweed and some ribbing in Fabrics Galore, which is a well known store in Lavender Hill. This is a fabulous shop, with some really cheap fabric, but I was really restrained. Just noticed that I’ve spoiled the lines of my raincoat by stuffing gloves in the pockets. I also have three jumpers on underneath, which doesn’t help!


Finally, I noticed these boxes in the V&A and was quite interested. The note gives a date of 1850-1950 and states that they were used by women from the late Joseon dynasty to modern Korea, who were encouraged to learn sewing to provide bedding and clothing for their families. They kept their sewing kits and fabrics in these stacked boxes in their bedrooms. The coloured diamond motifs symbolise marital unity. If I kept all my sewing stuff in boxes in my bedroom I would need more than diamond motifs to maintain marital unity!!





18 thoughts on “Fabric and wool shopping in London and beyond

  1. Love seeing all the lovely fabric and wool shops you find, one day I will get time to wander around London and fingers crossed they are still there.

  2. I was so surprised to read that there was a shop called Timeless Fabrics in Lymington as I live just a couple of miles away and am always bemoaning the lack of fabric shops. I checked online and it is actually in Milford on Sea, which is just down the road from Lymington and from where I live. We could have met for coffee! Anyway thanks for informing me about this shop which I didn’t know existed. It is a while since I shopped in Milford so it must have appeared since I was last there. Thanks Sue. I will be visiting soon and it only took a visitor from thousands of miles away to tell me.

    1. How amazing Jenny!! I couldn’t remember if it was Lymington or MoS as it all becomes a blur. She’s been there three years apparently! I would love to hear what you think. Such a gorgeous part of the world to live and I’m sorry we didn’t catch up!!

  3. Nice pictures! Now I’d love to see the fabrics and wool you picked. While reading I was thinking about Mark, patiently waiting while you visited all these geat shops 😄

    1. Poor Mark had to sit on the floor at one point. I forgot to include that detail!! I shall post my purchases but they are currently a bit thin on the ground ATM!

  4. Fabulous post Sue. I have really enjoyed your tour of England and thank-you for the fabric shop details.

  5. Thank you for sharing! I visited London at the end of september and didn’t buy anything but some buttons at Liberty’s. I should have made some plans before to buy some tweed, too!

  6. Glad you decided to post this–I for one enjoy seeing shop photos, even though I am now dying of jealousy over here. Very few independent fabric shops remain in the US, and the chain ones are junk.

  7. What a beautiful fabric and wool shops. It’s great that in the world of line shopping this kind of shops manage to stay alive. I love going to fabric shops. My first step when I want to buy fabrics and haberdashery or wool (and my books as well) is tying to buy it in a shop. It’s important that all these wonderful shops can survive in this digital world. So Sue I really enjoyed reading this post and the way you paid intention to all these wonderfulp shops. So if you find my of these beauties on your trip please share them with us. And to Mark: you’re a great guy having some much patients with Sue. I bed he has been reading some wonderful books while he was wearing at these shops.

  8. What a terrific roundup! thanks so much for taking the time to list them all. I would LOVE to visit the uk one day, and definitely plan to buy loads of fabric! Visiting Liberty is one of my “must-do” bucket list things!

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