Fabric of Paris

Do you like to sew? Do you like to look at and feel beautiful fabrics? If so, when you are done visiting Sacre Coeur, go to the bottom of the hill. You will find yourself at the Marche Saint Pierre, a treasure trove of every type of fabric imaginable. All Parisians, and for that matter all French, whether they are interior designers, costume makers, fashion designers, brides-to-be, etc., come to the Marche Saint Pierre for inspiration and purchases. There are hundreds of little shops; most specializing in one or more type of textile – upholstery, drapes and curtains, organza and colorful

Three of my favorites are first, Deballages Dreyfus, an enormous blue building at 2, rue Charles Nodier, Paris 18 (Tel: 01 46 06 92 25), Metro: Anvers (Line 2) www.marchesaintpierre.com. With 2500 m2, spread over six floors, Dreyfus may well be the largest fabric store in the world. With its parquet floors, wooden counters, cashiers’ booths, salespeople with their yardsticks and scissors expertly measuring and cutting fabric, you feel that time has stood still there. There is something a bit disorganized in the way the fabrics are presented; (the word deballage conjures up the idea of a jumble) but this is apparently done intentionally, to give you the feeling that you’re in an old-fashioned market. And, you really can find anything here, fabric ranging from just a few Euros per meter to designer collections. This is usually the first stop for anyone looking to buy fabric. And if you are looking for unusual and inexpensive gifts you’ll find all sorts of embroidered linen articles -pillow covers, laundry bags, napkins, etc.

Next, there is Tissus Reine at 3-5 Place Saint Pierre, Paris 18 (Tel: 01 46 06 02 31) www.tissus-reine.com. where the selection is more organized, less frenetic and with a more up-market feel. I love the way the fabric is presented here, with miniature renderings of outfits in the particular fabric. Metro: Anvers (Line 2).

A third store with a large selection is Tissus Moline, 1 Place Saint Pierre, Paris 18 (Tel: 01 46 06 14 66) www.tissus-moline.com. Metro: Anvers (Line 2).

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