Colette

Britex notions online!

14

Having lived in New York, Los Angeles, and San Francisco, I’ve had the privilege of shopping is some pretty darn good fabric stores. But my favorite fabric store of all time is Britex in San Francisco. It’s four floors of gorgeous, top-quality fabrics, notions, and trims. It’s where I bought the gold Italian 4-ply silk charmeuse I used for my wedding dress.

But nothing can top its array of ribbons, trims, and buttons. The third floor is a stunning rainbow.

ribbon

{image above: by minnibird}

So I was delighted to discover the other day that Britex now has an online notions store! I’ve been perusing and have fallen in love with so much, especially the gorgeous (but spendy) selection of fine laces. Look at this beautiful chantilly lace:

Or this one:

Or how about this amazing alençon lace with ivory pearls:

Or a wonderful venise lace:

There’s even this metallic silver venise lace:

I think this pearl beaded trim would look amazing on a pastel cashmere cardigan:

There are also buttons of all kinds. I like this vintage carved wood button:

How about this vintage toggle button:

This antique silver faceted glass button is calling my name too:

There is a wonderful selection of ribbons, including hand-dyed silk velvet:

And incredible brocade and ecclesiastical ribbons like this rose one:

I could go on and on! But check out Britex Notions. Maybe if it does well enough, someday they’ll offer their amazing fabric selection online too!

Sarai Mitnick   —   Founder

Sarai started Colette back in 2009. She believes the primary role of a business should be to help people. She loves good books, sewing with wool, her charming cats, working in her garden, and eating salsa.

Comments 14

Casey elegantmusings.com

*swoon* Oh wow–thank you so much for the heads up! Since the sewing-supplies shopping in my city is so crummy, I’m always excited to find places online that are offering the things I want (but can’t find! ;)!

♥ Casey
blog | elegantmusings.com

Magdalena web.me.com

Sarai,

can you give me a lead on some good fabric stores in NY?

Thank you, Magdalena

sushi pie sushipie.squarespace.com

Thanks for the Britex link! I was there in S.F. a couple months ago and found the perfect white and marigold print for the lining of the blazer I’m making. In fact, I’ll be working on it today.

Ciao. ;)

Lindsey M Nelson lmncouturier.blogspot.com

I visited Britex once, it was like a pilgrimage… unfortunately I was far to broke to buy anything, but just being there was inspiring! Thanks so much for letting us know about the online store! So exciting!

Sunni Standing thecupcakegoddess.com

Oh thank you so much for the tip! Can I say, I’ve hunted and hunted for velvet ribbon, the real stuff, not the fake, and could never find anything. So glad I now have another online resource! Thank you!

pam pamwares.blogspot.com

OMG and holy smokes. I can see why you love it. I just wish it were a little closer so I could take a walk on all 4 floors!

Amy dartandhem.blogspot.com

I was just in San Fran and Britex was at the top of my list of tourist attractions. I had a limited amount of time to spend there and didn’t wind up getting anything as even their remnants, though generous sizes, were still a bit out of my price range. My boyfriend spent most of the time on the 3rd floor in notions looking at a lamp that he sort of liked but then redesigned it in his head from the ribbon selection to make it more suit his taste. I WISH Chicago had a large and fancy fabric store like that. i was in heaven the entire time I was there. i would go back to San Francisco just to go Britex and wander aimlessly for hours.

minnie thankyoufornotbeingperky.com

aw! You used my image! You know, I had to sneak that picture because they hassled me about taking pictures!

I’ve been enjoying your blog and love your patterns and I look forward to trying one out soon!

cheers!

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Magdalena: In New York, get over to the garment district! I believe most of the fabric stores are on 38th and 39th between 7th and 8th ave. There is also the famous Mood Fabric (of Project Runway fame) on 37th. If you wonder around those blocks, you will find a ton. And don’t forget Tinsel Trading on 37th!

Ah wait, here is a map from Linsay T showing some of her favorites: http://www.lindsaytsews.com/2008/06/google-map-lindsay-ts-favorite-ny.html

Enken whipstitchsewing.wordpress.com

Wow that is amazing! I am so jealous – there is nothing that can come even close to comparing in all of Australia. We live in a sewing wasteland here, I can only dream of one day visiting a store like that! I think I would faint :)

Melody melodymcfarland.com

While I share your sentiment about the overwhelming fabulousness of Britex, I did not have as good a shopping experience. I went to San Francisco last year and stayed just down the street from Britex. My hopes of walking out with yards of beautiful textiles were dashed when I 1) saw the prices and 2) encountered the exceedingly snooty and outright rude sales staff. Every single one of them looked down their noses at customers. They were the rudest sales attendants I’d ever experienced.
Just to give you an idea of how overpriced they are, I’d just purchased some cotton Amy Butler fabric a week earlier online and paid something like $8 a yard. At Britex it was almost $17.
I was really disappointed. Even at their high prices, there were a few things I wanted, but given the attitude of the employees, I didn’t buy anything on principle. I’ve been to both NYC and LA fashion districts and have found salespeople there to be uniformly accomodating and helpful.

Sarai colettepatterns.com

Melody, that’s interesting, thanks for adding your experience! I’ve read some pretty bad reviews that say essentially the same thing as you.

On the other hand, a lot of people work there, so it’s likely there are some good eggs and bad ones. For example, the gentleman who helped me pick out the fabric for my wedding dress was extremely helpful and knowledgeable, recommending the perfect color and weight for my design and even helping me choose a lining. But I have no doubt there are less helpful staff, given reviews like yours are not uncommon!

The prices are quite high, but the quality and selection are good. In other words, I found it best to shop there mostly for very special projects. :)

Jane shopbritexnotions.com

Sarai,
Thanks for the shout-out about our new online notions store. I love your vintage-inspired patterns!

We are expanding, and hope to add imported buttonhole twist, leather buttons, and appliques within the next few months….and we now ship internationally!

We also have a blog, where you can sign up for our mailing list, and be informed of any upcoming sales – http://blog.britexfabrics.com/.
Best wishes,
Jane, Britex Fabrics

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