Manchester's rich heritage of textile industry nicknamed it 'Cottonopolis' so what better place to get crafting than this wonderful city? Whether it’s sewing, knitting, making jewellery, screen printing or anything else which takes your creative fancy you can find everything you need in our top listed crafting hotspots.
An Aladdin’s cave is probably the best way to describe Leon’s. From their humble beginnings trading on markets this 80-year-old family-run business is the best for bargains in Manchester and there is nothing they don’t know about fabric. It’s a great place to go if you’re starting out on sewing or crafting adventures as they can advise you on suitable fabrics for any projects. Warning: you’ll be hard pushed to not walk out with an armful of fantastic fabric you never knew you needed.
419 Barlow Moor Road, Chorlton.
Fred's is your one-stop all craft shop. If you’re new to crafting and you need the tools of the trade or if there’s a craft you’d like to try but don’t know where to start then Fred's is your answer. They can not only provide you with the resources (books, supplies, tools) the staff there really know their stuff and, as a bonus, Manchester's Ministry of Craft are based in their basement classrooms, offering classes on a multitude of crafts suitable for the first timer and those more experienced alike.
37 Lever Street, Northern Quarter.
It’s hard not to know about Abakhan if you're from Manchester. It has long been the answer to Mancunians' sewing problems and with many it has grown as they have - from the place to buy their fluorescent fake fur for their fluffy boots in Manchester's past raving days to the spot to get spare work shirt buttons. It’s so much more than that though; the top floor boasts trimmings aplenty and a magnificent sewing pattern catalogue while downstairs you’ll find fabrics by the kilo as well as the a room devoted to wool of all types. Their competitive prices are nothing to be sniffed at either.
111-115 Oldham Street, Northern Quarter.
A not-for-profit co-operative, Stitched Up are your answer to crafting sustainably in Manchester as all of their materials are reclaimed. They run fantastic events such as their monthly Crafternoon sessions – an opportunity for you to meet like-minded individuals and take your own projects along for a cup of tea and a chat, and Fix It Friday – an afternoon drop-in session where you can get help fixing an item which has been too tricky for you to tackle. Stitched Up offer sewing machine hire which is great if you’d like to get to grips with a sewing machine before splashing your cash. Look out for their yard sales where you can buy fabric for £1 a metre.
517 Wilbraham Road, Chorlton.
A must visit for anyone devoted to hand knitting and needlecraft in Manchester. They stock an extensive range of British wools if you’re looking to support the UK wool industry, and while you may not find any bargain basement prices you will find exceptional quality yarn, needles and hooks. The freebie you will find in this shop is the extensive knowledge of the staff who are more than happy to answer any questions you may have and advise on the best products for your project.
714 Wilmslow Road, Didsbury.
Looking to improve your skills? Check out these Manchester sewing workshops.