Portland >Global > Fabric World
5300 N Lombard St, Portland, OR | Directions 9720345.582442 -122.724380
Neighborhoods: North Portland Neighborhood Services, University Park
Yucky – At first glance I thought this place was weirdly cool: they carry old clothing and some quirky vintage fabric that is hard to come by. But the inventory is composed almost entirely of stuff that has been sitting there since the 70s and 80s, fading and decomposing in the sun. I bought a leotard and some fabric. When I got home I discovered that the elastic on the ("new") leotard had turned to powder, making it unwearable.
The worst thing about this place though is that they constantly play conservative talk radio, and very loudly. I know this because although I do not like this fabric store, I do still go there on a semi-regular basis because it is two blocks from my house and when I am in a pinch for some eye hooks or a particular color of thread I don't have, I go in. I politely told the (only?) employee that the talk radio may be off-putting to potential customers, but she did not seem to care. So! If you want to listen to extremists yell in your ear while you pick through the mysterious inventory, be my guest.
Overpriced and dingy – Fabric World is a dark, dreary world that should only be entered while wearing a dust mask. Some of the fabric is even dirty, its been there so long. The owner seems to be a miserly old fool who can't be bothered to hire enough employees to keep her shop open during regular business hours and she treats her customers rudely. i wouldn't bother spending the gas it takes to get there. The prices are much too high for the products she sells and she offers no service or help figuring out how to complete projects.
Don't bother when there are so many lovely fabric shops with helpful employees all over Portland.
Good for small items – I drove past Fabric World for several years before I stopped and went in, I too was disappointed in the fabric. It's the only place in North Portland I can go get notions. It seems that all the really nice places are a 20 minute drive, so I use Fabric World for zippers and thread. I do find it funny that the last time I bought a zipper the $1.75 price had been crossed out and $1.95 was written on the package. That just goes to show you how long the stuff has been sitting in this store. Maybe next time I'm in there I will look at the fabric & "vintage" clothing.
Waste of Space. Too bad, so sad. – I live only a block away from Fabric World and was SO dissappointed when I finally went inside. Your local second-hand thrift store has ten times more personality and selection. The outside of the store is an acurate reflection of it's inside. The fabrics are outdated, it smells musty, they've got a thrift-store at one end and bolts of ancient fabrics on the other. It's such a shame that such a huge space in such a small neighborhood has so little to offer; especially a fabric store in the middle of a D.I.Y boom. Every time I drive by on my way across town to a real fabric store I wish someone would buy it and give it a huge makeover! Fabric World is like a dark and gloomy, fabric hoarder's basement. Someone needs to shed some light on that place. I'll be first in line on opening day.
worst fabric store in Portland – This is an interesting store.... but I think the first review was probably written by the owner. I laughed out loud when I read it and was compelled to respond.
Any regular quilter or seamstress would likely walk out without much. I've been sewing for twenty years and I go to A LOT of fabric stores. I'm confident in my ability to review them.
It's poorly lit, dingy, and the owner is surly and makes no effort to be pleasant. The employees do try, but ultimately, if you've ever been to other fabric stores, you are likely to be disappointed.
If you're into a thrift store look, they do have some vintage trims.
Yes, there are vintage fabrics, but they're not fabulous. Fabric World's selection is pretty lame, much more like rejects from a clearance bin (circa 1978) than first-run quality. It's almost like the store closed in the mid-seventies, and was boarded up for twenty five years only to re-open.
My shopping partner suspected that the store was a front, because the ancient merchandise indicated a lack of turnover more than an adventurous buyer. The owner can't be bothered with upkeep of her store. The sign is missing several letters and this is a pretty good indicator of what's going on inside.
Pretty much every other fabric store in Portland is better. Don't waste your time going to Fabric World.
Vintage clothing, Unique fabrics. Nothing else like it in Portland! – Fabric World is a quaint little store tucked away in North Portland on the corner of Lombard and Portsmouth. It has a small selection of miscellaneous brick-brack, and a larger collection of wonderful vintage clothing in mint condition. But the real treasure is the fabric. No where else in Portland can you find such a mix, from quilters cottons to upholstery fabrics to satins and laces-- they carry a little bit of everything. If you are looking for retro trims, Fabric World's are as authentic as they come: they've been in the store since they were in vogue! Best of all, the prices are pretty retro- most bolts are $7yd or less. They also have stacks and stacks of 45" wide cotton print flat-folds at $3yd-- hello, quilters! And for those of you bringing funky back, they have more faux furs than I have seen at any other fabric store in Portland, and most of them are in the $10-to-$15yd range, as compared to other fabric stores' $20-$50yd. Fabric World is a gem, a little slice of heaven dropped here on earth for those of us who are true to the faith and believe in the principle that "She who dies with the most fabric--- wins!"
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