Friday, August 20, 2010

Our Iceland Saga: The Fabric Store

Before leaving for Iceland, I did some internet research to see if I could find a fabric store to visit. Neither the Burdastyle website nor PatternReview turned up a true fabric store, but an "old-fashioned" google search yielded this store's website: VIRKA.

On our last full day in Iceland, after a morning photographing geysers and a waterfall, we drove into the capital, Reyjkavik, for some fabric shopping. :)

Finding the store turned out to be a bit of a challenge. We saw a good bit more of the city than was strictly necessary and, at least once, were taken completely by surprise to realize that we were merging back onto the highway that we had recently (and deliberately) exited... But we hung in there, and it was SO worth it!

VIRKA is a huge store - with 2 floors full of fabric! The basement had tons of cotton prints and the main floor had everything else - knits, slinkys, wools, silks, linens, bottomweights, etc.

Of course, like everywhere else in Iceland, the prices were high. And much of the fabric is imported from the U.S. But I saw lots of stuff that I've never seen locally, and they did have sale racks that had reasonable prices.

The women working there were wonderful - super friendly and helpful! (Okay, the woman pictured above was a bit stiff...) They made you feel like they had plenty of time to help you and they were knowledgeable about sewing. I got the feeling that the store served as a hub for a community of sewing friends, not just a retail outlet. If I lived in Iceland, I would definitely hang out here a lot! :)

It was a wonderful place to spend a few hours on our last day in Iceland! And I did pick up some fabric - I'll show you soon in a Wednesday Queue post. :)


This ends my 2 week series of photos from Iceland. I usually only put up 1 weeks of vacation photos, but there was so much to show from this trip! I hope I didn't go overboard and that you enjoyed the images and stories... Next week, it will be back to our regularly scheduled posts. :)


Claire S. said...

Wow ! I followed your whole vacation & your photos were absolutely stunning - Thanks :-)

Manduca said...

I just found your blog (via a discussion at BurdaStyle), and I'm delighted. Firstly by your quantitative approach to the question of how much fabric to buy. I'm a bioinformatician myself. What is your field?

Secondly by your photos -- what a great eye! And a great subject, Iceland. The horse pix remind me of the delicate-faced pony of my childhood.

Thanks for the great material!

Christiana said...

Thanks for posting all the great photos of Iceland. I got back from my quick trip (5 days) to Iceland yesterday. Didn't manage to get to the fabric store, but did take in the Golden Circle before the marathon and the Westmann Islands after.


manduca said...

Thanks for you comment on my blog! I'm commenting again on this post, because it has influenced an upcoming project. I bought a JetBlue "all you can jet" pass, and in addition to seeing family and friends and doing some science stuff, I've decided to adopt two themes: 1) find the best artisanal ice cream in the (jet-blue accessible) USA and 2) tour some great fabric stores. I made a map of stores that is so informatics-y that I think you might appreciate it, but I don't want to post it publicly yet because I used data from pattern review and would want their permission before distributing it. If you'd like, I can email it to you. My email address is here: . I'm looking forward to hearing about weaving the guitar strap. It seems like getting to the moon from where I stand! Best, Manduca

Anonymous said...

I will be visiting Iceland in three months and I thoroughly enjoyed your pictures and commentary.


Anonymous said...

Hi, thanks for the fabric store tip. I'm setting up a guesthouse called and need acme fabric. I'll check it out today!
Cheers Will