Field Trip: Silk Road Textile Merchants, Austin, Texas

12 Jun

There are a limited number of fabric stores in Austin, and since I don’t usually find what I’m looking for at the Big 3 (JoAnns, Hancock Fabrics, and Hobby Lobby), I’m always excited to learn about a new (to me) fabric store in the area.

Silk Road is not a new store — in fact, I’d always looked longingly at their little storefront-in-a-house on Lamar, where they used to be located. When I saw the building was for sale, I thought I’d missed my chance to visit some of their legendarily beautiful fabrics… this was about 2 years ago.  Then, yesterday, I discovered that they had not closed down, but instead had moved to a new location — and that new location was less than a mile from my house.

Oh, behave.

Finding the Flat Bed building where they’re located was no trouble at all — those green steps are hard to miss! — but once I was outside the building, I wasn’t sure I was in the right place. Luckily, the owner of SR was on the steps, people watching as bikers from the ROT Rally drove by, and she welcomed us inside. As we left, I did notice that Silk Road was listed among the shops painted on the green steps, but I didn’t even notice when we arrived!

The owner (I’m guessing) led us down the art-lined hallways to a small space crammed with fabric.

And oh, what fabric!


Gorgeous cotton batiks….


Lovely silks… sorry I forgot to grab a photo of the bolts and bolts of dupioni! I’m also kicking myself for not grabbing a photo of all their buttons… sooo many buttons, and even a card catalog (be still, my heart!) filled with yet more buttons!


And a rainbow of linen… including the yummy burgundy I took home as my prize…


I will definitely be back to the Silk Road…


… though, at these prices, I can tell it’s going to be only once I’ve perfected a pattern, and am ready to make the investment in a quality fabric that will make it a permanent member of my wardrobe.

This linen is going to make up another version of the black & white dotted skirt and top outfit, but this time, I’m going to make a muslin, and really work on getting a perfect fit, before I get anywhere near this fabric with a pair of scissors!


Posted by on June 12, 2011 in Field Trip, shopping


6 responses to “Field Trip: Silk Road Textile Merchants, Austin, Texas

  1. Janice Ellis

    September 28, 2011 at 10:21 pm

    Hi, Kathleen, I just googled linen last night and discovered this place, but the latest I could find that anyone had been there was in 2010. So I was wondering if they were still in business?
    Evidently, according to this post, they must still be in business? I have found a wonderful seamstress in Ocala, Florida who makes beautiful original linen clothing, and her line is so nice and original (one of her outfits below), I was hoping to find a comparable product in this company. Is the linen they sell actually Irish Linen? Thanks so much,

    • kathleen

      October 7, 2011 at 9:21 pm

      Gosh! I just found out that all my comment emails are going to my spam folder! Sorry for the delay in responding! I don’t know if their linen is Irish… I didn’t think to ask. I can say that it feels heavy and silky in the hand, not scratchy and coarse like some others I’ve used.

      • Janice

        October 7, 2011 at 10:20 pm

        Thanks for letting me know that. I would really like to check out some of their linen. Glad to know they are still in business!

  2. Janice Ellis

    September 28, 2011 at 10:24 pm

    Oh, and I’m glad that you mentioned making something with muslin to get the fit right. I should do that, too! Also, this lady washes her linen before making a garment, and really encourages wearing it wrinkled.


  3. Nikki

    February 10, 2012 at 5:42 pm

    Hello Kathleen. I purchased the MOST beautiful silk dupioni from Silk Road last November (2011). I need more of this fabric and it seems from the facebook page…they’re closed. Or are they? The website states she’ll be back in February. Have you been this new year? If they are closed…do you know of any other stores that might stock or special order this dupioni? Any help would be most appreciated. Best, Nikki

    • kathleen

      February 10, 2012 at 6:39 pm

      Hi Nikki! I hear from some of the other fabric store merchants that she has gone out of business for good. However, the sweet proprietor at Fabricker is in touch with her, and can give you her info if you want that specific dupioni…she still has much of her stash. I also heard that Common Thread is now filling that hole by providing special order and some stock of dupioni, so you might contact them, too.


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