The Handmade Fair – Kirstie Allsopp’s pick of the week: Fabrics Galore

“The great joy in putting together an event like The Handmade Fair is the people I get to work with.  Everyone coming has a story to tell, something to teach, and we can all learn a thing or two.  I want to share as much about our experts and the people selling their wares so you too can get as excited about all of this as I am.”  Kirstie Allsopp

Fabrics Galore at the Handmade Fair

Fabrics Galore are situated in the West Shopping Village Tent on stand B127

We talked to Paul from Fabrics Galore about his inspirations, what he’s looking forward to most at The Handmade Fair!

What does a typical day at work look like for you?
Our working day revolves around customers – whether it is people coming into the shop or contacting us by telephone and email. After that the next priority is to make every fabric that comes in look as good as possible which involves folding, splitting, reboarding and pricing. Presentation is one of the most important factors in helping to inspire customers and give them ideas about how to use the fabric. We still have a fledging website so if there is any spare time we try and upload what we can – which any retailer who has a website knows is a very time consuming process. To give you an idea of the scale of the task involved – we had 300 different designs/colours of Tana Lawn in our last delivery from Liberty in August and have only managed to post 45.

Fabrics Galore 2

Who inspired you to start doing what you do?
My father still has a shop in Shipley called The Shuttle and my Grandfather used to export fabric all over the world so I’ve always been fascinated by fabric. I developed a keen interest about how fabric is made and where it’s come from as well as the process involved in getting it to the sharp end. If you ever get the chance you should and try and catch clips of how Batiks are manufactured in Indonesia and India – it is truly fascinating and helps you to appreciate the fabric all the more.

Whenever I get the chance I will take a walk along any High Street to look for inspiration from prints, fibres and displays being used by the big brands – I can get quite geeky about it all. Some of our best ideas can come from the most seemingly mundane situations – other times you have to look really hard to see or adapt the idea.

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What do you love most about working in the craft industry?
You have to really love what you do, otherwise people will find you out pretty quickly. I love running a shop that sells great fabric surrounded by a team that’s equally enthusiastic. I’m lucky that I have a crew that loves the same challenges as me and we’re constantly bouncing ideas off each other.

We sell fabrics for dressmaking, patchwork and soft furnishing whereas a lot of fabric shops will concentrate on just one of those areas – so there is always something new to inspire you. There is no question in my mind that there are common threads (excuse the pun) because a lot of customers will have a go at all of these things if they have the machine to do it.

Fabrics Galore

What are you looking forward to most about being at The Handmade Fair?
I’m looking forward to showing our fabrics to a new audience as I think the Fair will attract a very enthusiastic crowd who are prepared to be inspired and have a go at all sorts of things.

Tell us a little bit about what you’re doing at the Fair.
We’re going to try and take a taste of everything we do at the shop and the stand will be crammed full of inspirational displays. That will include fabric for dressmaking, patchwork and soft furnishing. We will be taking a selection of our very popular Liberty Art Fabrics as well some of the super quirky Alexander Henry prints form California. We will also have a range of Novelty print heavier weight fabrics for bag making as well as some basic patchwork fabrics to either start or finish any project.   


Find out more about Fabrics Galore by visiting

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