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18 Sep 2012 - 11:0091142
Fabric/craft shops in London?
Not sure if this was the best place for it, but hey~ I got a place at the university of my dreams earlier this summer, which means I'm studying in London for the next three years!

I'm definitely hoping to keep cosplaying, especially with way more opportunities on offer now, but I'm after some insider advice as to the best place for general supplies, like fabric and craft foam and polystyrene wig heads(!), in the capital. I'll be based in student accommodation in Bloomsbury, but am willing to travel further out

Thanks in advance!

21 Sep 2012 - 08:3491396
Back when I lived in South London I used to haunt the little Indian fabric shops. They're all over the East End, though I went to one in Tooting Broadway.

They're not always the cheapest, but I was on the hunt for unusual fabrics rather than price so I was normally in luck. The one I went to was literally piled to the ceiling with shelves and bolts of fabric, with things like buttons, findings and threads in a glass counter at the front.

They're also THE place to go for sari material; I once saw the most gorgeous holographic fabric in that shop that to this day I wish I'd bought a metre or two of for a scarf!

'There is only do or do not. There is no try.'

Last edited by LewaKyser (21 Sep 2012 - 08:34)
21 Sep 2012 - 09:3791401
Pretty much THE area to go to for well-priced fabric is Goldhawk Road, in Shepherd's Bush. There's a dozen different fabric shops so they're competitively priced and the stock range is large, though you can't guarantee what they'll have in at any one time. It's where fashion students and production houses tend to go. I'm told there's also many shops in Ealing and some in Tooting which are reasonably-priced.

Goldhawk Road falls down a little when it comes to general haberdashery, there's a couple of market stalls and one of the shops has an upstairs area that sells it.

For really specialist fabrics, you can go to Soho, Berwick Street in particular, but the prices there make my eyes bleed O_o

21 Sep 2012 - 11:5291407
Quote Odangochan:

For really specialist fabrics, you can go to Soho, Berwick Street in particular, but the prices there make my eyes bleed O_o

I think the cheapest they do was £20 a metre

But yeah, Sheppard's Bush is good for fabric :3

Ayacon Plans
21 Sep 2012 - 14:5191412
Sounds great; I'll definitely check it out! Anywhere for general craft supplies, like fabric paint and acrylic, and craft foam?

25 Sep 2012 - 14:4491571
For general stuff I really like HobbyCraft, but that's whenever I can get to one now I'm in the middle of nowhere.

There's a lot to be said for places you wouldn't normally look. Places like B&Q, Wickes and Halfords stock a massive range of paints and accessories that you wouldn't normally look for. They sell something called 'pipe lagging' which are like long foam tubes with a slit down them. What would I use them for? No idea, but whenever I see them I know some cosplayer would want them.

'There is only do or do not. There is no try.'
25 Sep 2012 - 17:1391581
Definitely seconding Goldhawk Road - that's where we always hit up first to check for fabrics, and to get ideas. Keep in mind that in a lot of the shops there they don't display prices on the fabrics, so you can barter prices. They will also sometimes try and sell it higher than normal, so keep in mind what the fabric is worth and be firm. Some of the attendants can also be a bit pushy (and very unhelpful! i.e. ask for light blue and they show you navy...) just say "I'm just looking" and ignore them until you have questions or want to pay You can have amazingly cheap finds here, I bought the material for this costume for £1 a metre.

For Tooting, Amy-Lou and I check there for more standard fabrics. Goldhawk Road is brilliant for amazing fabrics, PVC/Leathers and weird stuff you never imagined - but sometimes finding something like simple cotton in a specific colour can be hard. We head to the craft store just by Tooting Bec station - here's their website. Decent range of materials, but lots of sewing supplies (zips, threads, fastenings) and craft supplies (funky foam, paint, feathers, etc). Down in Tooting Broadway market there's a few stalls, and many sari shops up the main road heading to Tooting Bec, but often you can get better stock in Gold Hawk Road.

For art supplies, there are tonnes of shops around central (London Graphics Center, Cass Art, Cowling & Wilcox, etc) where you can pick up paint & foam. Often if you know what you want, it's sometimes cheaper online

For specialist craft supplies (resin, plastics, metalwork etc) check out 4D model shop, near Aldgate - they have awesome things that I always want to buy and play with.

Wig heads - any costume store will normally sell them for £3-4, failing that, Ebay can be cheaper!

There's lots of us based in London with different knowledge, so I'm sure if you can't find something one of us will be able to point you in the right direction. Lastly, welcome to London!

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