Learn how-to add a waist stay to a garment in #ShopShowcase with Laura Mae from Lilacs & Lace and Britex Fabrics, a San Francisco Landmark Since 1952, with a Four Floors of Fabulous tours every other Saturday.
How did you get started?
Britex Fabrics began as the brainchild of Martin Spector, who was a fabric merchant in Poland. He came to the United States in 1939 and established the first Britex Fabrics in the heart of New York City's
garment district, and then decided to relocate when he and his wife Lucy fell in love with San Francisco.
The store officially opened its doors in San Francisco's Union Square in 1952.
In the early years, the husband and wife team ran the San Francisco store together. Martin had an eye for retail and envisioned the floor-to-ceiling wall of woolens which still spans the 120-foot wall running from Geary Street to Maiden Lane, while Lucy had a flair for quality and style: she knew what to buy and how to promote it. She worked tirelessly to build the business by making frequent trips to New York, sourcing the designers who would make Britex the most innovative of fabric stores.
Britex Fabrics continues this tradition today by featuring textiles from new local and international designers, alongside goods from world-renowned fashion icons. The store itself has become a landmark,
attracting ‘seamsters’ of all kinds, fashion and design students, and myriad performers and costumers in film and theater. Celebrities bump shoulders with brides-to-be, and do-it-yourself-ers and professionals
come equipped with paint chips and window measurements in search of drapery materials and upholstery. The latest styles in fabrics can be found here, yet the atmosphere of this independent business is a throwback to an era when service was as important as value.
Where are you located?
Britex Fabrics is located at 146 Geary Street in San Francisco, California, just off of Union Square
Which products do you specialise in?
High quality fashion and furnishing fabrics, with an emphasis on natural fibers... Plus over 25,000 style of buttons, and a full floor of notions.
Do you have a particular favorite product that you sell?
Designer silks from Italy. Hand selected at the source.
What's on the stereo?
Where else should we visit in your area?
Union Square, Golden Gate Bridge, Ferry Building, Lands End, Painted Ladies, Alamo Square Park, Twin Peaks, Dolores Park, SF MOMA, Legion of Honor, DeYoung, Theater District and more...
Do you host any workshops, classes or special events?
Britex Store Tours are free!
This 25 minute tour starts on Maiden Lane with a bit of history that will knock your socks off. A quick walk through each of the four floors will give you the confidence and know-how to handle even the busiest Britex day. We'll show you where things are located, talk about our history and what's up our sleeves for the new year. Tours are led by expert Britex staff.
This is a fast paced tour so be sure to arrive early. Space is limited.
Britex also offers a variety of workshops. Be sure to check out the website for current information, and sign up for our newsletter for upcoming sales and special events.
Is there anything else you'd like us to know?
Do you have a favorite craft, art or supply shop in your town that we should feature? Send us a message!