Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Sad News About Fabric Stores

All locations of The Fabric Place, located in eastern Massachusetts, are going to close before the end of this year, and I am very sad about it.

Check out thisisframingham.com's post about The Fabric Place, to learn more about this treasure.

I have been shopping at the store in Framingham Massachusetts, since 1978, when I moved back to Boston after graduating from Art School in Philadelphia. Back then, I didn't have a car, so I took the "Peter Pan" bus line that drove down Route 9 from Boston (I got on in Brookline, where I had my first apartment) to Framingham. It was a 20+ mile ride. Quite an adventure for a 21 year old who was unfamiliar with the Boston area. Now I live about 3 miles from that store.

At least 10 years ago, the fabric stores in Chinatown, in Boston, closed. I remember how sad that was, but it didn't affect me very much because I did my shopping at The Fabric Place.

This isn't only a Boston area problem. "Fabric Stores Struggle to Stay in Business," was published on July 07, 2008, about fabric stores in New York City.

Mood Designer Fabrics is my favorite fabric store in New York City. It's become famous thanks to Project Runway. I think Project Runway has helped to inspire people to want to sew, but not enough to stop the decline in numbers of fabric stores.

Here is a quote from an interesting article in the Patriot Ledger with an explanation about why there are few people sewing their own clothes, "Saftler blames it on cheap clothing from China, which started flooding the market in the 1990s through companies like Wal-Mart. That made it more affordable to buy new clothes instead of purchasing fabric and repairing old clothing."

I admit that I don't make my own clothing any more, mainly because of time, but a little because it is cheaper to buy than to make clothes. Quite often I decorate and enhance my clothes with lace, ribbons and bindings, to make it more unique. (Read a previous post about this very topic.)

I do however, sew curtains, pillows and tablecloths for my home, so I guess I will be depending on Joann Fabrics (which is really a craft store, not a fabric store) and Ikea (which is also not a fabric store) to make my purchases.

For my art work, I have always bought the fabric I print and paint on from Test Fabrics. They seem to have a good international business, and have a good internet presence, so I imagine they're fine.