Way back in June 2013 London Dressmakers Club member Colleen 47 posted a comment in the Discussions section of our Meetup site about Woolcrest Textiles and the bargains to be found there. Ever since, I have been meaning to visit. It is open Monday to Friday only but a remark made at February’s Monthly Meeting, as to whether it would be possible to have Meetups on weekdays during the daytime for those who have free time then, made me think about investigating the warehouse as a possible place for a Meetup visit.
I set off to locate the warehouse, accompanied by fellow member Rebecca Rogers. We were a bit taken aback to find that 6 Well Street did not appear to exist but a helpful shop owner at no: 8 pointed us to a gap between buildings and into the yard where a huge sign above a brick warehouse left us in no doubt that we had arrived at our destination.
Upon entering, rolls upon rolls of fabric, piled high on racks, met our gaze. I just knew I was unlikely to keep to my vow not to buy any more fabric – and so it proved. It is very much a case of rummaging everywhere for what you want. There are rough divisions of the fabrics into sections- wools, denims, lightweight etc. The cheerful staff are happy for you to wander at will. Nothing has a price on it but just ask; they may even decide, as they did with me, that the price is actually cheaper than their first quote.
They do not sell less than a metre of fabric but, after the first metre, will then sell the additional fabric in that length in half metres. But it is at such bargain prices that it doesn’t matter if you have a bit more than required for the garment you intend to make. My purchase of 2 metres of bright wool mix fabric for a jacket and 2 metres of ivory colour soft polyester for a blouse cost a total of £14.
Having sated our eyes it was time to do something about our stomachs as it was lunchtime. Walking along Mare Street we came across The Trampery. It had a delightful cosy café with a tempting and inexpensive menu but, be warned, the portions are huge. You can get anything from just a coffee to a full meal. It seems the sort of relaxed place where one could do a bit of hand sewing and chatting gathered round a table –a shame that it is not open late in the evenings as a café or it would be great for an after work hours Meet up.
I’ve since discovered that there are a number of other fabric outlets in the vicinity that sound worth a visit- can my finances stand any more research?! Would any members be interested in joining up for a weekday daytime sortie into the textile venues of East London?
Woolcrest Textiles, 6 Well Street, off Mare Street, Hackney, London E9 7PX. I got the tube to Bethnal Green and then walked but Cambridge Heath and London Fields overground stations are nearer. There are also plenty of bus routes.
The Trampery “Look Mum, no Hands” Café, 125-127 Mare Street, London E8 3RH