My Fabric Hunting Adventure

So, I ventured downtown towards the south side of Chicago to visit this fabric warehouse (Textile Discount Outlet) I had heard about online.  I am always looking for woven trims and fun details to add to the next “The Cottage Mama” clothing line, so I had been wanting to check this place out.  I wasn’t quite sure what to expect based on the reviews on read online, but I can say it was definitely an adventure.

There were three floors with tons and tons of fabric everywhere.  It seemed like each floor went on for miles.  The building was so old that I wasn’t quite sure if I was going to fall through the floor or if someone else was going to fall through from the floor above.  But I figured, it was worth the risk……for the love of fabric, right? 

There was barely any organization to it all, so it was definitely like searching for a needle in a haystack.   This was the place to come for someone searching for costume or home decor fabrics…….it was like a gold-mind for that kind of thing.  Not to mention that the prices were amazing!

There were ribbons, ribbons, ribbons galore.  I think I saw some on every single floor.  Every color, style or width you could have been looking for……it might have been under a pile of dust in the very dark and scary basement, but you could find it… was there….and lots of it!!

In the very creepy, super-dusty basement there were more zippers then I have ever seen in my life.  Metal ones, plastic ones and more in every single length imaginable.

My favorite room of all was the trimmings room.  If you have ever wanted to find home decor trimmings at super-affordable prices, this was the place.  I couldn’t believe all the different tassels they had available……..some for just $1.00.  There were spools and spools of ric-rac and lace……not as much woven trim as I had been looking for, but still fun to browse!

There were lots and lots of costume fabrics as well as plenty of different varieties of silks, chiffons, sequin fabric, leather and more.

So what did I buy, you are wondering?  Well, that’s a very good question……….
I bought NOTHING!!
Can you believe it?  Me, the fabric-a-holic, bought nothing!  I can’t believe it myself, but I felt so overwhelmed with all the choices and variety that I just couldn’t do anything.  
Do you ever get that way?  When there are too many choices it just overwhelms me.  So maybe when I’m really searching for something, I will end up going down there and buying some things.  But honestly, they didn’t have much for “The Cottage Mama” shop which was what I was sort of looking for, but I will be back for my next home decor project for sure!
Cottage Mama’s Note:  If you live in Chicago and want to check out the “Textile Discount Outlet”, here is their address:
Textile Discount Outlet
2121 W. 21st Street
Chicago, IL 60608

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  1. Ribbons and zippers. Oh my gosh. Do you think they have an equivalent in Dallas? I would be in so much trouble but thanks for sharing. I can live vicariously through your post, LOL.
    Deb in Tex

  2. WOW! That place was amazing!! It kinda reminded me of a shop that I went to in NYC….I agree so much that it was too overwhelming to purchase anything:)

  3. Fun! But it does look scary! We have a quilt shop here in New Hampshire, Keepsake Quilting that is an hour and a half from my house, I can’t tell you how many times I have been there and come home empty handed because I could not decide!! Hope you find your trims somewhere.

  4. I totally would have done the same thing, I get kind of a fabric stage fright when there are too many choices at once. We went to a similar store in Minneapolis and of course, I too, bought nothing. 🙂

  5. rhr-ozgrkdn says

    Oh my God!!!!!!

  6. I completely understand. In Toronto’s fashion district, much of the fabric is stored the same way. I usually feel overwhelmed and frustrated. I really enjoy the ease of online fabric shopping (and addict!), it’s so much easier – although there is the wait for that parcel in the mail.

  7. OH MY GOSH! I totally live close enough to take a drive there but with me being an overly organized person I am afraid that place might overwhelm me as well BUT, I sure would love to try. What were the prices like for all the stuff like zippers and trims and even fabrics?

  8. Oh my goodness! i think I would have done the same thing. And I even like to dig for stuff. I am writing this one down if I ever get to Chicago.

    Thanks for sharing!

  9. Oh my goodness! i think I would have done the same thing. And I even like to dig for stuff. I am writing this one down if I ever get to Chicago.

    Thanks for sharing!

  10. Holy smoker-ola’s I don’t blame you for buying zero items. I don’t know what to do with lace and satin and trim stuff. Makes me nervous! It’s probably like going to a flea market: better to have something in mind that you’re looking for than to absorb all the chaos. Good for you for going on this adventure!

  11. Just wanted to say I was inspired by your turkey shirts and tried them out for my twin girls. They turned out great!! Already thinking about how I can do something similar with a Christmas tree for Christmas! Thanks for the inspiration!
    Here is my link:

  12. Oh, my gosh, I get overwhelmed at Joanne’s, let alone a place like that! Maybe the thing to do next time is to go with a shopping list. At least you already know they’ll probably have anything you want!

  13. I just found your blog and I love it. Very inspiring. Newest follower.