200 Jalan Sultan, Singapore 199018 (Lavender MRT is the nearest)
Textile Centre used to bustle with the clamour of ladies, serving an industry that has since diminished to a handful, but relatively large haberdashery and fabric stores mainly on the ground floor. A shade less popular than its former glory days, we still enjoy going there to get good bargains for sewing accessories and notions. They open at 9am in the morning but expect them to be promptly closed by 6pm.
These are our favourites:
Sing Mui Heng #01-27
For quilters, crafters, and sewers alike, they house all your sewing needs. These are a few of the items we often buy in higher quantities cos they will pack a good deal for you- buttons, pins, tailor roller-powder markers, thread cones, snips, zippers, interfacing, elastic, bar-hook closures and even measuring tapes. They even offer wholesale prices if you buy more (just ask them about the minimum quantity). It could be as little as a dozen, or as many as 144 pcs (1 gross) to hit the next discount tier.
Sing Mui Heng
How Yu Pte Ltd #01-11
If you love jazzing up your outfit with unique buttons, this is the place to scout for them! They have a very huge selection that fills the whole store! It is a great bonus that the store owners are welcoming and friendly (we have had our fair share of non-existent customer service) and they do sell other notions like zippers too!
Sin Hin Chuan Kee #01-08
Nestled at the back of the building, this is a place where you can very much rely on getting your hard-to-match coloured zippers, diamond appliques, bridal/ evening wear decorative accessories and lace. Little is to be said about the service, however at their main outlet, just a short 5 minute walk away, you can expect an even wider selection!
Sin Hin Chuan Kee 796/ 798 North Bridge Road
Supplying to fashion schools in Singapore, they carry a wide variety of tailor tools, scissors and fancy notions. Loads of materials for costumes including fancy lace, ribbons and shiny notions. However the best part is you can print your own brand labels there! (Lovingly referred to as the YKK shop – you can see the block letters outside the shop from along the road)
Sin Heng Chuan Kee
From Textile Center, continue on your sourcing journey by heading in the South-West direction, cutting past Malay Heritage Center & Sultan Mosque, or just walk along Victoria Street, and you will reach your next fabric enclave!
(Bugis MRT is the nearest & bring an umbrella with you)
This place is chock full of luxurious fabrics like Prada Lace, 3D Lace, Silk Satin, and also Dupioni Silk. Interspersed by Persian carpet stalls, buyers should take their time to scout for their desired lace as you can expect to spend anywhere between $25/yard to $250/yard. Ultimately if you’re buying fabric like that, price may become secondary to appearance, as the selections are fairly huge, don’t rush into it if you don’t need to! You can bargain too!
The laces are often between 40”- 50” in width. Some have symmetrical, two-way designs, however we noticed that many of them differ from one edge to the other, therefore, do take note when you are laying your patterns and also make sure you have enough to join them on the sides. Do calculate your yardages carefully before buying, especially since each yard isn’t cheap. Also you have the stretch and non-stretch versions, so make sure you buy the correct one for your usage. The best thing about laces is you can trim them according to the parts you need to use without worrying about them fraying!
In general, the more appliqués or embellishment on the lace, the more costly they are- with the exception of some cotton laces which some of them term as “Prada Lace”. Shops generally open at 9am and close by about 7pm, some are not open on Sundays too, so try to stick to Saturdays if you can.
Let’s start from the luxurious to the more commonplace fabrics, and then to accessories:
Warna Fabrics #108
Fabrics in the area are often laid out on the mannequins to mimic the effect of the Baju Kurung. A bright underlay with a contrasting outer lace fabric is the norm of this display method to bring out the multitude of possibilities that lie with each fabric. Colorful vibrant displays of laces line the shop.
Dira Fabrics #77
Where each lace is down to each individual’s taste, the friendly owners will lay the lace out so you can see the layers in detail on the tables. Make sure you do that beforehand as it may be hard to look at the lace from a roll of see-through laces.
Aziza Silk House #79
Where some specialize in laces, they specialize in a variety of good shiny, quality printed and solid silks. Just take note that silks do need to be lightly handwashed and not thrown into the washing machine!
Aziza Silk House
Royal Fabrics #94
With 2 stores along the street, Royal Fabrics do house a great selection of luxurious fabrics, and even have an overspill of them on the 2nd floor. In fact many of the shops have a second floor selection. For bridal or eveningwear, you will find an exquisite selection just waiting for you to pick them up.
Suria Fabrics #85
This store has a nice selection of laces as we loved some of their displays! The bright dual-layer contrasts and the multi-colored selections do let you see that these fabrics can look very modern too!
Gim Joo Textile Company #90
Many fashion students and designers often patronize this store as they house a very big variety of commonly used fabrics and regularly stock new fabrics too. From digitally printed fabrics, to neoprene, lycra jerseys, cottons, many varieties of satins and lightweight prints, this store is worth a visit everytime you go to Arab St. Prices are known to be really reasonable too!
Gim Joo Textile Co.
Aik Bee Textile Company #69
This store has been around for many years, hence the decor remains as is. Quality is something you can get here as it houses a steady stock of shirting fabrics and prints. The rest is up to your creative imagination!
Aik Bee Textile Co.
Teng Joo #102
One of the very few fabric stores that don’t actually specialize in luxurious fabrics. They retail a diverse range of fabrics including netting, cotton, and other more inexpensive fabrics. A combination of fancy and plain fabrics, you will find more fabrics used in everydaywear inside the shop.
C. Rashiwala Bros. #100
To complement your beautiful fabrics, you can adorn them with beautiful trims too! Here at Rashiwala Bros, you will see panels of precious beads, sequins and laces, and what we love about this shop is that they are very organized. You will find a few sections that display the embellishments in glass panes (refer to middle bottom of the photo) so you can easily flip through and browse a myriad of them at one go.
C. Rashiwala Bros.
Digvijay Sequins #89
Need chains for your Chanel jacket? Or diamond appliques for your evening gown? This store has a wide array of beading, pearls, and colourful laces to beautify your garment and ‘up’ it’s aesthetic value.
Ahhh… and end your sourcing trip with a nice teh-ping (iced milk tea) at the nearest food stall you see!