for Textile Traders in Morley. I was in search of a bunch of odds and sods (batting, embroidery thread, potentially cushion inserts and some dress fabric) for which I was going to have to go to Spotlight Freo for. I couldn't work up the energy for a forty minute train trip and the chaos that Spotlight inevitably is. Scouring the Yellow Pages I worked out that Textile Traders Morley was the closest place to me likely to have anything I might need, and that while I remembered it being not so hot (I ducked in one night to look at quilting cottons) it was worth a try.
Oh. Dear. Lord. It is like, ten minutes drive away (next closest fabric store is at least twice that). It has an okay range of quilting cottons (some Michael Miller, some other okay stuff). But the biggest difference is such a subtle one - it looks like their fabric buyer might have a vague idea of what is fashionable in ready to wear. Shopping at Spotlight means that I have a lot of clothes made of seersucker ticking and gingham because at least they're retro, not fug. At TT today I picked up some stunning wheat coloured dull metallic synthetic on clearance for $2 a metre. I'm going back for their somehow kind of shiny/ metallic-in-a-good-way baby cord ($3.50). Their satin prints were CUTE! Try a pink, grey, black and white print of 1930s fashion plates. Also some pink and black print of lingerie which I didn't love, but was certainly fine. So nice to see satins that aren't all aimed at children. Made me want to buy a PJ pattern (something I really must get on to). Their canvases and cotton dressmaking prints. Also attractive! Christmas fabrics? Actually some that I liked! And nothing over $10 a metre! In particular, their buyer has a similar taste in florals to me. Florals can so easily be unfashionable, but from chiffon to mid-weight cotton to canvas the florals were nice. Retro or Marimekko-ish, usually.
Their pattern range was a little limited, but I buy my patterns online anyway. The store certainly wasn't as large as Spotlight, but frankly, there was more there that I'd want to buy at a similar/ slightly lower price point to Spotlight.
What's more: the staff are friendly and enthusiastic (cf: Spotlight drones*). They all oohed and aahed over my Kokka fabric and made me write down the website. The airconditioning actually works (cf: Spotlight). While it was busy enough to reassure me that they won't close down soon I didn't have to take a ticket to get served (cf: Spotlight). Actually asked me if I wanted to put my purchases in my calico bag which I'd forgotton to give to them, rather than automatically stuffing them in plastic (a sign of people of high ethical calibre indeed).
And they had everything I needed.
* Not that I blame the Spotlight drones. If I was on their wages, in their conditions, cutting fabric for women with whining children all day I'd be surly too.