Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Fabric shopping in Manila


I’m often asked where to find good fabrics in Manila, and usually tell people to go where there are the most fabrics stores in one place so you have the most choice in one trip. This is either the basement of Megamall or the top floor of Glorietta 5. However, if you are in the Greenhills area (buying pearls or fake handbags!), do stop by a small fabric store in Virra Mall called Designer Prints. 

They are opposite McDonalds (which is now being either demolished or rebuilt – I wasn’t sure which one when I was there last week!) and Krispy Kreme. They have a small window facing the street with a few bolts of fabrics in them so you can find them quite easily. The shop is in the same alley as Fabric Warehouse but about 5 or 6 stores further down. Designer Prints carry a very nice range of fabrics all imported from the US. It’s an excellent place for cotton piques as well as cotton twills. Not necessarily the cheapest place in town, but a slightly different collection makes them well worth the visit! Like most fabric stores in Manila, they have much more stock in their shop than they really have room for, but the staff and owners are very friendly and are happy to dig out rolls from the back of the pile for you! This time, I saw a beautiful cotton border print pique, some very nice printed cotton jerseys (have to go back for the aqua striped one which was still on the boat from the US!), even some solid real silk chiffon ( and real silk is not that easy to find in Manila!) as well as solid linen and some beautiful evening dress fabrics. I restrained myself once again and only came home with a yard of this printed cotton stretch twill 60" wide for P390 / US$9.20 / Euro 6.39 for a skirt.




54 comments:

  1. Thanks for this tip Karen! I was at Greenhills a few weeks ago and my mom is asking me to go with her again in a couple of weeks. I'll check this out.

    By the way... I've been to Ylaya Street! You're right, I didn't find any nice cotton fabric. I went because my mom asked me to go with her looking for this shop that makes costumes. But maybe when I'm finally up for making big curtains for my living room, I'll go back there (hopefully not soon... it was raining last weekend so it was muddy and smelly everywhere when we were there and I don't want a repeat experience anytime soon, haha).

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  2. hi your blogs are very educating. You might want to check out Cotton Depot stores in SM mall of asia, Festival mall in alabang and Glorietta 5. They have wide range of cotton print designs.

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  3. @cryansy I know the one in Mall of Asia and Glorietta, but didn't know there was one in Alabang too. Thanks! They are actually all owned by brothers and sisters so have very similar lines.

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  4. hi,
    im looking for a fabric that i can use to make underwear. please let me know if you have here is my email ad zmdcruz2009@hotmail.com.
    salamat po!

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  5. A good question! It really depends on what you want to make and if you want natural fibres (i.e. cotton) or not.
    Underpants:
    Stretch lace: Carolina’s carries lace in small widths which you could use. Otherwise Divisoria but I couldn’t think of a store off hand.
    Cotton jersey: Taytay market but you have to by by the kilo and that would make a lot of underpants. I’ve seen printed cotton jersey at Bloomingdale’s in Shangri La and Megamall as well. You could also buy some cheap cotton T-shirts and turn those into underpants! You should be able to get at lest 2 or 3 pairs out of an XL men’s size!
    Underwear elastic: Tabora Street in Divisoria. I don’t know the name of the store but I have bought some there. It’s on the left side if you are facing CM Recto and quite near the intersection. It’s quite a big store with no doors. They have a counter in the centre with buttons and shelves on the left and right side with lace.
    Bras:
    You can probably find fabric to make the cups, as they can be made out of all sorts of woven or knitted fabrics, but I’ve never seen stretchy stuff the back of bras are made with here in Manila. You also need different types of elastic for straps as well as around the edge,and under wires (if that’s the type of bra you want to make) as well as channelling. I’ve never seen any of that here, but to be honest I haven’t really looked. I am actually ordering a kit from the US to try making a bra for the first time, so will have a better idea what to look for once I’ve made that up!
    Slips:
    I’ve bought a thin nylon jersey from Fabric warehouse to use as a slip. They had black white as well as beige in the Megamall store about 6 months ago.

    Please do let me know if you find anything! I am always interested to learn about new sources for sewing supplies!

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  6. Hello!
    I need to make a cover for my dog's cage that is water-proof in the outside, and heat insulating in the inside. Can you suggest type/s of fabric to use and where to buy them reasonably priced? Also, they need to be washable :) Thank you very much and Merry Christmas!

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  7. hello, do you guys have leather or faux leather? if not, where can i buy that fabric?

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  8. Hi Saigone. That's an interesting project. I would take a look at stores in Divisoria along Juan Luna between the bridge and CM Recto. There are stores selling fabrics for bags and backpacks, which are probably daily waterproof. Your problem though will be the joints as these would need to be sealed to be completely waterproof and I have never sean anything you could use for that. as a remedy you could try sewing a strip of your waterproof fabrics along the seam, just to give an extra layer of protection. Otherwise you could have a tarp made a bit bigger that your dog cage. You could span it well above your dog cage, like an extra roof and that might do a better job of keeping the cage dry. Now I am curious why you need insulation on the inside of the cage? Is it to keep the heat in (which we probably don't need to do in the Philippines), or the heat out? If you want to keep the heat out, you will probably be better off with the tarp/roof idea, as it provides shade for the cage but keeps everything open so that you have enough ventilation to stop things getting too hot.

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  9. HI Marc. We don't actually sell any materials. You should be able to buy faux leather at upholstery supply shops. Try Shell Canvas ( Buendia near Roxas Boulevard, Cubao as well as Alabang and some malls). I've also seen some in Divisoria, along Juan Luna, the end near CM Recto. I know that you can find real leather in Bulacaan but have no idea where or whom to contact. I would ask at some car upholstery shops as I've seen real leather used for car seats here.

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  10. Hi i would like to ask where to buy cotton or any fabric for pouches and bags? Thank you.

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  11. HI Nicole. It depends what kind of fabric and what your budget is? Is it just for a bag for yourself or for a business? Send me an email to weloveseing@gmail.com with some more details and I'll try and point you in the right direction.

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  12. Hi

    I know it might look odd that a guy is asking in your blog, but I was wondering if you have seen shops selling high quality suiting and shirting naterials.

    I love bespoke clothes and always choose my fabrics. If you can point ne to an area where the prices are reasonable and materials are of european or american construction, i would be very grateful.

    Thanks.

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    1. Actually it’s not really unusual in a country where tailors still make most men’s suits! Unfortunately I don’t spend a lot of time looking at fabrics for men’s suits as I don’t make the myself! That said, I have recently started making casual shirts for my husband and am now trying a pair of pants for him.

      For shirts, the best quality I have seen are Fanbi in Greenbelt 1 and a small store in the new Glorietta opposite Fabric Warehouse and Carolinas but I’ve forgotten the name. Just remember, 100% cotton shirts, although lovely to wear, are a pain to iron! A little polyester in the mix goes a long way to making your life, or who ever does your ironing a lot easier! Many stores carry some suiting materials but I doubt if they could give you accurate information on where it comes from, or what the fibre content is. Good suiting material should contain a decent amount of wool, and abroad you can find beautiful thin tropical wools suitable for hot and humid places like the Philippines. I’ve seen them in Bergamo (Shangri-La mall) but am not sure what they cost and I doubt if they would sell you just the yardage. I’ve never seen them at regular fabric stores, but then again I haven’t really looked! I know Fanbi in Greenbelt caries a big range of men’s suiting's and their other fabrics are very nice, so it would be worth having a good look there. You could also try King Philip ( they used to be on the top floor of Glorietta 5, but it’s all being renovated so I am not sure if they are still there.) They have a huge collection of men’s fabric on display and may be willing to sell you just the yardage if you have a good tailor yourself. I once saw a good cotton twill there for P1000 per yard ( P200 up at other stores) but the quality was nicer too!

      You could also send an email to of iamdeerhunter.blogspot.com. He makes bespoke shirts and pants in White Plains. The details on his shirts are beautiful. I am not sure where he gets his fabric from but he may be able to help you!

      bespokemanblog.com also had a series of posts on buying fabrics down in Divisoria and and having suits made in Kamuning. I am really not sure of the quality but the prices were really good!

      I’ll keep my eye open now and let you know if I come across a good source of men’s suiting. Could you also let me know if you can recommend a good tailor? I often get asked and would like to build up a data base of craftsmen people have personally tried out!

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  13. I'd like to seek for your expertise as to where we can find a good collection and ideally cheap sofa fabrics such as microfiber and cotton twill? Looking forward to your informative response. Thanks very much in advance. :)

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    1. HI Belly, cotton twill is sold in Divisoria, but maybe not heavy enough for sofas. YOu can also find some upholstery fabrics there but not really good quality. Shell Canvas (multiple outlets) as well as larry's on South Super have big collection but are not always cheap. I assume they would give dicounts however if you buy a lot!

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  14. hi,im karen,just wanna ask if somebody know a warehouse selling the cheapest fabric for a nylon jersey because i want to start a small business supplying nylon fabric in some tailoring shop in our place since up to now they still travel in manila to buy the said fabric.,i think this is a good business.i hope somebody can help me.pls email me Vergorian032000@yahoo.com thank you

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    1. sorry Karen, bit I am not sure where to get nylon jersey but would assume you can find it somewhere in Divisoria

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  15. hello. I am looking for the fabric being used for hoodies. I dont know the name of the fabric either. Where can I buy this fabric? Ive searched in the malls but they do not have this. I am also looking for the faux fur fabric. Its difficult to find these fabrics. please help me welovesewing. please email me the stores i can buy this with tuckercracker@gmail.com 09399074371

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    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

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    2. sorry Peachie, but I accidentally deleted your comment which was:

      Hi. I'm looking for PUL fabric and bamboo cotton. I've asked stores in Divi but they were not familiar with these fabrics. Are there mall shops carrying these? Thanks in advance.

      I assume by PUL you mean Polyurethane leather? I've only ever seen this in upholstery supplies. what were you thinking on doing with it? I've never seen bamboo cotton here. Do let me know if you find any as I would be interested myself!

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    3. Hello, PUL stands for Polyurethane laminate, a material usually used for cloth nappies and the like.. I think she is planning to make one :)

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  17. I would like to ask po any local online fabric store that u might happen to know..thanks

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    1. Sorry, Caroiine, but I don't know of anyone who sells fabrics on-line in the Philippines. What were you looking for specifically?

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  18. hi, i would like to ask if you have any idea where i can find organic fabrics here in manila? it's for my thesis. thank you!!

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  19. Sorry Bea, but I honestly don’t think you will find any organic fabrics in Manila at any retail store. Even local “natural” fibres like sinamay or pina may not be organic as I am sure that they use a lot of chemical fertilizers as well as chemicals in the preparing and dyeing of the fabric. I have never seen any fabric sold as organic here, and mostly the sales staff in retial stores don’t even know if they are selling natural fibres or man-made. If it really has to be organic, I would suggest buying some garments which are certified organic ( I think marks and spencers carries a line of organic cotton) and use that, but this would be a very expensive solution. The only other thing, I could think of would be to call up garment exporters and ask them if they use any organic fabrics for production, and beg them to give you some yardage.

    Good luck! If you find any, please let me know so I can share the info with other people who ask.

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  20. Hi! Do you have any idea how much silk is these days? Looking for fabric to make super soft pillowcases that won't leave marks on the skin.

    Hope you could help me. Thanks in advance! :)

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    1. It depends. I have seen Thai silks in the range of P800-P1000 but I wouldn't use these for pillow covers. I did by some pure silk satin for pillow cases a year or so ago at the department store in Market Market for under P400/yd if I remember correctly. It was nice and thin and soft. They had pink and turquoise back then, but I am not sure if they would still have it though and have never seen that quality anywhere else. To save money, I only made the front of the pillow case in silk and the back out of matching cotton. It also had the advantage that your pillow doesn't slip around the bed! I would be careful though, as many stores will tell you that something is silk when it is in fact polyester. I don't even think that the staff is trying to cheat you, but they honestly have no idea what the fabric is made out of, and to them anything silky is silk regardless of if it is actually made out of polyester, nylon or even acetate.

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  21. Hi, I'm looking for a place to buy fabric with designs for babies. May I ask if you have an idea where I could buy fabrics for baby beddings, stroller and infant car seat pads.

    Thanks

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    1. Hi Katherine, for babies its always good to use pure cotton. I always find that Cotton Depot/Touch has the best selection in malls. They have mainly woven printed and solid 100% cotton suitable for baby beddings etc. I find it hard to find 100% cotton in Divisoria, but there is a shop in Tutuban on the second floor which has a nice selection, and also in the basement of 999 (the building along CM Recto) I've seen a store with quite a bit of 100% cotton.

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  22. Hi guys can you help me out where exactly i can find this type of textile called bamboo jersey fabric,i been in divisoria and megamall but they don't have it ...so pls

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  23. A couple of people have asked me this before but I don't think it's available in the Philippines. If you ever do find it please also let me know where. It's sometimes already a challenge to find 100% cotton jersey here, and I would love to find some bamboo knit.

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  24. Hello, I just want to ask if the store you mentioned in megamall is still operating these days? and do you know also where can I buy printed fabrics? (ex. floral fabrics). Thanks!

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  25. Good evening. Do you happen to know if those fabric shops you mentioned like in SM Megamall sell fabric swatches, specifically, cotton, linen, silk, wool, polyster, rayon, nylon & acrylic. Just need samples of those fabrics for my son’s school project. I’m sure it would add merit if we can present actual samples not just pictures. Need to make his project very nice. Thanks so much. =)

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  26. Do you know the best fabrics for sportswear and where to buy?

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    1. they have some wicking fabrics in Bloomingdales in Edsa Shangri La Plaza

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  27. Hi! You have any idea where to buy fur fabric? Your input would be highly appreciated

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  28. Hi, where can I buy leather fabric for making pants? Thanks.

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    1. saw some in Fabric Warehouse but they only had black

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  29. Fur Fabric can be bought at a shop in Ylaya Street Divisoria. I'm currently trying to look for another option on where to buy. They also have leatherettes there even the shiny stretchy ones. I can't remember if it was wellco or manco. I remember it's almost in the middle and they have 2 seperate stores, the other one near a 'Banana Peel' store.

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  30. Hi,

    I have been looking everywhere for “underwear material”. I wan’t 95 % cotton and 5 % spendex. It seems like everything I found is not even near 95 % cotton, since it’s missing its softness.

    I have been to Divisoria 50 times and looked in every store, both in the malls and outside in the shops along the smaller streets.

    Regards,
    Mathias

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    1. sorry Mathias, I think you are out of luck here in Manila. You will be lucky if you find 100% cotton jersey with or without spandex and mostly the staff in the stores will not know the composition of the fabric. You may find some CVC ( Chief Value Cotton which is around 60% cotton 40% polyester). I have seen 100% cotton jersey fabric with some spandex some years ago in Divisoria in one of the buildings along Recto. If you are coming from Tutuban walk on that side of the street towards the port area and you will pass a Carolina's (famous bead ribbon and fabric store) as well as some stores selling washed denim. If you turn right after that there is a building on the corner which has a lot of T-shirt fabrics, and I did see some 100% cotton there. Sorry i can't give you better directions but I would have to go there again to look up the street names on that side of Recto.

      How much fabric do you need? is it just for personal consumption or did you want to mass produce something? let me know and maybe I will have some advice for you!

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  32. Hi do you still conduct sewing classes?

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  33. Mabuhay!

    Need you help on any info about fabric and leather suppliers for bags (for micro business). Also, do you know anyone conducting basic bag constuction class?

    Any info u can feed me will be appreciated. More power.

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    1. leather is difficult but tehre are suppliers of all sorts of fabrics/PVC for bags along Juan Luna in Divisooria - left side when going towards Recto after Sta Elena Street

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  35. Hi!

    Where can one buy FUN FUR here in Metro Manila?
    Thanks! :)

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  36. Hi.

    Where can I find faux leather or real leather sold here in manila? I am asking this because I would like to request on a sewing shop to make a personalized trench coat.

    And do all sewing shops accept jobs in sewing leather?

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  37. you can sometimes buy faux fur in fabric stores. I bought some black pleather a year ago in Fabric Warehouse. Otherwise I would also check out upholstery supply places like shell or Townes although you have to be careful that what you buy is not too thick. Real leather is available here but I have only seen it in upholstery thicknesses and don't have an address for you. Are you planning to make the trench coat completely out of leather or just the trims? I would be very careful if you want a whole leather coat (not sure if tailors would even accept this as it is not a very common item here and you actually need special needles as well as a special sewing machine foot to sew leather together) and would ask them to make a sample garment out of some cheap fabric first. Once leather or faux leather is sewn together, you can't take it apart anymore as there will be holes left by the needles. You will be more likely to find someone if you are just using the leather as trim/piping etc. If you find leather here, would you mind sharing the address? It is something I have been looking for too!

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  38. Hi. Do you know where i can get cheap muslin fabric?

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