03 March 2014

London Fabric Shopping - Walthamstow Market

I first heard about Walthamstow Market from Karen at Did You Make That.  Since then I've read many blogs where they brag about their bargain purchases, and the huge number of fabric shops.  It was just too tempting, so last Saturday I took advantage of my husband being on childcare duty, and finally made a trip to Walthamstow Market.

If you are going to head to Walthamstow, I recommend you check out this post on Did You Make That, and this handy map.

Image Source - Did You Make That

I took the train to Walthamstow Underground, walked through the Bus Station and started at the top of the High Street.  Some of the shops on Karen's map don't seem to be there any more.  These are the shops and stalls I found along my way:

1. Textile Centre, 223-225 High Street, http://www.textilecentre.net
2. Raihan, 149 High Street
3. Beads & Buttons (haberdashery), 138  High Street
4. Mateen Fabrics, 132 High Street
5. Ribbons (haberdashery), 97 High Street
6. Saeed Fabrics, 96 High Street, https://www.facebook.com/SaeedsFabric
7. Hassan (haberdashery), 92 High Street
8. Fabric Store, 80 High Street
 9. New Fabric Shops, 91 High Street
10. Sai Fabrics, 70 High Street
11. Hussain Fabrics, 52A High Street
12. Random haberdashery stall (I saw at least two of these)
13. The Man Outside Sainsbury’s, (directly outside) 112 High Street
14. The Fabric Shop, 1 Vernon Road (closed until 4 March 2014)

DISCLAIMER: Some of these shops were really hard to photograph as they were tucked in behind street stalls, mobbed by shoppers, or the sun was staring right into my lens.  Please forgive the slightly dodgy photos!

A lot of the fabric stores had similar stock.  There was a large range of fabrics suitable for making a variety of asian women's wear (Indian, Pakastani, and middle eastern).  There were velvets, laces, embellished fabrics, metallic woven fabrics and so on.  There were lots of nice plain colours in cotton and synthetic fabrics.  I also found some nice printed synthetics, knits, cottons, broderie anglaise (I nearly bought some gorgeous white fabric for only £6.40 per metre).  There was some lovely swimsuit fabric at Saeed's Fabrics, as well as some very sweet children's printed cotton.  The Fabric Store (don't you love a shop name that gets straight to the point) sells fabrics from 50p-£3 per metre.  

I really liked The Man Outside Sainsbury's, and bought a few fabrics from him.  I found lots more that I was tempted to buy, but I managed to behave.  My fabric pile is already large, and I want to finish a few projects before I add any more to it. 

The haberdashery stores also had similar stock.  I was very impressed by Beads and Buttons.  The shop was well laid out, the range was big, and the prices were really low.  The quality of some items wasn't great (e.g. the bias tape was a very coarse fabric), but overall I was pleased and found a few things to add to my stocks.  Hassan had a similar range, but was very jumbled and messy.  I also liked Ribbons, and found some really short zips here that weren't available anywhere else.  Like Beads and Buttons, it was a neat, well stocked shop.

So, what did I buy?  Here's my stash:

At The Man Outside Sainsbury's I found these knit fabrics, which I've bought with an eye to making some versions of Tilly's Coco.  I haven't yet decided exactly what I'm going to do, but I think a grey and black dress would look nice.

At Beads and Buttons I stocked up on zips for 20-30p each (the very small white ones on the top left were bought from Ribbons), bias tape for 70p each (the turquoise tape had already been used on my 30 Minute Skirt), elastic for £1, tracing wheel for £1, chalk for 40p each, chalk pencil for £1.

I can definitely recommend a trip to Walthamstow Market.  I spent about £25 and came home with loads of great supplies.  I was really impressed with the prices and the range.


  1. Thanks for this post, I am going to London in two weeks and had been to The did you make that blog.

    I am interested to know how much the fabrics are, she said on did you make that. Most fabrics are around 2 quid? Thought that was a bit optimistic. I live in Mallorca and want to get a stash to take home for pyjama making for Christmas.

    1. Fabrics at Walthamstow Market are about as affordable as you will find in London. You can buy fabrics from £1 upwards. There is definitely more expensive fabric available, but there is plenty of the inexpensive stuff. The quality of fabrics on the whole tends towards the mid-range to low-range of fabrics, but you can definitely find beautiful fabrics. From memory, Saeeds Fabrics has some of the best quality fabrics I saw. The Man Outside Sainsbury's also has some great quality pieces - he seems to sell a lot of remainders from High Street fashion brands.

      You should have no trouble finding lots of lovely printed cottons for making pyjamas. If you are interested in buying any Liberty fabrics (my favourite), consider making a trip to Desai Fabrics in Cricklewood Lane. Cheapest Liberty Tana Lawn you will find in London (from £12-18 per metre).