As a bag maker and designer, fabric stores are my home away from home. Although I do a significant amount of shopping online, there’s nothing like being able to walk into a store and see and feel the fabrics yourself. Have questions about Boston fabric stores? I’ve got some answers for you!
Best fabric selection
When you walk down the stairs, you enter a warehouse-sized room that looks a lot like my idea of heaven. Fabric Place Basement has IT ALL! Seriously, nylon rainwear, denim, flannel fleece, quilting cotton, silk, vinyl, upholstery fabric, whole leather hides — they’ve got it! In addition to all the fabrics, they sell yarn, zippers, trim and ribbons, fabric hardware, buttons, fabric dye, and more.
Also, as the “basement” in the name implies, their prices are marked down. Peter, the owner, goes to New York to get deals and is always bringing back something new and interesting. One of my most recent steals? Japanese denim for $2.99/yard.
Secret tip: If you sign up for their newsletter, you get coupons that aren’t available on the website!
Best place to be inspired
Ohhh, the things you’ll dream of creating when you visit Gather Here! In addition to being a fabric and yarn shop, this spot is also a thriving sewing studio with maker spaces, sewing machines and sergers for all, expert-led workshops and classes, and loads of modern fabric you can touch and feel — plus all the tools you need to bring your plans to life. Gather Here also has many fun pattern kits for the days you need fresh inspiration.
Secret tip: Looking for Boston-area quilting services? Gather Here offers long-arm, edge-to-edge machine quilting services using their Bernina Q24 Q-Matic. No matter where you are in your quilting journey — brand new, simply short on time, or preferring piecing versus the quilting process, Gather Here can help.
Most luxurious selection
When I walk into Franklin Mill Store, I always stop and take a breath to soak in the atmosphere. It’s the perfect combination of modern and mill store. And while the vibe might have a hint of retro, the selection is all modern. They have fabrics from the hottest designers: Tula Pink, Alexander Henry, Kaffe Fassett, Michael Miller, etc. Additionally, they have high-end silk, wool, and a small selection of leather.
If you need a little help, the staff here is knowledgeable and helpful. If they don’t know the answer, they will find it for you. The back end of the store is all home dec fabric, and they have people who can help you with that, too.
Walking around the store is a delight of little finds — you’ll see a locally made item for sale, an example of what a pattern looks like made up, a prettily packaged remnant, and more. My latest finds here are beautiful red linen woven through with metallic gold threads and a metallic leather.
Secret tip: They offer a bunch of classes! From teaching your child to sew to learning how to make the new, trendy scarf, I’ve seen them offer a class for it!
Best discount fabric store
Sewfisicated is jam packed with fabulous deals — and this fabric store has three locations in the Boston area! It takes some poking around to find what you’re looking for, but if you find it, you can be sure it’s a good deal. This is a great store to shop at if you have some flexibility in your selection. For example, if you know you need some two-way stretch knit or some tulle and you’re open to the color, this is a great place to find a great price. And you can tell this is the real deal by all the professional sewists who are shopping here.
This is one of these places where you might have to step over a bolt of fabric to get to that back corner, but once you get there, you’re sure to find a delightful hidden bargain. When I was last there, they had a huge selection of Ankara (African waxed) fabric!
Secret tip: Their prices on Coats and Clark thread! This is the most basic type of thread. You usually find it priced around $3 at the big box store. At Sewfisticated it’s $1. You can bet I stock up!
Best home furnishing fabrics
With more than 50,000 fabrics, you can find pretty much everything here. Zimman’s has been a Boston fabric store legend for more than a century — it opened as a dry goods shop in 1909! — and it’s said to be the largest retail home furnishings fabric assortment in the country. To prevent shopping overwhelm, Zimman’s has its fabrics displayed by type, from velvets to cottons to linens, and then by color within those types. And bonus: Zimman’s manages to keep prices low by buying directly from the mills.
Secret tip: Zimman’s expert designers make this shop a true treasure. Whether you need guidance on fabric selection or want advice on the design of any room in your home, Zimman’s industry experts will measure, install, design, and deliver!
Most ubiquitous fabric store
You’ve undoubtedly seen a Joann fabric and craft store somewhere around Boston — there are hundreds of locations nationwide. Joann has a little bit of everything and is the perfect store if you need to pick up a little bit of fabric, some markers for your kid’s art project, and a little seasonal decoration all in one stop.
The things Joann sells that you won’t find at the other listed stores include baking and cake decorating supplies, wood decorating project supplies, and heat transfer vinyl. They’re a general craft store in addition to a fabric store.
Secret tip: You can sign up for coupons in three ways from Joann — email, their app, and snail mail. If there’s a “50% off one item” coupon available, you can use it once from each of these methods, effectively getting yourself three of these coupons. Bonus tip: You can order things online to be picked up in the store! This is a huge time saver if you don’t want to run around the store trailing a toddler who is gleefully grabbing everything she can. Ask me how I know.
This post was originally published in 2018 and has been updated for 2024.