Thursday 16 January 2014

Needlework Shopping in London - 50 Years Ago

Big sigh! Time was when you could walk into any large store and they would have a needlework/haberdashery department where you could while away spare lunch hours and pin money. Now needlework departments and proper haberdashery is a rare find indeed. Here you can see some of the greats that used to be in London. I particularly loved the Needlewoman Shop on Regent Street - it was there from 1928 - 1985. How can it not be there still? (A former employee of the Needlewoman Shop, Sue, has kindly emailed to tell us: I don't know about Women's Home Industries, but do know what happened The Needlewoman Shop. Coats Patons took it over from Mrs Violet Stagg. She stayed on there for a while, but when she finally retired Coats wanted to turn it into a branch of Country Casuals with a cafe in the basement. They were already reducing the variety of stock while I was working there, so that it was mainly their own products. In cold, hard reality, I can't imagine that the shop was making anything like enough to cover the rising cost of the beautiful oak-panelled building on Regent Street and the mail order department in the building behind, but it was a sad day when it closed. People used to come from all over the world to see it.)

I was also a great supporter of the Women's Home Industries Shop in Pimlico that would make up your work into cushions or panels or whatever. Although they are still listed as a business I have not found them recently -perhaps they have moved. Does anyone have news of them?


  1. I remember going to the Needlewoman Shop in Regent Street a few times when I came over to London. I also went to Harrods Haberdashery Section as well. I have 2 Danish Trammed Needlepoint pieces hanging on my walls that came from there John Lewis also had a wonderful Haberdashery Section if I remember correctly.

    It's the same here in Australia. All of the big Department Stores had wonderful Haberdashery Sections but sadly they no longer have them any more.

  2. I purchased my first lot of linen fabric for my first cross stitch project from the Needlewoman shop it was wonderful