Britex Fabrics, located at 146 Geary Street in San Francisco's famous Union Square, is a historic retail fabric store, that has been family owned and operated by Martin Spector and Family, since 1952. Recently, Britex Fabrics has been declared A Legacy Business, by The Non-Profit San Francisco Heritage, in 2016.
On March 18th, 2017, my dear husband, and fellow creator, Javier Rangel, and myself, traveled from Hayward, California, to visit this iconic retail store. Javi and I had the special privilege of attending the FREE "Four Floors of Fabulous Britex Fabrics" Store Tour that is offered each Saturday. However, do to the popularity of the tour, and limited spacing, tickets are required to attend this weekly tour.
You can reserve your tour tickets through Eventbrite, by clicking this link: https://www.eventbrite.com/e/four-floors-of-fabulous-britex-fabrics-free-store-tours-tickets-23841887728?aff=eac2
Deena, was our tour guide for this trip, and I loved how informative she was about each textile, as well as her passion for fabric! Deena explained that Britex is truly a unique fabric store, because each fabric in stock is hand-selected, personally by the store's buyer. Many of the fabrics sold at Britex are truly unique and one of a kind. The fabric selection also can be limited in quantity, so Deena advises, "If you see it, and love it, buy it now, because once it's gone, it's gone!"
Taking our tour group, first to the back of the store, Deena pulled out some exquisite French Lace! The French Lace is stunning, and narrow in width. Deena explained that authentic French Lace, can be hard to find, and expensive, ranging up to $125 per yard!
Deena pulled out a beautiful Silk Tulle, that I had never seen before. The Silk Tulle was passed around so everyone could feel its soft, yet sturdy texture. Britex carries Silk Tulle in stock regularly in basic colors, such as Black and Cream. What a rare delight!
In addition to the beautiful French Lace, Wool Knits and Brocade fabric can also be found on the First Floor. Deena explained that Wool Knits do not wiggle the way other knit fabric might, it is also very soft. Britex Fabric also carries a Cashmere Mink blended fabric!
Next, the tour group moved onto the beautiful rows of Solid Silks (there is an entire wall dedicated to Solid Silk!). Deena pulled out beautiful Crepe Back Satin, that can be utilized showing either side, and then she directed our attention to the wall full of Bridal Satin! Some of the Bridal fabrics found on this wall are imported straight from Italy! Deena gave the helpful hint, that Silk can be hand washed with shampoo and then hung to dry.
Also on the first floor, are beautiful Silk Charmeuse and Chiffon, many that feature textile digital prints, that were made in Italy. I particularly loved seeing the Designer Couture Fabric designed by G. Rositani of Dolce and Gabbana (which can be purchased for $125 per yard), and the exquisite fabric by Gucci! When examining the Designer Couture Fabric, you can really see the quality of not only the fabric itself, but the quality of the print as well! Deena says, "These fabrics sell quickly!"
Another beautiful textile found on the First Floor!
Once on the second floor, the tour group immediately arrived in the Home Decor, or Furnishings Department. Deena explained how the textiles are organized, and then pulled out her favorite woven Turkish Upholstery Fabrics that are not only stunningly beautiful, but thick, soft, and luxurious. Deena pointed out that many upholstery fabrics are backed with a Poly-Blend for stability.
Also on the second floor, are a wide variety of printed textiles, including the world famous Liberty of London Fabric. These gorgeous fabrics are made using both traditional printing techniques as well as digital Italian printing, and are often inspired by nature, architecture, and heritage.
Deena also pointed out some magnificent Japanese Indigo, which is rare and difficult to obtain. Japanese Indigo is made with a unique layer waxing printing technique. Another rare find, stocked on the second floor, are Authentic Swiss Eyelet Fabrics. Deena explained that many European Fabric factories have been closing in recent times, limiting the amount of fabrics produced.
In addition to the printed Cotton, a wide variety of many other fabrics can be found on the second floor of Britex Fabrics, including (but not limited to); digitally printed Linen, printed Knits, Poly/Nylon Lace, Velvets, Flannels, Solid Knits, Sequin Fabric, Poly Satin, Poly Crepe Back Satin, Taffeta, Swimsuit Nylon, Oil Cloth, Laminate Cloth, Faux Leathers, Denim, and Cotton Velvet! Wow!
Next, the tour group was shown superbly made lace, rich in artistry and detail! Check out this Pink French Knot Lace Edging that took all of our breaths away! I also learned that there are several types of Lace, including Alençon Lace, as well as Chantilly Lace. Interestingly, both Alençon Lace, as well as Chantilly Lace are named after the French Cities in which the techniques originated from. Chantilly Lace Making dates back to the 17th Century!
Other notions located on the third floor, include every shade of zipper you could possible imagine, interesting elastic made in unique colors and various prints, as well as feather trims, floral accessories, and Silk Thread!
On the shelf housing the Leather Goods, there are also many Specialty Skins, such as Snake, and Eel!
Javi and I really enjoyed attending this tour, in which we gained so much valuable information, not only of the store layout and merchandise, but also of the fascinating history and stories behind the textiles themselves!
I hope you enjoyed my trip to Britex Fabrics as much as myself and Javi surely did! If you are in the San Francisco area, stop by this amazing store! You will not be disappointed!
You can also check out Britex Fabric's Website, www.britexfabrics.com, to stay up to date on store news, as well as classes offered!
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Hello Readers! Welcome to my Blog! I am Roxanne Rodriguez Rangel, a Fashion Designer from Northern California. I love all things Fashion, particularly historical fashion! Join me, as I take you around Northern California, covering fashion events and related topics!