Monday, April 15, 2013

Fishman's Rainbow

Our last morning in Chicago was brief but we did have a few hours before we had to head to the airport. Both Jim and Jack had work to do so I did what any passionate needleartist would do...

I looked online for any needlework or fabric shops near our hotel, found one, bought a big cup of tea and set out to walk the 1.5 miles to Fishman's Fabrics...


Fishman's Fabrics was established in 1903 and prides itself on building relationships with quality mills around the world in order to offer a full range of textiles:  cashmeres from Scotland, wool suitings from Italy, linens from Belgium...even American-made wool felt.

And the silks!  I couldn't believe the RANGE of colors offered...every color of the rainbow...in every TYPE of silk.

Dupioni galore...


Silk linings, silk charmeuse, silk shantung, silk chiffon, silk crepe, silk velvets...



Silk satin and silk habotai...



Silk organza and silk taffeta...


I have never, in my life, seen such ample offerings in every TYPE and COLOR of silk.  I was floored.

One large warehouse floor to be precise...


And to think that in the past they used to have THREE floors PACKED with fabric.


It's incredible the degree to which our fabric stores have limited their stocks in the last three decades.  Even on my trips to New York, I often leave without having found the right color or the right cloth.

Fishman's range is a breath of fresh air; a real find for someone looking for breadth within categories.

And I didn't take a picture, but the range of upholstery and designer fabrics is just as impressive.  And leather!  I haven't seen so much leather in one place.  Of course, I haven't really bought leather...but Fishman's could get me started.  And did I mention, the quality linings for vests and ties...?  And the clearance wall?  Most clearance bolts were $5-$10/yard...!

And more good news...they love online orders and the minimum cut is 1/8 yard.  A great resource when you are searching for a particular palette.

In the entryway, I enjoyed reading a bulletin board full of vintage ephemera about the store:  news clippings, letters from famous customers, magazine covers, etc...


I love a shop with a history and a shop that loves its customers.

The rainbow shines bright in Chicago, my friends...


And it's at Fishman's Fabrics.

Though your pot of gold might take a hit.  Just warning you.

17 comments:

Cari said...

Oh my gosh...talk about DROOL heaven. Beautiful, just beautiful. I'm glad to know about such a wonderful fabric shop, and it's the city where my granddaughter lives. She just graduated from Columbia College Chicago with a degree in Fine Arts. I must go visit the store...uhhh I mean my granddaughter !! Have a simply fabulous week Susan. Hugs

Cassandra and Alex said...

Wow! I grew up in Chicagoland and yet have never been to this store. I'm stopping next time I go for a family visit!
–Cassandra

inlovewiththreads said...

Oh WoW! Silk is hard to find in my corner of the world and even harder to find in a wide selection of colours. I'm going to see if they'll ship to Canada.

PS Don't try to email me, Susan. It seems every time I email you, the servers at my host explode.

Gerry Krueger said...

This place is definitely on my bucket list... I love Chicago even tho I was only there once.. They have a fabulous botanical garden. I received an award at a inctedible dinner at the top of the Hancock,,, this was about 1984,,, where have the years gone. Your picture brought back memories...

Momma Bear said...

I forgot about fishman's SHAME on me!
I have been in it only once to buy lace and silk for a girlfriends bridal gown It's the only time buying fabric that I have been so totally overwhelmed by selection that I couldn't focus on the task at hand! for anyone going, you really need a whole day to get over the "OMG!"of the place!
I'm glad you found it I would have felt bad if you left without going.

Rachel said...

There are a couple of stores in Montmartre which have several floors of gorgeous fabrics, so I have an inkling of how you felt. I usually go, and end up so dizzy I come away with nothing!

Cheryl @ Bingle Bears said...

Thank you SO much for sharing this with us! I've put their website on my favorites so that I can check them out next time I need some nice fabrics. It's getting SO hard to find quality fabrics nowadays--it seems like the only place I can shop for them now is online. I miss being able to touch and feel all of the textures.

Hugs,
Cheryl

Margaret said...

All I can say is "Yummy!" :-) Thanks for sharing!

Mary Ann said...

My mum used to be in that business. She had a wholesale/retail fabric store that I worked in too. I miss going to the warehouses and buying fabric for the store. The warehouses looked just like that...rolls and rolls of fabric. Heaven:)

By the way...you showed us the store so what did you buy?????

Leeann said...

Wow it looks beautiful, with an incredible range of fabrics. It's amazingly tidy too for a fabric shop. All the bolt ends even with each other, and fabric not piled on top of each other. They must have amazing staff it keep it looking so great.

Carol- Beads and Birds said...

Whoa!! I bet you had a ball in there. We usually hit Vogue but I have never seen Fisherman's. You are so right about limited fabrics in stores. Is even worse in the small towns unless you are looking for quilt fabric.
xx, Carol

Saturday Sequins said...

I go to Chicago about once a month these days... I'll have to fit that store into one of my trips!

I showed the link to Mr. Sequin, and he was very excited. Have you been to Vogue Fabrics? That's another Chicago place we like. :)

Createology said...

Oh how blissful all these fabrics are...like eye candy for sewers. I have never been to Chicago but if I ever go I must make Fishman's Fabrics my destination vacation. This is truly a wonderful piece of Americana you have shared. Springtime Sunshine Smiles and a Rainbow!!!

margaret said...

what a shop and a half, amazing. so few fabric shops here these days, I live in a big city and we have one small one and then 3 market stalls, one market stall is great, good selection of patchwork fabrics along with dressmaking fabric but I do miss the big shops.

Catherine said...

What a wonderful place!! So much color and fun! Uhm....what did you bring home?

Judy S. said...

Fishmans,eh? Another reason to go into the city...... So, did you squeeze some into your suitcase?

Mouse said...

yup drool city .... love silks ... pain to work with when sewing but love silks ...lol
love mouse xxxxx

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