San Francisco Textile Tour: Britex

San Francisco was a blast! I met up with longtime blog-friend Lisa Solomon, who agreed to take me around to some fabric stores. She is just the sweetest and most interesting person. It was good to finally meet in person and to talk about blog-inappropriate topics.


Our first stop was the legendary Britex Fabrics.

I’ve never seen anything like it: four entire floors of meticulously organized and beautifully presented fabric, notions, ribbon, buttons, yarn, and patterns. It was bright and spacious, like a museum, except I never felt like anything was hands-off. There was a friendly and knowledgeable employee at every turn offering help (one even talked our ears off!). I wanted to pick up and move to San Francisco just to have access to all the wonderful silks and other garment fabrics. Judging from the quilting cottons, prices were a little steep. But that’s in comparison to internet shops, where you have to figure in shipping, and you miss out on touching the fabrics, seeing the scales of the prints, and learning about and being inspired by fabrics you normally wouldn’t seek out. So I don’t begrudge.



See Lisa’s great zipper shot here!

We drooled over Decades of Style patterns (still thinking about those Kitchenette Pajamas) and Liberty Tana cotton lawn (which I haven’t seen much of in person), and was amazed by the selection of tie silks. Yes, I could make a tie — why not? I didn’t end up buying any fabric, mostly because I was hedging my budget on Urban Burp, and Britex is more of a come-with-a-project-in-mind kind of place. But I did get a few ribbons, including the one with the “not allowed” signs below.


One of about a zillion shelves of ribbon.


  1. Ashley H. says:

    This post makes me weep with longing! I wanna go!!

  2. lisa s says:

    come back ANYTIME!! [i loved our blog inappropriate talk :) ]

  3. michelle says:

    Wish I could have come, too. It was good I stayed home, though.

    Hey, there’s a small chance I might make it to Quilt Market…

  4. aurora fox says:

    As someone from the Bay Area–I must say I also LOVE Britex–last fall a quilter friend from Sitka, Alaska was visiting me–and we headed off to San Fran. (I live in the East Bay–Berkeley) to visit some fabric stores–and just happened to hit Britex on the very day they had their yearly sale–everything in the store was 30% off!!! did we drop a load of money??? yepp–the gal from small town Alaska (which does have an excellent–but small quilting store) had herself a ball shopping…talk about adding to our stashes…;-)
    oh!! and the buttons!! you don’t have a photo of their buttons–I know this is a fabric blog—but aren’t buttons sort of related? (but your photos here are great and do capture the spirit of the store…)

  5. Love those pics! What a gorgeous shop!

  6. laura k says:

    I can’t wait to move back to SF, and one of the things I’m most excited for is Britex! There aren’t many decent fabric stores in Boston, and I suspect the first time I walk into Britex I might faint dead away from awe and wonder. Whooo!