Top 3 Fabric Stores in Toronto

If you are a textile novice like me, Toronto’s fashion district can be a bit daunting. From Spadina Ave. to Ossington St., Queen St West is flooded with a variety of fabric stores. Rolls of fabric crowd the front of the shops, price tags nowhere to be seen. You climb through aisles of fabric which is piled high to the ceiling, and a million questions flood through your mind. How much is it? Do I just grab it myself from the bin or shelf? Is it purchased in feet or yards? So many questions - yet no real answers. Depending on the shops you go into the rules change at a whim. Some store attendants do not want to touch the fabric at all! Plus pricing can be a mystery until they cut it for you, which is a sign for you to run out that door. So from one novice to another, here are my 3 top fabric stores in Toronto. 

1. Affordable Textiles, 529-531 Queen St W, Toronto. 

This was the first fabric store that I made a large purchase in and the experience was amazing. The staff were patient, answered all my questions, and were knowledgeable about the materials at hand. Even though I was upfront about the large number of yards I needed, they did not upsell me. Instead, they assisted me in finding the perfect fabric for my project and budget. It is my go-to store now for every project. Plus they have an amazing clearance bin that I rifle through every visit.

2. Fabric Fabric, 530 Keele St #304, Toronto.

For a west end artist like me, Fabric Fabric stands out because it is so close to home. The store is located by the Stockyards mall and is hidden within a warehouse with limited signage out front. Now, this is not a store for the faint of heart. Upon entrance, you will be greeted with a vast chaotic space that is dimly lit. The fabrics are rolled and piled high out of reach, the aisles appear to go on forever and the in the back is mountains of poly-fil. You need to know what you are looking for when you plan to shop here. But if you can handle a bit of bargaining, chasing down some staff, and trying to locate where in the world velvet is stored - then you will love it. It is kinda like a Costco for fabric, you will get great deals if you put in the work. 

3. Leo’s Textiles, 473 Queen St W, Toronto.

This store is last on my list because of how expensive it is. The staff are great, the store is amazingly organized, and the fabric is stunning. However, Leo’s Textiles focuses on shiny, heavily ornate and detailed fabric. If you want a show stopper, you come here - but expect to pay the full price for it and more. I have only gone to Leo’s a few times when I was on an adventure for lace, and they do not disappoint. There is nowhere else in Toronto (that I have found) where there is such a large selection of different lace patterns, thickness, and colours. So even if Leo’s is out of your price point, I recommend just going in to look around - because when you need that special piece you will know where to get it!

So those are my top three fabric stores for 2019. I have only scratched the surface of the textile district in Toronto, so I want to know where is your go-to fabric stores? I am still finding my way through the hundreds of textile shops just in my neighbourhood. If your favourite was not on the list, let me know! 

- Sarah Zanchetta

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