Promenade Fine Fabrics The Best Fabric Shop in New Orleans, Louisiana

Promenade Fine Fabrics. In this blog post, Sewing for My Sanity travels to New Orleans, Louisana, to find fabric. 

I had this thing to do in New Orleans, Louisiana, so I took advantage of the opportunity to find the best fabric shops. It should be no surprise to my readers that I always look for the best fabrics and fabric stores by car, plane, or train. 

New Orleans is the home of so many fantastic things – excellent seafood, music, and shopping.  This city can excite any one of your five senses in a heartbeat.  I had the pleasure of visiting New Orleans for a Summitt, and like always I stole a few moments to take in the textiles in the local area and Promenade Fine Fabrics specifically.

Unlike my Atlanta journey, I would not have my established fabric shopping route. My time would be crunched between plenary sessions and mixed drinks that I’d already paid for with my registration. Nonetheless, there wasn’t a trip scheduled to New Orleans in the next 12 months, so I needed to make the best of my time.  

To top it off, I did my share of internet research and had a narrow time window in which these fabric stores were open.  Challenge accepted!

Below is the map I created without any foreknowledge of the area.

A friend of mine specifically mentioned a place called Promenade Fine Fabrics. I’m unsure how she knew about this place, except she’s a little crafty like me. I added it to my list.  Based on a very narrow time window, I knew I could only visit two or three stores and return to the hotel for other planned activities.

Chateau Sew and Sew

Are you a quilter?  Do you like unique fabrics? Then Chateau Sew & Sew is the place for you.  I do not quilt, but I would have been in a mini heaven if I did.  This shop also had New Orleans and Mardi Gras fabrics unique to this area of the United States.  There are lots of kids’ clothes sewing patterns and craft projects. This is not the spot for garment fabrics. 

Back Room Fabrics

Home decor haven is what we are looking at.  Wall-to-wall fabrics for the home are here.  The shop is small but jammed-packed with goodness.  Again, I do not sew many home decor projects, so I waltzed in and right out.   The shop owners/clerks weren’t overly friendly and didn’t immediately greet me or my husband.  I didn’t buy anything here, not because the fabrics were not out of this world fantastic but because you have 1) to know precisely what you are looking for, 2) home dec fabrics are heavy and difficult to get home in a suitcase 3) I didn’t have any home dec projects on my sewing table, and 4) even if I had a project, I’d need at least 4-5 yards at 30-40 dollars per yard.  I passed this time, but maybe next time.

Promenade Fine Fabrics

store front of Promenade fine fabrics

This is the NOLA fabric jewel. Nettled on an unsuspecting block on St. Charles Street lies Promenade Fine Fabrics.  Wall-to-wall fabrics are from everywhere you could think of.  When I say everywhere, I mean everywhere around the world. I touched fabrics from Italy, France, and Africa.  There were denim, seersucker, silks, chiffons, cotton, tricot, knits, laces,  and more.  As you make your way to the rear of the store, there is one surprise after another, but the best of these is the button wall. Yes, you can re-read that. 

The button wall at Promenade Fine Fabrics is nothing short of amazing and is a two-side free standing multi-drawered organized wall approximately 6ft by 12 ft plus.  I was mesmerized. I stared in amazement, trying to rack my brain of all the unfinished and upcoming projects on my table back home.  And these weren’t just any buttons; these were high-quality, unique buttons that every sewist wished she had for her projects.  The next Promenade Fine Fabric shop wonder was the ribbon.  Promenade houses one of the world’s most cohesive and unique collections from France, Italy, Germany, and the Czech Republic.

The Heart of Promenade Fine Fabrics

Now,  let’s talk about the backbone of the business.   It’s a family business started in 1968. It’s an upscale mom-and-pop family business run by the Halperns.  Mr.  Herbert Halpern, his wife, and their sons are the force behind the store.  Herbert, as he is affectionately called,  is still working there. As I peruse the Promenade Fine Fabrics, I get ear tickles – “ Hey Herbert”.  They know him and his wife. There is an established thread of relationships that I have not seen at many sewing establishments.  Amazing.  I may never meet him again, but I feel honored that he cut fabric for me during my journey.

button wall at Promenade Fine fabrics

As I start touching fabrics, Mrs. Halpern approaches me and asks me if I need help.  I’m in a new fabric store, overwhelmed by the numerous choices in my newfound jewel.  And then this happened. In all of my fabric journeys, Italy, Greece, Paris, New York City, San Francisco, and my hometown have I ever had a shop owner personally walk me through the entire store with such zeal. 

It wasn’t about a sale; I could tell that Mrs. Halpern had that love for fabrics that all enthusiasts have. And even if she doesn’t sew, she understood the love of the textile, the quality of a good silk or the beauty of a perfectly woven brocade, and the immense delicacy of a romantic lace that almost makes you cry.  The pride with which she opened up their unique and precious ribbon, button, and fabric world is unparalleled to any in-store fabric experience I’ve ever had. 

Below is my fabric haul from Promenade Fine Fabrics: 

My favorites are the Chanel-inspired black and yellow tweed, the pre-pleated yellow motif, and the black and neon yellow art abstract silk. As the cooler months approach, I know I’ll be looking to sew with the chambray and denim I picked up from this fabric run. 

I may never return to Promenade Fine Fabrics, but if I do, I pray I get to say, “Hey Herbert,” and talk to his beautiful wife about how my shopping experience in their shop changed my entire trip to New Orleans.