..and the greater chicago area!
So I've been putting this one off for a while because there's so much I want to cover! Those who live in the area probably know of these already but for those of you who don't live in the area let this be your impetus to PLAN A VISIT! The places I will be reviewing are all ones I have been to and love. In light of that I issue this challenge: introduce me to a NEW favorite Chicago/Chicago area fabric store that I HAVE NEVER BEEN TO BEFORE! A Prize will be given for the person who can :D
Ok, enough of that blah blah blah.
I'll start with the downtown area stores first, starting with the absolute if-you-get-nothing-else-from-this-go-to-this-place-as-soon-as-possible-move-over-disney-this-is-the-happiest-place-on-earth: Textile Discount Outlet aka LZ's Products aka Sol's. If you don't believe me watch this VIDEO! I really can't explain it any better. HUGE selection. I DARE YOU to show me a bigger selection in one place. Go ahead. Do it. I bet you $20 of fabric you can't do it. Anyway, great selection and seriously dirt cheap prices.
The parking is extremely limited. It's located in a mostly residential neighborhood where there's street parking that's almost always packed car to car. Their parking lot holds about 8 cars MAX. If you're taking the El to get there, it's off the Pink Line at 2121 W 21st St. (Damen & Cermak stop).
They are always closed on Saturdays however so plan accordingly.
Seriously. Just go there.
The next rant-able place is Fishman's Fabrics. Located at 1101 S. Desplaines St. They have a lot of beautiful fabrics. The place isn't large as some others but it's packed with quality silks, wools, velvets, designer fabrics, upholstery-weights, and drapery-weights. As well as some stunning trims! Prices are pretty reasonable as well. There's a parking lot and I think the closest El stop is off the Blue line at Clinton (10 min walk from Clinton stop).
While you're there, head across the street to Vogue Fabrics. It's basically what I wish every Joann's was actually like. Well organized, good selection, reasonable prices, includes a remnant room. They don't have very much in the way of upholstery weights but they do carry a large selection of trims and notions.
And before you leave that block, go right across the street from Vogue, around the corner from Fishman's and just pop into New Rainbow Fabrics. It's a very small Indian-family owned store with a bunch of sari and special occasion glittery fabrics. Sometimes you can just find that one oddly perfect thing there and it doesn't take long to look around so always worth a stop in.
Ok, now I'm going to branch out to my two favorites north of the city. The first is just the Vogue Fabrics-Evanston location. They often have a better selection than the downtown location, otherwise it's all the same.
The second is Loomcraft. In Vernon Hills, it's a good bit north of the city but they have a big selection of upholstery and drapery weights, for reasonable prices, always discounted. There's a remnant section and a shelf with silk and silk-blend remnants for dirt cheap. Most of Gresham came from that shelf. So go there if you can.
So get fabric hunting, my friends!