Like many sewers I seem to aquire fabric at a faster rate than I produce new garments. While Brussels might not be the best city in the world for fabric shopping there are some great places, you just have to hunt a bit to find them. So here are some of my favourite places in Brussels to add to my ever-expanding pile of textiles.
First up are Les Petits Riens and the fleamarket in Place du Jeu de Balle (pictured above): by far the two best places to get original fabric in Brussels. What is great about them is that if you plan to go there and are looking for something amazing you probably won’t find it, but when you just happen to pop by you’ll happen upon something wonderful!
Les Petits Riens
Several branches in Brussels but the biggest shop is:
Rue Américaine 101
Les Petits Riens is a Belgian charity that collects unwanted clothes, bric-a-brac, and furniture to make money for social projects that are trying to fight poverty and social exclusion. The shops are staffed by people who have been excluded from the job market for various reasons and working in Les Petits Riens is an opportunity to gain skills and experience. It really is an amazing place. You can find everything here! The clothing section at the Rue Américaine shop is split into a sort of ‘unsorted’ part and a side shop called ‘Retro Paradise’. The unsorted part is the real treasure trove for fabric. Get there early as there is often a hardcore contingent of rummagers waiting for the doors to open at midday!
Monday to Saturday from 12h to 17h30
La place du Jeu de Balle/Vossenplein
Marolles, 1000 Bruxelles
A lovely market that you can go to again and again and always find something surprising! I think the goods that find themselves here are mostly from house clearances. Most days there are plenty of clothes.
There are also lots of nice cafés and restaurants around the market for a post-rummage coffee.
Every day from very early to about 13h (weekdays) and 14h30 (weekends)
And the rest of my favourite places for sewing goods in the city:
Various branches around the city
I love Veritas! I hate to think how much money I’ve spent there! It is a shop that mostly stocks accessories (bags, hairbands, and tights etc.) and you could be forgiven for not noticing the amazing haberdashery section in the back. Not so great for fabric but for everything else you could possibly need it is brilliant!
Weekday and Saturday
Maison des Tissus
Chaussée d’Ixelles 117
Lovely staff and a really great selection of fabrics. Great for walking around and hunting for inspiration!
Open from 10h00 to 18h30 (Fridays 14h30 to 18h30)
Les Tissues du Chien Vert (Le Chien Vert, Les Puces du Chien and Le Chien du Chien)
Rue du chien vert, 2
These two shops are in one of my favourite parts of the city: beside the canal. Le Chien Vert is the main shop and Le Chien du Chien a couple of doors down stocks mainly furniture textiles. Regardless of whether you find anything you like it is worth heading here to marvel at the shop interiors alone, particularly in Le Chien du Chien as it is all done out like a boat!
Les Puces du Chien is the reduced section in the back of Le Chien Vert and it is probably this part that will most interest dressmakers.
I really like their selection and it is here I always stock up on Calico Toile. It can err on the expensive side though so the best time to go is during the Belgian sale periods (July and January).
Open Monday to Saturday from 10h to 18h00
Gare du midi market
Gare du midi
I recently bought some lovely lawn cotton here for about 5 euro a metre from one particular stand. There are loads of fabric sellers so it is good for rummaging although the quality of some fabrics might match the cheap prices. Good place for stocking up on lining.
Every Sunday morning
Chaussée de Waterloo, 99
Very reasonably priced place and they also stock some cheap invisible zips.
Weekdays and Saturdays