Shopping for Island Fabric in Hawaii

Hawaii Aloha Travel > Blog > Shopping for Island Fabric in Hawaii

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.


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