As I am about to leave London for a few months’ break, travelling to Australia, I am trying to catch up with a few subjects I wanted to share on this blog. So here is a slightly different topic for my post today: not about food, but still related to food photography. When I am styling a photo, I often use props and linens. I have always been a bit crafty and over year ago I started to learn a bit more seriously how to sew to be able to make small things for my home and now more an more napkins or tablecloths for my food photography. I start having a bit of a collection now!
Then again, some of my friends visiting London in the recent months wanted some addresses to find nice fabrics (mainly Liberty fabric). So as much as I shop online to get great prices, I still love going to small shops where you often find something exclusive and vintage. Plus nothing replaces the experience of touching fabric before choosing it for a project even for a napkin! So here is the list of my favourite fabric and props shops in London:
The Cloth Shop (Notting Hill)
This shop is not only has a great selection of linens and fabrics from around the worls but sells vintage products such as tea towels, mason jars, stone plates, cheese boards, etc. Each time I go there, I always find something (when I should not…). I have still some linen piling in my cupboard (I should say my box now since I will be travelling soon) to make a summer tablecloth. As much as the shop is cosy, the family who runs the business is really friendly, very knowledgeable and helpful.
This department store is really beautiful but quite expensive. I would only go to buy fabric during the sales as their 1-meter and 3-meter remnants are really good value (compared the regular price) and if you go often during that period, the stock turns over fast and you get chances to get different patterns.
A bit out of town but worth it to buy Liberty fabrics as they are cheaper there than in the main department store (not worthwhile if you are just looking at buying 1 meter though). They have an amazing selection plus lots of other fabrics. The service is ok but not super friendly. I guess you can get away with it if you know what you want.
Ray Stich (Islington)
A nice little shop with a great selection of fabrics and all accessories for sewing. They have beautiful linens. If you want to save you the hassle of cutting the fabric, you can also order online fat quarters bundles.
West elm (Fitzrovia)
A very big shop dedicated to homewares with a nice section for the kitchen. I wanted to buy one of their wooden chopping boards, but once in store, I realised it was far too big! They do have beautiful products. My cousin once bought me some lovely placemats and a cute ustensils holders. On the same street you will find Habitat which also has a good selection of kitchen props.
Sunbury antique market (Kempton Park race course)
Outside central London, this market takes place twice a month every Tuesday. It is definitely worth the journey as there are so many traders. It stretches along the race course for a good part of it. You can find all the props you can dream of, from vintage linens to kitchen ustensils…but you could totally redecorate your home! I was there only once but got back with so many beautiful things. That day, the weather was lovely, so it was a nice to spend time outdoor.
Goldhawk Road (Shepherds Bush) is also a great spot for finding cheap fabric. The street is full of different shops with very attractive prices. However be careful about the quality if this is what you are after. I had found lots of info on this blog.
Last but not least, I have started to design a small collection of fabrics that can be used for home linens. Have a look on my online Spoonflower shop here. I will be making a few projects around the table to use them in my next food photos.
Have a nice weekend (coming soon!)
Props featured on the picture: wooden spoon by Grain & Knot / pebble risotto bowl by Daylesford / the vintage tea towel with initials belonged to my late grandmother / vintage tea towel (blue line) found at Sunbury antique market and white lace napkin found in a charity shop in Pimlico / red gingham napkin sewn by me, fabric bought in France at Les Coupons de Saint Pierre in Paris / white, blue and red linens still to be sewn…