Places to buy fabric – The Rag Market

We’re often asked where we buy our fabrics. Of course there are loads of options on the internet, but there’s no substitution for feeling the fabric before you buy! One of our favourite haunts is the Rag Market in Birmingham. Now it’s not glamorous, but there are interesting fabrics and bargains to be found.

Photo from the Rag Market website.

In the markets area, located adjacent to the Bull Ring, there are three places to find fabric, The Rag Market itself, stalls on the outdoor market and a few more stalls in the indoor market next door.

Here’s my latest haul from a visit to the market. These are dressmaking fabrics that I’ll use to make clothes for me and Amelie. I confess to being a bargain hunter and try not to pay more than £3 a metre.

If you’ve not been to the market before you might think at first glance that there’s nothing suitable, but take time to look through the bolts and you will find some lovely treasures. Of course the fabrics aren’t arranged in any particular order and you’ll find lace next to linen next to pleather! Hone your eye and focus on the fabrics that you know you love to use.

The Rag Market is open Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays and Saturdays, while the outdoor market is open Tuesday to Saturday. If you go often, you’ll get to know which stallholders are there on which days, but we tend to just go with an open mind and take pot luck on what we’ll find. You will usually find loads of dress fabrics, cottons that are a good weight for home sewing and quilting, interior fabrics and lots of haberdashery. When we went this week there was a stall with Liberty prints and inside the Rag Market a stall with loads of Rose & Hubble prints if that’s what you’re into.

When I’m at home I always need just the right button, when I’m faced with oodles of choice I’m never sure what to buy!

What’s nearby?

Well if you haven’t filled your bags with fabric from the markets, there are other options within very easy walking distance. Cross the road and you’ll see the Fancy Silk Store, walk a little further and you’ll find Barry’s Fabrics. Both are stacked floor to ceiling with a huge selection of fabrics. Not the bargain prices you’ll have found on the market of course, but if you’re looking for something specific they are both worth a look.

All this fabric hunting is sure to make you hungry, there are loads of restaurants in the Bull Ring area and if you’re not shopped out, loads of stores to wander around too.

If you go fabric shopping, show us what you buy! DMTV viewers can post on the forum, but if you prefer Instagram just tag your post #designmatterstv and we’ll find it.

Now, I better go and wash that fabric haul and decide what I’m going to sew!

Love Laura