The number one question people ask me about the things I make is: where do you get your fabric? I’m happy to say that my primary source is a local chain of fabric stores with deep roots in Washington DC: G Street Fabrics.
With three sprawling stores in the DC area, G Street easily rivals the best stores in any major city with a garment district.
Founded in 1942 by the Greenzaid family, my favorite fabric emporium started out as a humble side business. Family patriarch David Greenzaid moved to Washington, DC from New York City during the Depression and sold bolt ends and various notions to the city’s tailors as a way to make ends meet. The business slowly grew, until a tiny storefront sprung up on 11th and G Streets, called simply enough: G Street Remnant Shop.
The original store closed briefly in the 1950s, but was reopened by David’s son Judah at 805 G Street. Many of the stores’ current customers still remember that storefront fondly. The original store was only 100 square feet, a far cry from the current 20,000 square foot flagship store in Rockville, Maryland. The Rockville store opened in 1983 when the DC location could no longer contain its massive collection. As the business continued to expand, second and third stores opened in Centerville, Virginia in 1994 and Falls Church, Virginia in 1999, easily matching the Rockville store’s size, as well as variety and quality of fabric and notions.
All three stores in the area now sell much more than just remnants and notions. Each store has several huge departments covering all the major fabric categories: quilting cotton, upholstery and home decorating, evening wear, denim, knits and other fashion fabrics, men’s suiting, and of course, bridal fabric.
And the abundance doesn’t stop there. G Street also has extensive collections of sewing patterns from both major and obscure pattern companies, a very well stocked sewing machine department featuring Bernina brand machines, and an absolutely huge notions department. Next time you need a button shaped like a bumble bee or tangerine ball fringe, there’s only one place to go!
The best part about G Street, aside from the incredible variety of fabric and sewing goodies, is their extremely knowledgeable and friendly staff. I shop regularly at all three stores, and employees never fail to ask me what I plan on making with the fabric, ribbon, or whatever I happen to be buying. Additionally, G Street maintains a very long and varied curriculum of sewing, quilting, and home decorating classes at all levels. Not only can you hire their experts to recover your couch for you, you can also take a class there to figure out how to do it yourself!
Judah Greenzaid and his sons still own all three stores, and “Mr. G,” as he is called, still works on sourcing fabric for the stores, and even staffs the cutting tables at the Rockville flagship. All three stores are open seven days a week, 10:00 am to 9:00 pm Mondays through Saturdays, and 11:00 am to 6:00 pm on Sundays. Visit the web site to view the class schedule and other events.