1 Cloth House, Berwick Street
There are two shops both on Berwick Street – the Mecca of haberdashery. The first focuses on painted cotton and antique ribbons, while further up the street it’s more wools and silks. Both look as haberdashers should, with piles and piles of pretty fabrics stacked up to the ceiling. The staff are incredibly nice and really know their stuff, and the trimmings will have you wanting to decorate everything you own.
2 Fabrics Galore, Lavender Hill
Among Clapham Junction’s restaurants and bars is this fantastic find. Its main draw is its collection of fanciful prints, which are perfect for cushions and home furnishings or whimsical fifties dresses. Fabrics Galore also sells discounted Liberty prints, and will be exhibiting at the Spring Knitting and Stitching Show at Olympia in March.
3 Misan Textiles and Misan Fabrics, Berwick Street
The impeccably neat Misan shops are a tailor’s dream, textiles stacked up like little multicoloured sardines all in a row. Along with wools, tweeds and tartans, it sells bold prints, and down in the basement you’ll find discounted cut offs – you might go in for one thing and come out with 4m of silk for only £30, whether you need it or not.
4 VV Rouleaux, Marylebone High Street
VV Rouleaux is the most beautiful ribbon shop, stocking accessories for hats, tassels, fringes, buttons, even door handles. It has an ethereal feel to it that will see you spending hours just browsing, it is worth going to look even if you don’t buy anything. If you need a helping hand, the shop also runs courses in various millinery techniques.
5 The Button Queen, Marylebone Lane
Buttons is its name and buttons is its game. The Button Queen has been trading for 60 years and has an extremely loyal following. Inside it has every type of button you could possibly imagine, from antique to modern, wooden and even engraved horn, if that’s what you’re after. It also offers a covering service.
6 Crescent Trading, Spitalfields
Spitalfields’ last surviving cloth merchant is run by Phillip Pittack, 70, and Martin White, 82, and as you can imagine they know a thing or two about materials. Their fans range from Helen Mirren to Timothy Everest (Mick Jagger’s tailor) and fashion students – who make up the bulk of the business. They specialise in selling off Savile Row’s bin ends and surplus stock, meaning their prices are extremely reasonable. Not only will you get great cloth but the worldly duo may well impart some of their knowledge, accumulated over their 120 combined years of experience.
7 Kleins, D’Arblay Street
Kleins is currently closed for refurbishment but will re-open with a smart new look next month. It’s been selling trimmings to the dandies of Soho since 1936 and shows no sign of slowing down, equally it consistently updates it’s offering to keep up with trends. You’ll find zips, patches, motifs, fasteners, buckles, dyes and glues in this Aladdin’s cave.
8 MacColloch and Wallis, Mayfair
This Mayfair stalwart has been dressing Londoners since 1902 and has a huge selection of fabrics, zips, threads and buttons. Better still though, is its collection of tailor’s dummies, corsetry, bra cups and hat blocks. And this is the place to go for wedding supplies, selling ribbons, flowers, feathers, duchesse satin, lace and pretty cotton trims.
9 Liberty, Regent Street
Liberty is synonymous with fabric. Shortly after the shop opened in 1875, Arthur Liberty printed the first of his famous silks. Today the prints are seen on everything from shirts to suitcases, interiors to shoes. Each spring and autumn a new collection is released. It’s not just the prints that keep people coming back to Liberty, the staff are knowledgeable and helpful and its pots of buttons and beautifully presented threads are as popular with novice sewers as with world-renowned designers. The shop also offers online tutorials for making the likes of pillows, stockings and bow ties.
10 Stag and Bow, Forest Hill
As well as their delightful shop in Forest Hill selling haberdashery and lovely pieces by local makers, Stag & Bow founders Pascale Spall and Cyrus Colquitt also run informal and inspiring craft and textile workshops. The shop is a labour of love for the creative pair – Cyrus is a woodworker extraordinaire, while Pascale – daughter of the nation’s favourite character actor, Timothy Spall, specialises in textiles, from weaving to tailoring. They’re open to commissions for bespoke furniture, clothing, homewares and more.