Construct Some Aloha Back Home When You Start Missing Hawaii

I’ve had visitors who have demanded, once off the plane, that they be taken immediately to the nearest fabric store! And I have obeyed with great pleasure. I did the same when I came here, even though I’d given up sewing years ago. But that type of hobby stays with you, and now a days with crafts being such a hot activity, Hawaii can offer you some amazing additions to your repertoire of ideas and supplies. And, admit it, even you really aren’t into it, you know someone who is, and what an amazing gift it would be to take back some fabric ( fact: lies flat, easy to pack, not breakable, reasonably priced).

In fact, the last time I was in Honolulu’s largest and best known store, Fabric Mart, it was its usual busy self, with I suspect, well more than half the customers being tourists. I enjoyed watching them shop. Their eyes were quite big from the amazing visual overload you get when you walk in the door. Let me tell you, Hawaiian fabric is colorful! And the variety is extreme. If you can go, allow plenty of time. Trust me on this one.

Let me give a quick rundown on what’s available in the store. First would be the cotton/blends that are usually made into the standard Hawaiian aloha wear and hula costumes, party/graduation dresses, bags, etc. Tropical • floral upholstery fabrics are available in abundance, with patterns I’m sure you’ll never find on the mainland that would dress up a sunroom or beach house. I absolutely adore the flower patterned coated fabric they have (almost like the old oil cloth). It would be perfect for a table cloth or even water resistant bags or pillows. And then there is the amazing Asian imported silks and embroidery cloth. Unless you are from a large city, I don’t think you’ll find material like this at your local fabric store.

One last word on this. Honolulu’s Wal Mart also carries a (MUCH smaller) variety of Hawaiian fabric. I was told by the clerk there that while all mainland stores closed down their fabric departments, they remain open here because they are a top income producing section of the store. And there are other smaller, locally owned fabric stores around the island, that can be found on google maps that are also very interesting.

This type of shopping might not have been on your list of things to do, but I really believe it will be a fun and cultural adventure if you care to track down this store.


  1. This is such a great idea! When we first moved here, I looked all over the place to find some Hawaiian print fabric to use as a wall covering, and ended up at a Fabric Mart in Kaneohe.

  2. I stop in FM often, with no plans to buy anything.. I just like to took.  My girl friend from NC recently had me ship her a variety of hawaiian prints.  She make American Girl doll clothes and says they sell well when she uses this fabric. 

  3. The Fabric store is very well stocked and yes overwhelming.  You go in thinking you know what you want and then change your mind because of all the great selections!

  4. I LOVE FABRIC MARTS! hehehe… I have a Polynesian Dance Studio and part of my duties are to go out and search for the most prettiest fabrics out there =) I always find them at fabric stores and sometimes also the swap meet LOL 

  5. These make great gifts for those who love crafts. The roll last awhile, there is a wide selection, and you can't beat the price

  6. I was just back in Fabric Mart (in HNL) to buy fabric for a new hula skirt.  Thank goodness I actually knew exactly what I wanted when I went in there, or I  know it would have taken me forever to browse all those wonderful colors and patterns.   The store was full of tourists – again – just like the last time I was there.  and I was pleased that the Japanese ladies I was standing next to ended up liking my selection and bought it themselves. 
    Just be aware that the poly/cotton blend they carry, even though less expensive, is not nearly as soft as the 100% cotton.   So glad everyone who commented loves this store like I do!!

  7. I really wish I could sew.  I absolutely LOVE Hawaiian fabrics and always take some home to my family in Vermont when I go and visit.

  8. I’ve been searching high and low for manufacturing company’s that make local HI fabric. For some reason this has been impossible. I’m in the need of only local HI product and I cant even find out if “Hawaiian print” fabric is even made on the islands. Can you help?! I don’t want locally supplied I want locally made! Thanks!

Leave a Reply

Click for the BBB Business Review of this Travel Agencies & Bureaus in Honolulu HI
Travel Industry Logos