I’ve always loved walking through a fabric store, mixing and matching fabrics and feeling the textures. Everything about the experience is visceral and engages my senses. As Passover and spring approach, I’ve begun to think about new ways to decorate my home, my table, and my wardrobe. I’m enamored with all the unique table-scaping ideas available and would love to incorporate them at my Seder.
Fortunately, Fabrics Save-A-Thon, located at 2452 Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn, is ready for all our tablecloth, home decor, and fabric needs. Most businesses charge a pretty penny for tablecloths in quality luxe fabrics – but not Save-A-Thon. Making a wedding or just looking to add a hem to a dress? Not to worry! Save-A-Thon has a designer selection that will delight your pocketbook and your artistic vision.
Fabrics Save-A-Thon can be found on Facebook and on Instagram @saveathon. The chain has two locations in Brooklyn, one near Brooklyn College and the other in the Marine Park/Mill Basin area, across from Kings Plaza. Branches are also located in Queens, Manhattan, and the Bronx.
The family-owned fabric store is offering Jewish Press readers a 10% discount on all their sewing products, fabrics, tablecloth fabrics, art supplies, and more. Just snap a picture of this article and present it at checkout in the store. As owner Brian Marcus says, “We offer discounted designer fabrics, so just bring your imagination and your pocketbook!”
Michal Goldfein: What inspired you to open a fabric store?
Brian Marcus: My family has been in the fabric business since 1969, selling fabrics and related products. My father started the business, and between my four brothers and I, we have continued his legacy. We have stores in all five boroughs and it has grown so much since its inception.
You have a spacious store on Flatbush Avenue and Avenue U. What prompted you to open in this area?
About 16 years ago there used to be a fabric store near Kings Plaza that went out of business. We realized the need for a fabric store in the Mill Basin/Marine Park area, and we bought the three-story building you see today. Save-A-Thon has so many departments, such as a craft department, jewelry making, and faux-flower arrangement, and a general art department as well.
What are some of the things your business is known for?
We are the biggest yarn dealers in New York; we carry 3,000 square feet of yarn and crochet. We also give classes on knitting, crochet, cake decorating, and sewing. We are proud to feature an extensive line of Wilton products for all your cake decorating needs. Additionally, our selection of fabrics ranges from bargain basement deals to the extravagant, and everything in between, with the focus being on value.
What are your most popular items?
Yarn is our specialty and our customers love our selection. Especially since the pandemic hit, we have seen an influx of people shopping for yarn. It’s a great hobby that has transcended generations. We are also known for our tablecloth fabrics. At Save-A-Thon, you can buy tablecloth fabrics for a fraction of the price. People know that when they come to our store, they can get quality tablecloth fabrics in vinyl, velvet, brocade, and jacquards. Nowadays, price is more important than ever, and our customers bypass the bigger stores and come to us.
They can also mix and match fabrics for borders and accents.
Yes, many of our customers get their tablecloth fabrics by us and make matching challah covers, runners, and slipcovers.
You also carry sewing machines and sewing aids in your stores as well.
We’ve been a Singer dealer for over 50 years. We have top brands of threading, buttons, notions, snaps, zippers, hard-to-find sewing machine parts, and more. When you buy a sewing machine from us, you get instructions on how to thread it. We are a one-stop shop with sales and service. We also have a mechanic on hand to service the machines. If you are looking to create any type of style, whether it’s gathering, pleating, or shirring the fabric, we have sewing aids for everything.
You carry fabrics for tablecloths that are perfect for Passover and Shabbos. What are some of the more popular fabrics you offer?
Right now, crushed and patterned velvet is very popular. Vinyl has become a staple; it is very versatile and easy to clean. We’ve got unique sequin, animal skin, basket weave, and other textures as well.
I absolutely love the bronze snakeskin one I recently bought from you. It’s a metallic that goes with everything and is the perfect neutral. How do you recommend taking care of vinyl tablecloths?
They’re the easiest because all you have to do is wipe them down with a wet cloth. We put thought into our fabric and tablecloth fabric selection, picking fabrics that are stain-resistant and easy to wash. Another point is that when you come in with your measurements, we have salespeople that cut the fabric for you on the spot, and they are also very good at helping to pick matching chargers and fabric for challah covers!
Can you describe your process of choosing fabrics?
We have 50 years of connections with the top mills. Some things you find in a catalogue, such as designer fabric for interior design, can often be costly. We approach things differently than the other stores. We buy the odd lots and can offer them for as little as $2-$3 a yard, in comparison to up to $80 a yard [elsewhere]. This way we are able to offer great fabric at an amazing price.
We also study the fashion trends and look to see where the industry is headed. Last year neoprene was immensely on-trend. This season, bold colors and vibrant, big prints are fashionable.
You are also known for the dress fabrics that you carry. What are some of the fabrics you have?
We carry dressy fabrics for elegant events and will show you how to match the right linings and shells for your dress. We carry laces, embroidered fabrics, taffeta, silks, and more.
I recently got a dress, went to your store, and added fabric to the sheer sleeves. I also lengthened the hemline to make it more modest. I have to say your salespeople were so helpful in choosing the right coordinated fabrics!
Thank you so much. We pride ourselves on our customer service and attention to detail.
Can you describe the items you sell for party planning and event décor?
At Save-A-Thon we have everything for any celebration. If you are planning a bris, bar mitzvah, bridal shower, engagement party, or any occasion, we carry vases for flowers, runners, bows, and much more. Come to us for decorations for your next simcha. Many people come to us to decorate their succah (fruits, garlands, and fabrics) and for floral arrangements for Shavuot. Any table, whether it’s for the holidays, weekday, or Shabbat, can be elevated with our immense selection of tablecloth fabrics as well.
My daughter is a self-taught artist, and my other kids love to engage in arts and crafts. What are some of the craft items and art supplies you feature in your store?
We carry everything you need for school projects, arts and crafts to keep the kids busy at home, and for birthday parties. Some of the items we carry are t-shirts for tie dye, tie dye, scrapbooking, and shoebox diorama materials. We carry foam shapes in all sizes, and have an expansive paint selection, beads for jewelry making, wooden crafts, and prepackaged craft kits that come with everything you need.
What are your goals for the future?
We are always looking for new locations that have potential so that we can better service our community. We are interested in coming to Boro Park or the Flatbush area because we think the quality of our products is superb, and there is a need in that area. We also want to continue to provide excellent service to all our customers at our existing locations.