Good art, craft and fabric shops seem few and far between in Britain this days. Many department stores have ditched their haberdashery departments and not many high streets feature a craft store.
However, there are some out there if you know where to look and Manchester’s zany Northern Quarter makes an excellent starting point.
First of all, there is the vast art and craft shop, Fred Aldous, at 37 Lever Street. Established in 1886 to supply cane, willow and yeast to the local cotton traders, they have expanded to supply over 25,000 art and craft products. There isn’t much they don’t stock: they have stationery, gifts, gift cards and wrapping paper on the ground floor. Downstairs you’ll find a myriad of craft supplies, including books, fabric, patchwork templates, craft kits and paints. I was, however, disappointed with the selection of cross stitch and patchwork materials.
Across the road at 1 Stevenson Square is Blyth’s Art Shop. This independent art store started in 1889. It specialises in art, graphics and student supplies, and provides canvas stretching and framing services. In addition, it can always be relied on to have a bright window display.
For knitting fans, there is a gem of a store at 62 Port Street. Founded in 2010, Purl City Yarns stocks a wide variety of knitting materials. On top of that, they run a free knit club three days a week, plus a monthly film club. Take a peek through their windows:
This is an updated version of a more general craft post published previously on Shop with Intent.