The treasures of Goldhawk Road

The treasure of Goldhawk Road

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.

Matt

The stitcher. A magnet for foolery & prankster at heart. Loves being creative, whether with some wood and a saw or with a needle and thread. Attempts to disguise his past time activities as manly pursuits, but is actually pretty handy at sewing!

14 Comments

  1. Valerie 1 year ago

    Are the Goldhawk Road shops in business ? Someone recently suggested I visit the shops but didn’t mention anything about shops closing down !

  2. Hilary 2 years ago

    Hi Matt, planning on going up this half term with my daughter. Is it still worth it?

  3. char 3 years ago

    Hi Matt,
    Goldhawk Road is great but most of the shops are closing down and possibly (although it sounded like not all of them) relocating. In June, I was told when I was last there in Feb. Sad times, but if you can get there in the next month or so I guess there might be good bargains to be had. Apparently in a couple of years when the redevelopment is over, they have been told there will be a chance for them to move back again.

    • Author
      Matt 3 years ago

      I agree Char, Really is such a shame. I was up in London again the other day and popped over again. Lets hope things like the Change Org petition below can help to change things.

  4. Sarah 3 years ago

    I’ve lived in SheBu for 20 years but I only started reviving my dressmaking habit in the last couple of years – when I realised what treasures I had been walking past I could have hit myself! Please note Matt that the character of Goldhawk Road is seriously threatened by “redevelopment” of Shepherds Bush Market. Already many businesses have closed and locals fear that it may result in the fabric shops getting priced out. Support from the sewing community would be very welcome. Please sign this petition!
    https://www.change.org/p/save-the-shepherds-bush-market-businesses

  5. sharon 3 years ago

    Hi matt, you brought back some great memories of shopping in goldhawk road. I live in Glasgow now but used to live in west london and thought I had died and gone to heaven when I first discovered all those fabric shoos !!

    • Author
      Matt 3 years ago

      Well I’m glad to have brought back some good memories Sharon, it certainly is a fab place. I’m planning on going back again soon. Do you have some fabric shops around near you?

  6. Sarah 3 years ago

    Nice buys Matt. I think I would probably go a bit crazy in a place like this. I always get carried away when I visit Merchant & Mills. ALWAYS spend more than I intend to. Looks like you got some good fabrics there though. I love buying fabric that I don’t know what to make with yet, and pondering on it. Looking forward to seeing what you make.

    • Author
      Matt 3 years ago

      I know what you mean. I fought very hard not to buy more. Like I say I was on the train so that kept me restrained. My stuff was pretty muted by all accounts, there were some lovely vibrant tartans I had my eye on too, maybe next time.

  7. I went to Goldhawk Road for the first time a few weeks ago and loved it. Like you, I was travelling by train so couldn’t carry much. I’ll be back!

    • Author
      Matt 3 years ago

      With all this talk of Summer closure and redevelopment I think I may take a pick up truck next time….you wanna hop on and lift share? ;o)

  8. I love Goldhawk Road – would visit every week if I had time (& cash). It’s so sad that may of the shops are closing in the Summer months this year due to the redevelopment of Shepherd’s Bush Market *sadface*

    • Author
      Matt 3 years ago

      That was the first I’d heard of this closure. Such a shame. I feel I’m a bit late to the party!
      I’m definitely making sure I’ll go back again over the coming months though.

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