Britex Baby!

Britex - San Francisco - photo Marie Cameorn 2015

I used to sew a LOT –  my prom dress, my wedding dress,  clothes for my children,  costumes, quilts, upholstered furniture and art.  Now heaps of of fabric sit waiting in boxes I may never get to because I’ve been all about the painting for some time now. Still, there is a love of textile that lingers, and I’d often wondered where Bay Area seamsters go to get their fix? All was revealed when my friend, Elizabeth Greer – maker / arts educator, took me to Britex in San Francisco!

Britex - Botom Floor - photo Marie Cameron 2015

Beyond the fabulous selection, what I adore about this place it the environment. Founded originally in New York, in 1939  by Martin Spector, a fabric merchant from Poland, he and is wife Lucy relocated to San Francisco  in 1952 and set up Britex in a great period building in Union Square. This place FEELS like a real tailor shop, There is a beautiful orderliness to the bolts stacked neatly sky high and a library ladder running along the perimeter. The four floors are each devoted to their own niche. Floor 1- dress and suit  fabrics. Floor 2 – upholstery and drapery. Floor 3 – Notions (buttons, ribbons and embellishments). Floor 4 – Remnants and plush. (I’m sure there’s much more but that’s my breakdown). There’s a lovely wooden staircase set against the brick wall to access each of the floors (or you can take the elevator) and you can be served in a variety of languages by experiences and friendly staffers.

This institution really radiates tradition and quality but that doesn’t mean the fabric itself is all stuffy serge and challis! I was charmed by these novelty prints in heavy, upholstery weight cotton…

Britex - Animal Frock Yardage - photo Marie Cameron 2015

Fawns (etc) in Frocks

Britex - By the Yard- photo Marie Cameron 2015

By the yard.

Britex - California Road Trip Yardage - photo Marie Cameron 2015

California Road Trip!

Britex - Bolts- photo Marie Cameron 2015

Bolts and babes……

Britex - Buttons - photo Marie Cameron 2015

Floor to ceiling buttons….

Britex - Ribbons - photo Marie Cameron 2015

Walls of ribbons….

Britex - Bag - photo Elizabeth Greer 2015

Old habits die hard……………………………………can I make a skirt from upholstery fabric?

I can’t wait to introduce my daughter to this shop as she becomes more and more skilled with her own dress making!


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