This used to be a bog-standard Stoke Newington pound shop, selling plastic bowls and huge packs of multi-coloured toilet roll, when one day an enticing sign appeared in the window “Craft Shop: coming soon”. Obviously this was a cause for much excitement.
Well, it definitely met my expectations when it opened. It’s a treasure-trove. The best bit about the whole shop is this:
Just LOOK at that huge haberdashery department. They have everything, much more than John Lewis or any of the other big department stores. They also have the full selection of Gutermann thread – silk, metallic, cotton, topstitching, the lot:
I didn’t get a photo of it (I took all of these somewhat sneakily) but on the other side of the store they have an aisle with elastic on rolls that you can buy by the metre, piping cords and home furnishing trims, and professional looking double-sided interfacing in about 4 different widths.
This isn’t a shop that has loads of bargains, like Walthamstow market, but what’s great about it is the massive selection, which is invaluable if you live nearby. I used to hate having to stall a project because I needed to go all the way into town to get a zip or some matching thread.
They also sell lots of fabric:
It’s mostly cheap and cheerful stuff under £5 a metre. They have pre-cut lengths of African wax-print, and they seem to specialise in jerseys:
They also sell fabrics with the strangest names I’ve ever seen – see below:
Don’t ask me what they do to the chiffon to make it so upset. They also had a roll of ‘Techno Twill’. I have googled extensively to try and find out what ‘American D-Kripp’ is (they also sell boring old ‘Polyester D-Kripp’) without success. It feels like a soft cotton-like polyester fabric, possibly for lining, but who knows?
I’ve only approached the staff for advice once – they never used to sell concealed zippers, so one day I asked the man behind the counter if they were going to get any invisible zips in. He looked at me blankly and said ‘Yes madam, all our zips are divisible’. I wasn’t exactly sure how to proceed with the conversation. I could have pressed my point, but I suddenly realised how insane I might look clarifying that I wanted ‘invisible’ zips (‘sorry madam, but all our zips are visible’), so I left it there.
Of course, this shop could hardly be the ULTIMATE craft shop if all they sold was haberdashery and fabric, and they do indeed have a large amount of paints, papers, card, jewellery supplies, knitting needles, wool, and strange craft projects. They even have what seems like a whole aisle of Airfix models if that’s your thing:
Every time I go in they are selling something new – last time they’d got in a stock of Olfa rotary cutters and cutting mats, plus some leather skins (!). I’m not actually sure how they fit everything into the store. It has Tardis-like properties. Definitely worth a visit if you live in the area.