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A black hand is silhouetted against a quilt with geometric patterns and an eye.
(Patrick Hruby / Los Angeles Times)

The 8 best fabric stores in L.A. to score deals for your next project

There’s something deeply satisfying about fabric shopping. The act of browsing rows upon rows of beautiful textiles allows us to tap into our intuitive decision making as we search for the one that elicits the strongest emotional response — or that “Ching!” moment, trademark Marie Kondo. In a sea of floral prints, there’s no logical reason why we might gravitate toward that one with tiny rows of daisies or big tropical leaves. We just do. And that feeling of joy is validation enough to buy a yard or three.

I am an amateur dressmaker, so many of the fabrics or prints I favor remind me of loved ones or cherished moments. And those nostalgic, familiar sentiments live on in my finished garments.

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If you’re like me and have a tendency to “collect” ( OK, hoard) beautiful fabric, it’s good to know the places in L.A. that offer the best variety and prices. Here are eight of the best fabric stores where you can score great deals — or simply stoke creative inspiration and support local businesses. I rated them on their price points from ? (true bargains) to ??? (still reasonable).

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A photograph of the interior of Internaltional Silks and Woolens.
(Sonaiya Kelley / Los Angeles Times)

International Silks and Woolens

Beverly Grove Fabric Store
Fun fact: I once spent several hours in this store trying to persuade a kind sales associate to hire me part-time and pay me in fabric. That’s how good the offerings are at this 55-year-old fabric warehouse where Ruth E. Carter sourced vintage deadstock to craft Eddie Murphy’s 1970s polyester suits in “Dolemite Is My Name.” For about $40, I got two yards of a vintage-looking metallic jersey fabric worthy of the legendary costumer herself.

The store is housed in a nondescript white building on a quiet section of Beverly Boulevard that unfurls like a labyrinth, with a crawlspace in one of its upper rooms that calls to mind claustrophobic horror movies like “Relic” and “Vivarium.” Even in that cramped nook, brightly patterned and sequined vintage fabrics adorn the walls and are available for purchase. But there’s nothing to fear here except perhaps your dwindling savings account — there’s upward of 100,000 fabrics and more than 14,000 square feet to browse.

Price point: ???
Prices aren’t dirt cheap but definitely fair. The woven fabrics stacked near the front entrance cost less per yard than the store’s selection of rare vintage fabrics, which are reason enough to stop by.
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An interior of Sewing Arts.
(Sonaiya Kelley / Los Angeles Times)

Sewing Arts

Sawtelle Fabric Store
I don’t know what it is about fabric stores existing inside nondescript white edifices but Sewing Arts’ exterior does nothing to reveal the bolts upon bolts of colorful fabric that adorn its walls inside, which makes stepping into the shop all the more delightful.

Housed in a former post office, Sewing Arts has three tiers of shelving (complete with a rolling library ladder) along two walls stacked with more than 30,000 yards of multicolored fabrics, sewing notions and embroidery supplies. While the store primarily stocks woven fabrics, it does feature a small cache of knits inside the small classroom in the back where garment sewing and quilting classes are held.

Price point: ??
Woven fabrics range from about $13 to $15 per yard. For about $40, I got three yards of a cotton screenprinted fabric patterned with sharks that will make a fun pair of breezy summer shorts.
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A photograph of the interior of Goodwill.
(Sonaiya Kelley / Los Angeles Times)

Goodwill

Los Angeles Thrift store
Some of the best (and most stylish) things in life come secondhand: family heirlooms, vintage clothing and, yes, thrifted fabric.

Not only are thrifted blankets and sheets perfect for enterprising DIY-ers and beginner sewists, but I have on multiple occasions found several yards of unused fabric in stores like Goodwill and Savers. In fact, I used thrifted fabric to make a swimsuit at Sew FYI, DTLA’s design competition-esque sewing school with its own small cache of fabric offerings. The fabric in question was a thick pink spandex that I found about three yards of.

If you’ve never upcycled before or just need a concrete project in mind before hunting for fabric, YouTubers like With Wendy, Blueprint DIY and Coolirpa offer inspiring upcycling ideas using thrifted clothing and fabric and can show you exactly what to do with that ditsy print twin sheet set you just scored at the thrift.

Price point: ?
It depends on your local store, but the location near me in Miracle Mile (marked on this map) prices sheets and blankets at about $10 to $15 — a great deal considering a flat twin sheet measures in at around five yards and a queen-size blanket spans approximately 11 yards. Shopping secondhand can provide as much financial value as environmental.
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A photograph of the interior of Joann's Fabric Store.
(Sonaiya Kelley / Los Angeles Times)

Jo-Ann Fabrics and Crafts

Carthay Craft store
One of the last remaining big box craft stores, Jo-Ann’s has been in business since 1943 and operates more than 800 stores across 49 states, including 78 locations in California. Although the business recently filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, its online and physical stores continue to function as normal.

The retailer boasts more than 21,000 fabric options and offers discounts for students, teachers, healthcare workers and members of the military. Its website lists weekly coupons that you can pull up last minute at the register, as I often do. But for the best deals, download the store’s app, which offers exclusive discounts and allows customers to track their purchases and earn rewards.

The chain’s La Cienega outpost features a considerable selection of woven, knit, upholstery and specialty fabrics alongside notions, sewing patterns, thread and tools to round out any sewing room. For about $40, I got three yards of a patchwork Lucky Brand denim fabric that was already discounted by 25%. I used a coupon found on the app to save $15 on my overall purchase, which also included two yards of a shirred fabric as well as other small notions.

Price point: ??
Keep an eye on the store’s rotating specials and discounts outlined in its weekly ad and use the coupons on the website and app. Otherwise, expect to spend about average prices on fabric.
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A photograph of the interior of Remainders.
(Sonaiya Kelley / Los Angeles Times)

Remainders Creative Reuse

Pasadena Sewing and Craft Studio
This nonprofit organization and secondhand fabric store started out in 2016 in a 400-square-foot garage. Today, Remainders operates out of a 3,200-square-foot store in Pasadena, where patrons can browse hundreds of different kinds of fabrics all donated by individuals, film studios and small businesses, among others.

“We saw the need for a textile store that could positively impact environmental awareness, offer repurposed materials and create a much-needed affordable resource to the community,” said Executive Director Robin Cox.

The business model helps to divert untold amounts of craft supplies and fabric from ending up in landfills. “By promoting creative reuse, Remainders helps people contribute to the healing of the environment and raises awareness about the benefit of upcycling raw materials and repurposing usable goods, as opposed to buying materials new,” said Cox.

Price point: ?
Few stores rival Remainders in terms of price and selection: The store offers fabric scraps and remnants for $5 per pound or $15 for a grocery bag’s worth. Fabrics sold by the yard may be leftover from contemporary fashion houses or vintage. Prices range from $1 to $6 per yard.
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A view of Angel Textiles.
(Sonaiya Kelley / Los Angeles Times)

Angel Textiles

Downtown L.A. Fabric Store
DTLA’s fashion district offers some of the most reasonable fabric prices anywhere in the city. At Angel Textiles, many of the thousands of rolls of fabric go for just $1 or $2 per yard.

The store, like many of those in the area, features no website or Instagram page and doesn’t offer refunds or exchanges. But with prices this low and offerings this varied, buyer’s remorse is a thing of the past.

Deal factor: ?
Run, don’t walk. There’s no beating these prices, not even at other stores in the fashion district. For about $40, I got six yards of denim fabric (just $4 per yard, practically unheard of), three yards of a stretchy cotton fabric and a yard of a lightweight bandanna printed fabric.
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An exterior of Journal Fabric.
(Sonaiya Kelley / Los Angeles Times)

Journal Fabric

Downtown L.A. Fabric Store
Ask any experienced sewist about their favorite local fabric stores and this L.A. institution is sure to be at the top of the list.

Journal Fabrics, which has been in business for 25 years, offers a selection of patterned woven fabrics outside for just $2 a yard, perfect for beginners to experiment with. Inside there are bolts upon bolts of colorful fabrics spanning everything from sequins to denim to plaids. For about $40, I got three yards of a medium-weight tartan that calls to mind the British punk invasion as well as one yard of an iridescent purple spandex fabric that changes colors in the light.

Price point: ??
You’ll find pretty good deals on the racks just outside the store. Inside, fabric prices range from about $5 to $10 per yard.
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A view of Town Fabrics.
(Sonaiya Kelley / Los Angeles Times)

Town Fabrics

Downtown L.A. Fabric Store
On the same busy block as Journal Fabrics stands Town Fabric, a smaller store that’s been around for 15 years.

Town’s offerings are more streamlined and curated than that of some of the other stores in the area that stack fabric on every available surface as far as the eye can see. Here, you’ll find a quality selection of beautiful stretch knits, silks and embroidered fabrics displayed neatly in horizontal rows.

Price point: ??
Pricing ranges from roughly $6 to $10 per yard. For about $40, I got six yards of fabrics including a silvery holographic spandex, a shimmery midnight blue spandex and a lightweight woven with lines of sparkles.
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