While I’ve had the habit of buying cloth/fabric because I really liked the prints and have them stash somewhere, I never did scout around for cloth/fabric when I travel. But all these changed 2 years ago..
I absolutely love to travel. Each trip is an adveenture and no 2 people will have the exact same experience and that’s why I love travel so much.
Paris is coined one of the most romantic cities in the world. I mean just look at the lighted Eiffel Tower. It is also one of the world’s most fashionable and stylish city, think Coco Chanel and Paris fashion week. The parisans are always well dressed and the pride and dedication they take when it comes to food! It is no doubt one of my favourite place.
This trip which I took almost 2 years ago was the first and the start of many fabric hunting trips. When travelling, I prefer to soak in the local culture and experience life like a local rather than going to all the touristy places all the time! I pretty much like snooping around at markets and local cafe/eateries.
Since it is such a fashionable city and a city that is muse to so many people, the Mister and I thought it would be interesting and fun to visit some cloth shops and experience life of a local dressmaker.
A quick google will yield me the results of paying Montmartre a visit. Montmartre is a hill in the north of Paris in the 18 arrondissement. We found the concept of arrondissement fairly confusing at the start, but all it needed was just some getting used to. We visited the older church on the hill which is the Saint Pierre de Montmartre. From there, we travelled down the hill from Sacre Coeur into the fabric district. You can imagine my excitement when I was entering the district, it was like Alice in Wonderland.
First stop was Marche St Pierre – 2 rue Charles Nodier
Open 10am – 6.30pm Monday to Saturday.
I tend to suggest visiting their website and confirming the opening hours during your travel period as I understand they are not open on some days during certain months in the year. This will also help you in planning your activities for the rest of the days. Marche St Pierre is huge, there is at least 4 stories in this building, each floor selling different fabric and items. There were cotton, wool, linen and silk (to name a few) and I skipped all those floors that is selling fabric for home decor. You can walk around and look at the rolls and rolls of cloth, there will be signs to let you know the pricing for each metre and also the minimum purchase quantity (usually 0.5m), once you have found something you like, look around for the sales staff who are usually seen with a wooden ruler and they will cut the fabric for you. You would then need to pay it at the cashier before proceeding to the next level.
Across the road is Tissus Reine
Open Monday 2pm – 6.30pm, Tuesday to Friday 9.30am – 6.30pm and Saturday 9.30am – 6.45pm
This is yet another large store with many floors. Again, I zoomed into the floor that sells fabric for garment sewing and rememebered there was 1 particular section where all the fabric there were cotton with flowery prints in all shades and colours. I almost went crazy there! But as each metre was somewhat a little costly 7-10euro (about $12SGD) I had to ration the amount I bought. However, I totally regret it as I feel I could have bought more (when is the next time I’ll be heading over to Paris again) The concept is pretty much the same as Marche St Pierre where once you identified the fabric you wanted, you can get the service staff to cut them for you.
I didn’t have much time to wander into all the other smaller shops in the district. There is another shop around the corner called Molin that might be worth to check out too. There are also some haberdashery stores that sells really cute notions, buttons and knick knacks. Some of these shops does have good bargins if you can spend the time discovering them. Many others who have gone fabric shopping in this district would also recommend you to look out for shops that sells “coupons”, they are basically small quantities of fabric on sales (0.5m – 4m). So it is a really good bargin if you manage rummage through, you never know what you can find!
So there, I truly enjoy every bit of the adventure and now I am hooked onto scouting more fabric places as I travel. It was an eye opener and as I am writing this, all the memories of the trip just kept rushing back. Even though I knew close to zero french, it wasn’t difficult to get things from the stores as most of the sale staff do understand some English. Now I can’t wait to be back to Paris.