Today I finally paid a visit to the new A.M.S Fabrics shop on Wallsend Highstreet. The old shop in Washington was a dingy warehouse in the same industrial estate as Dainty Supplies, this new shop is a vast improvement!
It is a much smaller space, but a clean, light and friendly one. With the new look comes a new name, Simply Fabrics. They do have a website, www.simplyfabrics.co.uk, but i’s down at the moment and not particularly useful when up.
I’m smitten with this place, it’s a true Aladdins Cave, stuffed full of interesting bits of trim and such as well as fabric. I’m also thrilled to have such an easily accessible fabric shop, this one is within walking distance of me, with a nearby metro station and just opposite a free car park.
Most of the stock out front is dressmaking, lots of pretty floaty things in synthetics. There are some useful cottons lurking in amongst them though, with voiles, georgettes, linings and the like. There’s a limited upholstery section with some interesting bits and pieces and some craft and novelty fabrics too. The prices are very good, upholstery fabrics come in at £7.50, voiles and light weight dressmaking £5, most other things around the same price. They do have some rarer bits in although you may have to ask, a lot of their stock is upstairs and not arranged for public access. The lady who runs things is lovely though, and happy to help. She tells me they have pure Irish linen, natural, in currently at £7.50 and some wool weaves for around the same price.
The haberdashery section is a little disorganised, but has all your basic supplies. They stock polyboning and metal zips, which is very handy. The huge button collection has come with them from Washington, with a good selection of metal and shell buttons at 10p each.
Open 10am-4pm Tues to Sat
If you’re visiting Wallsend Highstreet there’s a few other places worth popping into. Just a couple of doors up from Simply Fabrics is Posh Junk, a tiny house clearance shop stuffed full of… stuff. Really, it’s just stuff, piles and piles of stuff. I found a box labeled ‘clowns’ stuffed full of, you guessed it, terrifying china clowns. I’m sure there are stunning bits of cheap LRP tat to be found in here.
Wander back toward the shopping centre and you’ll pass half a dozen charity shops. Some are dire pits, some are quite nice with interesting stock. Dig in and find out.
Maple Textiles, opposite the Forum, might be worth a visit depending on what you’re making. It’s a curtain shop, they don’t sell by the meter fabrics, but it can be handy nevertheless. They mostly do nets and voiles, with some interesting lacy bits and such. They have some tassels and beaded things, most in tacky colours but some useful. Look here for upholstery foam too, although there’s a factory unit on Walker Road that’s a bit cheaper.
Have fun shopping!