In the last two years of moving to Germany I’ve done quite a bit of fabric shopping. It started with the necessity of needing new drapes and curtains for every room in the new apartment but certainly wasn’t limited to home sewing. The girls got quite a bit of new skirts and dresses as a result…I’ve turned the fabric shopping into a mission to visit every single fabric shop in the city which was really fun. I was positively surprised to find this many owner-operated shops in little ol’ Kiel! Unlike the US, there aren’t any big chain store type shops with huge discounts and monthly coupons but the variety and the quality of these smaller shops are really worth the price. The selection varies from shop to shop but throughout the city you will find that a touch of nautical style is ever present. Although your typical quilting cottons are very well represented, the selection of jerseys for especially kids & babies are taken up a larger portion of the shop’s selection. I personally love the huge selection of ribbons and trimmings that even the smallest shop offer. There are very few American designers in Kiel’s fabric shops. I wished they’d sell more of Anna Maria Horner’s & Amy Butler’s collections. American as well as British fabrics come in rather small width of 110 centimeters as opposed to the German and other European kinds that lay a generous 140 centimeters. Plus in Europe you’d purchase a meter of fabric instead of the American one yard… That’s a lot of fabric you are getting for your money and sort of makes up for not having coupons and huge sales. A meter of a good quality printed cotton fabric costs anywhere from €10 to €12 a meter. The jerseys are a little more and the organic jerseys costs the most at over €20 a meter.
Now, here’s where I go fabric shopping in Kiel:
First up is Polli Grün! A cozy shop in the heart of Kiel’s popular Holtenauer Straße. I am here a few times a month. It’s in perfect walking distance from where we live and is surrounded by other really fun shops as well. It’s so fun to browse this cute shop with the sweetest little sewing accessories as well.
A little further located but still in good walking distance is Stoff Atelier. A perfectly sized place, owner operated and with a touch of Scandinavian flair this place is the perfect mix of functional and beautiful. You never feel rushed here and always get expert consulting.
Kiel largest fabric shop with a generous play area for kids and a coffee bar for the adults is Fadenwerk. This owner-operated shop can seem a bit too much with it’s huge selection of pretty much everything from international designers to simple, solid colored cottons and an extensive selection of ribbons. It has the largest selection of sewing machines in town and possibly the best stocked quilting tools as well. It can be overwhelming at first to find your way through isles and isles of jerseys, cottons, prints, batiks, ribbons, cutting tools and books and magazines…
Close to Fadenwerk there is a rather traditional – meaning not very modern – Wolle & Hobby. This shop offers a good variety of basic fabrics and sewing supplies but is more of a craft store. Although the quality of the products are rather high the look of the store itself is pretty time-worn. This shop has a huge amount of yarn and wool, too.
Past this shop and closer to Kiel’s mall Sophienhof there is this shop called ‘Der Stoff Kiel’. Although this shop is lacking in presentation, the quality and the service is impeccable. They also offer expert classes and machines for sale (with demos)!
My absolute favorite way to shop for fabric in Kiel has got to be the Stoff Markt that takes place twice a year. It’s this outdoor fabric market with more than 50 international vendors of fabrics and notions. I look forward to this event so much and love shopping here with my dear fabric connoisseur friend Elke! Her taste and her company make this experience unique and very special for me.
P.S. One small shop I haven’t had a chance to visit is Stoff & Tüddel. Mainly because the opening hours are odd as well as the location is a little outside my favorite perimeters of this beautiful city. But I know I’ll make time to visit this place sooner than later…
So long fellow fabric lovers.