About a year ago I wrote about the yarn shops I visited when my husband and I were in Paris. Since that time, I have heard about several other shops. I tried to visit them while I was recently in Paris, so now I am writing to update the list. I also decided to add a little about the fabric district.
Paris has a wealth of yarn shops. Most of them tend to be small compared to the shops we are used to in the states, but they include a great selection in their small spaces. I can rarely walk out of a Paris yarn shop without purchasing something. Now that I’ve returned from my trip, I need to do some power knitting to catch up.
La Mercerie Parisienne is a cute little shop in the Marais district. It is located in a small quiet courtyard off the street, Francs Bourgeois. The shop has the feel of a French boutique, specializing in supplies to make children’s clothing and wedding apparel.
La Mercerie Parisienne carries a large variety of merchandise considering the size of the shop. They have yarn by Fonty, Plasard and DMC (French yarns) plus some imports. The shop has fabric, notions, and patterns for knitting and sewing. Samples of finished products are on display around the store.
Le Tricoteurs Volants (website is in French) is located just a block or two from the Gare de l’Est metro station. Like many of Paris’ yarn shops, it is small. The owner, Enrico, is friendly and helpful. I could tell from his comments how passionate he is about the yarn he sells. Enrico is a designer – he does custom knitting but also offers knitting classes for those who want to learn to knit.
Le Tricoteurs Volants carries Cheval Blanc, Bergere and Plassard from France in addition to yarn imported from other European countries. The shop also carries beautiful handspun yarn from local spinners. It offers buttons, ribbons and other haberdashery items to enhance your projects.
Le Petit Points Parisiens is located near the Abysses metro stop in Montmartre. The owner, Anne, carries a variety of French and imported yarns, in addition to yarn she has dyed herself. She also has a fabric section which features fabric from Liberty and France Duval Stalla plus some French linen.
What I found most special about Le Petit Points Parisiens, however, is that Anne hosts a gathering of knitters on Thursday evenings. As American knitters, we were invited to join what she referred to as a picnic – we would call it a pot luck event. Everyone brought food to share – we had picked up a few items at the local market – and Anne provided plates and glasses. Presumably flea market finds like the tables and chairs, the dishes seemed to make the food taste better. We met five or six French knitters who welcomed us into their circle for a wonderful evening.
Finally, fil’Odette is a shop in the 20th arrondissement – near the Père Lachaise cemetery. (The website is only in French and some of it is outdated). The shop carries the French yarns, Bergere and Fonty, plus imports from other, mostly European, countries. Many of the yarns are unique or specialty yarns – ones I found especially intriguing. The shop was larger than some of the others; it seems the adjoining property was recently purchased to enlarge the store. Like other Parisian stores, there are numerous finished samples on display.
There are still more yarn shops in Paris that I haven’t been able to visit yet. Looks like I’ll have to plan another trip.
Before I became a knitter, I focused my creative energies on sewing and quilting. I still have a hard time resisting beautiful fabric. In Paris, I used to shop at Le Rouvray, but it has closed its doors. Some of the yarn shops (Le Petit Points Parisien, Le Mercerie Parisienne, and Lil Weasel) carry a small selection of fabric and notions, but for the widest selection, the fabric district in the 18th arrondissement is the place to go.
The fabric district started with two main stores – Dreyfus Marché Saint-Pierre and Tissus Reine – and has expanded to cover an entire area. Nearly every shop along sections of Rue d’Orsel, Place Saint-Pierre and Rue Charles Nodier carries fabric, notions or both.
Dreyfus Marché Saint-Pierre is a five story building that sells fabric and home goods. The first floor has quilting fabric, dress fabric and other general fabric. The second floor has towels, table linens and towel fabric. The upper floors include fabric for curtains, drapes and upholstery. People come from all over the world to purchase the upholstery fabric here.
Tissus Reine focuses more on quilting and dressmaking, with its second floor dedicated to patterns and notions. The first floor has the fabrics – dress goods and the largest selection of Liberty of London fabrics outside of their home in London. I was very tempted by the fabric but decided to wait until my next trip to Paris. (sigh…)
I popped into a couple other shops to drool over the elegant dress fabric “coupons.” We think of a coupon as a paper that gives a discount – in Paris a coupon is a precut piece of fabric, ranging from one to three meters long for a set price. Don’t be confused. If you are looking for fabric for a “red carpet” look or a “mother of the bride” dress, you will find it here. Lace and sequins adorn fabrics of all colors.
There are also a couple of notions shops in the area. Especially impressive is the Mercerie Saint-Pierre. It carries every kind of ribbon imaginable, thousands of buttons, plus purse handles, buckles, and drapery hardware.
One Other Fabric Shop
Inside the Galeries Lafayette, is a selection of Frou Frou fabric and notions. This quintessentially French fabric company sells yard goods, prepackaged fabric cuts, bias trims, ribbon and buttons that coordinate with each other. There are a handful of patterns available to make the best use of their products, but you can also create your own ideas. An internet search shows that Clothworks will now be carrying Frou Frou in the states.
I am looking forward to my next trip to Paris to see what else I can find. I know there are still a couple shops on my list that I haven’t made it to. Of course, I will report back when I visit them. In the mean time – keep knitting and keep sewing. Enjoy!