Fabric Shopping in Rome, Italy […and we’re married!]

[Warning: Photo Heavy]

We got married and I not-so-secretly incorporated a mini fabric store hunt into our honeymoon, and thanks to my ever-so-patient husband, he encouraged me to do what makes me happy. Of course, first and foremost we did loads of sightseeing, eating, and experiencing the Italian culture!

More about my wedding at end of the post. Now, FABRIC SHOPS!

  • Communication: Communicating in English wasn’t a problem in all of the fabric stores I’ve visited, and the fabric composition, measurement and price are mostly clearly marked on the bolt – in Italian – but the shop attendants were all able to tell me what they were when I asked.
  • Payment: Metropolitan stores all take major credit cards.
  • Fabric origin: I’m not sure if all the fabrics were made in Italy, but whenever I asked I always got told they were.
  • Price: Depending on the individual store but in general, designer silks are 100-200 euros/m; Unbranded 100% silk 50-100 euros/m; Wool variable price, much more expensive if mixed with cashmere (of course); Tweeds 40-80 euros/m unless designer; Cottons and synthetics under 50 euros/m. Suburban stores may be cheaper.
  • Opening times: Also, many retail shops (especially those out of main tourist and CBD areas) close for a daily long lunch and are not open on Monday mornings and Sundays, so I made sure to check the opening times on Google before I went. August 15th is a public holiday, and many shops are closed on Nov 1st and 2nd (All Saints Day and All Souls Day respectively).
  • Tax refund: When you spend over 155 euros in one shop in a day (and intending to bring the purchases out of the E.U.), you can get 15-25% VAT return (VAT: Value-Added Tax) claimable later at the out-port before check-in; The goods have to be unused. I had to show my passport at the stores and there were forms to fill in for that.

 

FRATELLI BASSETTI TESSUTI

This celebrated shop has been described by many. To name a few – Selfish SeamstressCation Designs, Bobbin and Baste, and the New York Times! It also sells bed linens, upholstery textiles, and designer fabrics.

Despite being Rome's largest and most famous fabric store, the entrance is a bit secluded. It is behind the large container.
Despite being Rome’s largest and most famous fabric store, the entrance is a bit secluded. It is behind the large container.

 

Humble entrance.
Humble entrance.

 

Hall after hall of fabrics stacked from floor to ceiling, each dedicated to specific fabrics. E.g. silks, tweeds, cottons, shirting, synthetics, brocades, designer...
Hall after hall of fabrics stacked from floor to ceiling, each dedicated to specific types of fabrics. E.g. silks, tweeds, cottons, shirting, wool, synthetics, brocades, designer…

 

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This lovely gentleman was very helpful and friendly. He kept taking out and opening up bolts after bolts of fabric to show me, and also let me rummage around.
This lovely gentleman was very helpful and friendly. He kept taking out and opening up bolts after bolts of fabric to show me, and also let me rummage around even in the designer silk section here.

 

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Traditional cashier counter. Very old school :)
Traditional cashier counter. Very old school :)

 

 

AZIENDA TESSILE ROMANA

This store is not far from Fratelli Bassetti Tessuti. It is in front of some ancient ruins. There are upholstery fabrics upstairs, and dressmaking collection downstairs. 

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Taken from the side street, you can see the ruins in front of the shop
Taken from the side street, you can see the ruins in front of the shop in this photo.

 

Taking a moment to admire the ruins
Taking a moment to admire the ruins.

 

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He agreed to pose for a photo, and he was pretending to cut my hair! Hilarious.
He agreed to pose for a photo, and he was pretending to cut my hair! Hilarious.

 

Happy customer.
Happy customer.

 

Selfie with patient husband outside the shop :D
Selfie with my patient husband outside the shop :D

 

Business cards for Fratelli Bassetti Tessuti and Azienda Tessile Romana.
Business cards for Fratelli Bassetti Tessuti and Azienda Tessile Romana.

 

My purchases from these two shops.
My purchases from these two shops.

 

PAGANINI TESSUTI

This is a curtains/upholsery fabric store. No dress fabrics, but nonetheless, what they have is pretty amazing. I didn’t spend much time in there though, knowing I probably wasn’t going to get anything (and I didn’t, as I was only looking for dress fabrics).

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LONGO TESSUTI (2 stores)

  • Silks & Wool: Piazza della Enciclopedia Italiana, 50, 00186 Roma (street store)
  • Cottons & Synthetics: Via delle Botteghe Oscure, 34/a, 00186 Roma (inside an apartment block)
  • Website: http://www.longotessuti.com/
This is the first store in the main street, housing mostly silks, wool and tweed fabrics.
This is the first store in the main street, housing mostly silks, wool and tweed fabrics.

 

The shop is at the corner of the building, so it's L-shaped. The other entrance is on the other street.
The shop is at the corner of the building. The other entrance is on the other street.

 

Quick, quick!!
Quick, quick!!

 

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This is the other shop inside an apartment block, just across the road from the first store. Not hard to find.
This is the other shop located inside an apartment block, just across the road from the first store. Not hard to find.

 

This shop mostly hold cottons, jerseys and synthetics.
This shop mostly hold cottons, jerseys and synthetics.

 

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Some lovely silks here too, smaller section.

 

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Cottons.

 

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I asked the gentleman for a photo and he said yes, but he didn't want to have anything to do with me hahaha :P
I asked the gentleman for a photo and he said yes, but he didn’t want to have anything to do with me hahaha :P

 

My purchases from the two Longo stores.
My purchases from the two Longo stores.

 

There are many more fabric shops in Rome that I didn’t get to visit, but I didn’t want to bore my husband too much with fabric overload! I’ve bought a lot already too :P

 

A BIT ABOUT OUR  WEDDING

After knowing each other since 1992 and together for 15 years, we are married. We have been partners for the whole of our adult lives. It has been an affirmative road of growth and maturation for us as a unit, and also as individuals. Every decision we make, right or wrong, affect not just ourselves but also each other and our future. It’s about learning, celebrating, forgiving, exploring, making memories, working hard, achieving, crying, laughing, rectifying mistakes, improving, tackling setbacks, evaluating, eliminating toxic people and things, understanding, problem solving, planning and building our future together :)

Our ceremony was in a church inside the Vatican City, and our reception was nearby in Rome. I have done some DIY projects for the wedding (no, I did not make my dress…) and will post them when the photos become available…maybe in a few months, according to our Italian photographers :P

For now, a few pics to share :)

First time staying at an Airbnb the week leading up to our wedding. Pleasant surprise - there's a sewing machine!!
First time staying at an Airbnb with our families the week leading up to our wedding. Pleasant surprise – there’s a vintage sewing machine!!

 

Mmmmmm I like! But I didn't try it out and not sure whether it was in working order.
Mmmmmm I like! But I didn’t try it out and not sure whether or not it was in working order.

 

Sant'Anna dei Palafrenieri - Church of Saint Anne - where our ceremony was held.
Sant’Anna dei Palafrenieri – Church of Saint Anne in the Vatican City – where our ceremony was held.

 

It was surreal to walk down this aisle.
It was surreal to walk down this aisle.

 

Happy, happy day :)
Happy, happy day :)

Ciao, honeymoon time!

 

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12 thoughts on “Fabric Shopping in Rome, Italy […and we’re married!]

  1. CONGRATULATIONS!!! That’s soo exciting! I love your veil! Can’t wait to see more pictures! And I am so envy – you visited so many awesome fabric stores!!

  2. Oh wow, amazing fabrics selection!!! And congrats – it sounds like you have found you soul mate, 15 years together is an amazing accomplishment that many couples don’t reach.

  3. Wishing you a lifetime of love and joy, Sil! CONGRATULATIONS!!!! You make a beautiful couple and clearly, you’re off to a brilliant start with a man who understands your passions.

  4. Hi again – It’s Nelusha, your friend from Ontario, Canada. The above well wishes are from me but owing to a changing account, came up Anonymous. Enough about me – again, CONGRATS! Your travels are dreamy. Virtual hugs, n

  5. Congratulations!!! 🎉. That chapel looks amazing by the way – must’ve been a spectacular wedding!
    Also those fabric shops looked fabulous. Makes me want to take a trip to Rome!! X

    1. Thanks Em! It was a nice chapel :)
      Rome is so close to London, you definitely can! But it’s not a street or area with concentrated fabric shops, not as convenient!

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