Haight-Ashbury is very well known to San Francisco residents as a diverse neighborhood with streets lined up with cafes, ethnic food, clothing recycle stores, parks, and art everywhere. I’m certain if not all, almost every artist in the city, known, upcoming or amateur has peered into the neighborhood at least once. Likely for inspiration, as the vibrancy of the area is sweating creativity from the clothes being worn, costumes in the shops, and the architecture of the buildings it is truly very unique to the artistic eye. All artists must start somewhere and the best place to do so without judgments is Mendel’s Far Out Fabrics.
The fabric available is varied. There is a good selection for choice although if you’re an upcoming fashion designer with great hopes this may not be the go-to spot as the fabrics are more interpretive and crafty although still very usable for daily projects. Buttons, trims, cords, and ties can easily be found in ample amounts and I find that if you don’t see the color you’re looking for they offer fabric dyes so you can easily attain what you want yourself. In addition to traditional fabric dyes they offer Dynation fabric paint and simple spray.
Keep in mind that Mendel’s is more than your average fabric store. Mendel’s is for every kind of artist. The employees at the store are very knowledgeable and take great interest in your artistic endeavors. Exclusively, they sell hemp twine and mold making supplies as well as oilcloths which can sometimes be hard to find. For the less extreme they also sell basic art supplies with the likes of sketch paper, graphite, charcoal, acrylics, and so on.
Mendel’s is located at 1556 Haight Street. I recommend checking on their website because they give an extensive listing of oils, fabrics, and dyes. They also have a mailing list for sign up to receive special notifications on products and promotions. With fairly priced products you can’t go wrong with Mendel’s. It’s truly a gem to the city for its great mix of art products and fabrics.