Japanese Fabric Finds: Nikko Jusco and Momenya Makino

Momenya Makino (Shimokitazawa, Tokyo) – Really, you should just go there because Shimokitazawa is such a great neighborhood. There are a ton of little boutiques and shops to explore even if you don’t like fabric shopping.

Plus, the ladies who work at Momenya Makino are the nicest out of all of the places I visited. They were really great at helping me look for alternative colors and patterns. I guess they have to be nice just because the shop is absolutely crammed with fabric. The aisles are just wide enough for a medium sized dog to walk down. Any bit of free space is obliterated with tall stacks of bolts of fabric. Still, I found some rare colors of my favorite fabrics and got some great recommendations from the staff.

Jusco (Nikko City, formerly Imaichi City) – Jusco is essentially a Japanese Wal-Mart. They are in almost every town and carry a variety of products from food, to clothes, to toys, to liquor. Most of them have a small craft section and if you’re lucky they’ll offer fabric by the yard. This last trip had some good cotton-linen blends, but a year or two earlier there were some even better prints. Still, there was a lot on sale.

ABC crafts (Osaka, Tennoji) – This store is a lot more crowded than what I remembered. This is another store better suited for quilters and crafters rather than dressmakers. There is a good selection of small fabric pieces, though there are a fair number of cotton fabrics that can be bought off of the bolt. I’m also a huge fan of their remnant bin; I just kept reaching in an pulling out gem after gem. They also have a variety of vinyled fabrics pre-cut into 50 cm pieces. This is especially appreciated because this store is very popular and carrying bolts of vinyl through narrow, old lady-filled spaces increases the likelihood of an international incident.

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