When visiting my Mother we often go out on a Saturday afternoon for what we, in Lancashire, call “a run”.
This is not a run in the normal use of the word. It actually means “a run in the car”. This is a low key, local excursion, normally to visit relatives, a public house/tea shop, a retail outlet, or just a drive for the sake of driving. You might stop, get out, wander around a village, or “mooch” around some shops. Anyway Nick and I have made a habit of going out for “a run” on a Saturday afternoon, to check out the fabric shops of Lancashire.
Last weekend I tried Fine Fabrics/Oakmount in Burnley. Like many Lancashire shops it is housed in an old factory of some sort.
Oakmount is essentially a furnishing fabric shop. I tend to avoid curtaining shops because, in our London home, we don’t do curtains – relying instead on the original Georgian shutters that came with the house, or pull down blinds. I have never attempted the covering of a sofa (unlike my excellent friend Joyce from Canada), and I can’t even do a good cushion. Did I mention that my father’s business was in fact printing furnishing fabrics in Lancashire? Funny.
However, upstairs they have quite a nice selection of nice dress fabrics. If you have kids on the stage or run a dancing school there is plenty of choice here. These Northern warehouses are huge and do seem to have a great deal of stock.
They also have very nice staff. This lady told me she was half Italian – the other assistant was fully Italian – and they had an interesting debate about which half was the better half.
I was particularly taken with the check fabrics they had on sale in the furnishing department and I bought a metre of some nice purple fabric to take home, as you can see above. The excuse for visiting the shop was that I was looking for tartan, stripes or checks – in order to create a few Westwood-type skirts. And this shop has got quite a good selection. I didn’t expect to buy furnishing fabric but I think if it is wool, and the weight is OK for you, there is no essential difference. Other than it may have been treated so that it will not burn as easily as normal fabric.
While I had a good mooch around my husband sat in the car and listened to the radio. As I was paying the proprietor told me they now have a new cafe with specialities provided by the Portuguese chef – “next time he can sit in our cafe and have a beer instead”.