The treasures of Goldhawk Road
We’ve all been there, you have an idea for a new project and you need some new fabric, but you can’t find the perfect fabric in your usual haunt….what are you to do?
Solution: Go to Goldhawk road in West London W12.
When I’m in London, be it for business or pleasure I always try and end my day with a cheeky little trip to Berwick Street, just off Oxford St, it’s stunning, from the architecture of the buildings in the street to the meticulously arranged fabrics, to the beautiful golden shears for cutting cloth…I love it. But to be honest I’m rarely tempted into buying very much, as the price tags command a central London premium. A lot like the cities house prices and wages!!
But with a little more time available, I decide to (finally) venture west a little more, almost to the end of the Hammersmith & City line, thats the pink one for those not au fait with the tube lines, to Goldhawk Road Station. As I exit I go straight for Google maps to orientate myself, but there is absolutely no need, look up and your gaze is met by a dozen fabric shops.
Theres no pomp or ceremony here, theres no elegantly laid out rolls of fabrics in order of hue or alphabetically by designer…what you do get is straight down to business, the business of bargains, and theres no messing around!
I go into the first shop I find on my right, A2Z Fabrics, followed by Toni Textiles, Fabric World, UK Textiles…the list goes on, Fancy Fabrics, Universal Textiles, MT London Fabrics.
I cross the road and work my way back up and I find Fabrix, Unique Fabrics, Alanaka, Orya, Classic Textiles, Fabric House, A One Fabrics. Oh my, I’m in heaven.
Thats 14 shops! Yep 14!! All within a few hundred yards. I hope I didn’t miss any out.
The common theme in all of them is that they tend to be staffed by men, who will say a polite hello and then leave you to do your browsing, but theres no pressure to buy. If you want a better look at something high up or deep in at the back, you’re best off letting them know you need assistance rather than waiting in a typically stoical british way. Theres hundreds upon hundreds of rolls in each shop, so be warned you can go a little fabric blind by the end of your visit.
Also if you’re buying a fair amount of cloth then I’d say to try haggling a bit, it seemed to work for the people around me quite well. I could only buy what I could carry on the train, so I thought better of it.
The fantastic thing is you really can pick up fabric for a couple of pounds a metre, now when people say that to me I immediately think, “yeah ok, theres probably a few bits of half metre offcuts left in the bargains bin”, but with Goldhawk road it really is there, loads of it, all on display for the world to see.
Of course I got a little carried away and ended up buying enough material for several projects rather than just one. However this time it’s more for me. I’ve got some lovely navy blue for a jacket (£8/m), a rather daring cerise pink lining for the aforementioned jacket (£2/m) although the jury is still out on it’s use. I was pretty pleased with the pre-lined denim at (£7/m). To be brutally honest I’m still not sure what to do with this yet but it was such a bargain I had to get a couple of metres. My initial thinking is along the lines of a casual blazer but I’d love to hear if you’ve any suggestions.
I’ve wanted to make myself some shirts for a while so I bagged myself a couple of lighter weight striped cotton shirting (£6/m).
I did of course get Gemma a little something, it’s a bit of black an white zigzag cotton, with one eye on making it into a twiggy type dress, but we’ll see.
Thats all from me for now, but I beg you, if you have a couple of hours to spare and a zone 2 Travelcard in hand, don’t get off Paddington, stay on for another 10 mins and go have a look at Goldhawk Road, theres bargains-a-plenty.