I might own a fabric shop myself but it doesn’t mean I’m immune to the wonders of Goldhawk Road! I thought I’d just take five to tell you briefly about my last trip and give you some tips I’ve picked up on previous visits.
I’m sure if you’re here reading this you’ll know all about the fabric mecca that is this little London street. Just in case you’ve not heard of it, it’s right next to Shepherds Bush market and of course Goldhawk Road tube.
There are approximately 10/15 fabric shops spread across both sides of the street and there are some amazing gems to be had. A lot of the shops have different products, some specialising in certain things like silks & lace but most with a wide range of fabrics. It really is a fabric lovers paradise!
Now I’ve visited a handful of times I thought I’d let you know some tips I hope you’ll find useful.
* If you arrive by tube the main bulk of shops are on your right as you come out of the station. On my last visit we decided to drive up and used JustPark.com to find a space. This was brilliant for us as we drove in from Surrey in less than an hour and the space we rented was only one street away from Goldhawk Rd. This meant we didn’t have to lug all our many purchase back on the tube and train, and it was a lot cheaper! There are lots of sites where people rent their parking spaces so I’d recommend having a look.
* I’ve only been on a weekend once and it was much busier than in the week. I know it’s not always possible but you’ll find it a lot less crowded and easier to see everything on a weekday.
* Take your time to look around as many of the shops as you can before choosing where to go back and buy from. Some shops have the same fabric at vastly different prices, for example one shop had Liberty fleece for £18pm (£40pm from Liberty) and another had the exact same fleece in the same colourway for £10pm! I also picked up some Ponte de Roma for £8pm that was in another shop at £12pm.
* Some of the shops often seem to have quite a lot of staff, and it’s quite common for them to follow you around whilst you are browsing. The first time I went it was quite off-putting but now I just smile and say hello. The shops are their livelihood and understandably they want to make sure no one is putting mucky fingers on their stock, plus they want a sale so are keen to be attentive! Take your time and don’t be put off asking questions, I’ve found almost everyone to be very friendly.
* It’s OK to haggle! Being a stereotypical Brit I never haggle but have tried the last couple of times after hearing other people do it and sometimes it does work! Always be polite and friendly and ask for a realistic discount, they’re not going to cut the price in half for you! I’ve done it when there’s been a fabric I quite liked but didn’t want to pay £10pm for, I offered £7pm and we agreed on £8pm. Also when I’ve bought large quantities I’ve asked for a discount – I got 4 metres of one fabric for £4pm instead of £4.50pm. You could also ask if you’ve seen it cheaper elsewhere, as long as you’re polite and respect if they say no then I don’t think anyone minds. Again I think this is likelier to work on a weekday when the shops are quieter.
* Carry cash. A lot of the shops take card but there are still a few that don’t. There are cash machines by the Sainsbury and Tesco and possibly some further down.
* If you’re anything like me and love a good rummage then make sure you don’t have a cumbersome handbag to lug around! Much easier to hunt down fabric bargains with your hands free!
* Be aware that a lot of the stock is seconds, this means it could just be a print that the colour match was slightly different to their previous batch, or it could be a misprint or small snags etc. Make sure you take a good look at the fabric before it is cut and again, if there are any issues, use it as an opportunity to haggle.
* Oh and if you need the loo, there’s a Costa on the corner by the tube station. You’ll need to buy something to get the code for the door.
There are too many shops to mention individually (isn’t it wonderful!) but a few of my favourites are;
Fabric House, second or third one down from the market. The owner is always really friendly, the stock is super cheap and I’ve picked up some real gems especially jersey and scuba.
Classic Textiles, next to Fabric House. They have a great selection of Liberty with some silks as little as £13pm! I actually found a design I’d been searching for for over a year here for £25pm instead of £50pm.
Fabric World (third down from the tube) has a great selection of fabrics, including a good selection of Liberty if you love it as much as I do!
Misan is further towards the other end of the street and stocks lots of lovely designer fabrics. It is more expensive but they’ve got some amazing stuff and if you go upstairs there’s the possibility of bagging a bargain with their bolt ends or remnants.
I hope all that gives you a better idea of what to expect and that you find it useful. Have you been to Goldhawk Road? Please let me know what your tips & recommendations are, or let me know if you’re planning a trip.