Well, we went! Even though my budget was pitifully small and after 10 minutes my husband was bored, we made it. He found a cafe to sit and read in while I spent 3 hours perusing the 140+ booths at the Holland-Stoff Markt. I was really on sensory overload - so much to take in!!
I chatted to a couple of friendly German ladies while we waited in line at one booth and learned a few things: 1) the fabric markt comes 2-3x a year (Feb/March, May, and Sept/October) to Frankfurt. Sometimes the third time will be nixed in favor of a stop in Wiesbaden or Koblenz. This was important to learn because of fact #2.
Karstadt department stores "if you're lucky", but it's not likely. Plan on buying your fabric online unless you come to the fabric markt. (see their resource list at the bottom of this post)
Cotton print pricing:
40 Euros doesn't sound like a tiny budget until you see the prices of fabric here. 5 Euro/meter was a good deal at this market.
Tilda at 18.50/meter, which was just ridiculous! I didn't see any American designers or styles.
What other types of fabric were available?
I would say about 50% of the booths were selling heavy woolens, tweeds, herringbone patterns, etc. If you wanted to make your own coats, winter dress skirts/trousers, etc. this is a great place to visit. Many 'inspiration projects' were hanging from the booths. There were so many bolts of boiled wools!
I didn't watch their prices too much, I think they were mainly about 25-40 Euro/meter. There was one set of beautifully patterned boiled wool that was 69 Euros/meter! (see below)
I only saw this small display of oilcloth (waschtuch auf Deutsch). I thought it would be fun for some everyday placemats, but at 19.50/meter I wasn't prepared to take the leap!
There were many booths offering slippery printed rayon/polyesters which might be fun if you wanted to make your own tops. I'm not 'there' yet sewing-skill wise, and didn't really care for any of the designs. They were about the same prices as the cotton prints and were also the main fodder in the 2 Euro bins that could be occasionally spotted.
There were also a 3-4 booths with thread, scissors, cutting guides, sewing machines, and patterns. They were also jammed. I just can't imagine starting up this hobby had my mom not sent over a lot of basic start up things recently! Who would have thought sewing/fabric was such a niche market in Germany?!
Anybody and everybody was at this market. It wasn't just a bunch of grandmothers! I overhead people talking who said they sold online on DaWanda, were sewing for their daughter, wanted a new punk statement piece, needed new throw pillows, making a wedding dress, you name it! It was very intersting and very exhausting!
I purchased a few things for some Christmas presents I'm making - so sadly no pictures because the people who are getting them are also readers of this blog! But here are a few things I picked up for myself. I want to use the two fabrics in our kitchen to do something on the table - napkins, placemats, runner, etc. I have a few ideas for the pom-pom trim, but haven't made a decision yet. I'm looking forward to finally getting started on some projects now!
Resources for fabric in Germany:
Tipp Tapp Stoffe was present and selling the Tilda fabrics. Micha's Stoffecke and Kostenlose Schnittmuster were recommended by both German women. I wasn't impressed with any of the websites, especially the last 2. They're hard to navigate and look so primitive I tend not to trust them aside from their recommendations. They also said DaWanda and sometimes Etsy, would be great to find German sellers with cute fabric. The Holland-Stoffmarkt will continue again in the Frühjahr 2010, so early 2010. Keep checking their website for new schedules. I think now that I've seen a lot of this in person I'll feel confident to compare prices to German online sellers and make more online purchases. I'll defnitely come back to the Stoffmarkt-Holland when it comes again to Frankfurt.
Any other German fabric websites I should add?