Sewing supplies in Divisoria!

In my post about sewing supplies in Manila, I mentioned the great fabric finds in Divisoria along Ilaya St where we bought the tela/fabric for our godparents.  This weekend, I was finally able to make a short but sweet trip to Divisoria to look for some sewing notions/supplies that I needed.  We went on a Sunday because we thought (emphasis on thought) that there wouldn’t be any traffic and that there would be fewer people than usual.  We headed to Binondo and we decided to drive through Juan Luna street (first big mistake) so that I could get to Ilaya street for the fabric and Tabora to look for some sewing supplies/notions.

It took my husband 2 hours to drive through Juan Luna street (this was insane since it was only around a 300 m stretch that we had to drive through).  Traffic was crazy because of the rush of people and vendors that turned the supposedly 2 lane streets into almost pedestrian-only streets.  We had fun though even during the crazy traffic part since we were able to people watch and snack on steamed white corn, boiled peanuts and ponkan oranges.  Good thing my husband is so patient with my hobbies!  Hehehe!  But  next time I would park in one of the nearby malls like 168, 999, or the newly opened Lucky Chinatown Mall and just walk from there since they are all just a few streets away.

Here’s a rough map I made for those of you who want to make the trip to Divisoria for sewing supplies, it really is worth it when you think about the variety available and how much you can save.  I wish I had pictures but I wouldn’t feel safe walking around this area with an SLR camera…actually it would be smarter just to bring your cash and a cellphone to communicate with whoever you’re with.  No jewelry please!  You can park in one of the malls or near the church and just walk, it really isn’t that far and it will save you a lot of time.  Plus there’s tons of street food and things to buy along the way so it’s not a boring walk at all.

I got down along Juan Luna and headed to Tabora street first and I was pleasantly surprised to find so many types of materials for sale even if the bigger stores (Wellmanson’s, Good Morning, Morning Glory) were closed since it was Sunday.  Those bigger stores are partially hidden by all the vendors on the street…look up and you’ll see their signs if you want to find them.

I went into some of the smaller stores that were open even on Sunday, and I was able to find the following:

  • Cotton twill tape which I’ve been searching for high and low since some of the patterns I have call for this to reinforce shoulder or side seams (like the Sewaholic patterns I’m excited to try)
    • This only cost 100-120 Php or less than 3 USD for a roll depending on the thickness
    • I bought black and off white, they have quite a selection of twill tape
  • Pretty elastic in a good range of colors, with and without embellishments
  • Bias tape in a whole lot of colors
  • Assorted sewing thread, much much cheaper than Carolina’s
    • Since I bought quite a bit of thread I was able to get a better price: 12 spools of thread (1000 m each) for 180 pesos (around 4 USD)
  • Ultra cheap serger/zigzag/overlock machine thread that the saleslady informed me was usually purchased by local businesses or those who take orders for clothes, and better quality cones of thread that I still found very reasonably priced
    • The better quality cones of thread are sold at 35 pesos for white thread and 38 pesos for all other colors.  If you sew for yourself I think it would be better to get these instead.
  • Black 1/4 inch elastic is 300 Php for 155 yards (around 7.5 USD)
  • A pair of heavy duty dressmaking shears for 220 pesos (around 5 USD)
    • These work way better than the expensive scissors I bought in Fabricland in Canada!
  • Lace and other rickrack at 5-10 pesos (a dime) per yard versus 20 pesos up in the malls
  • Buttons starting at 50 centavos per piece (a penny per button!!!) to 4 pesos for the nicer kinds
  • Seam rippers for 15 pesos, tailors chalk at a fraction of the cost in bookstores/malls
I also saw the following although I didn’t check on the prices:
  • Bag closures
  • Belt buckles
  • Patches, clips
  • Beads (175 Php for a big pack) and other jewelry making supplies – bangles, headbands, etc
Here’s my thread, 24 spools for 360 pesos:
And my twill tape which they call cotton tape:

What I didn’t find:

  • Still no fusible interfacing or sewing patterns!
  • Twin needles/stretch/ballpoint needles for sewing machines

It’s worth noting that I didn’t really take the time to haggle so much for the items that I just bought 1-2 pieces of, but I’m sure you could purchase the items I mentioned much much cheaper.  I took so much time looking around the supplies/notions that I had to rush back to meet my husband and wasn’t able to spend much time in the fabric area.  On the way back to Juan Luna, I passed by Ilaya street but they mostly had fabrics for curtains and crafts being sold on piles in the street.  They had a whole lot of cheap fabric at 20-50 pesos per yard, perfect for making muslins, curtains, craft items and nice throw pillows, but probably not for garments.  Printed cotton and canvas were at around 45 pesos per yard.  They had lots of Gina silk everywhere.  Finished curtains are available from 100/yard up.  The other fabric stalls were closed since it was Sunday but I’ll definitely be back next time when I have a little more time on my hands.  I was definitely a happy camper with my great finds last weekend!  Hope this helps those of you who are thinking of making the trip to Divisoria to buy sewing supplies!

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71 responses

  1. Pingback: Sewing supplies and fabric in Manila « Part Time Homemaker

  2. hi,. i would like to buy cotton twill ribbon, where didi you buy that one? whats’s the stores name?? thank you..

  3. Sometimes I buy those upholstery fabrics to make into clothes haha

    You might want to explore the building along Ilaya next time—it has all kinds of fabrics, from denim, canvas, and lightweight printed cotton to knits, velvet, and sequined fabrics.

    Across CM Recto Avenue are also buildings with many fabrics and notions (if I remember correctly, that’s where Carolina’s is also located), and sometimes they go cheaper. It’s not quite nice walking there, though, with the smell and all…

    • Hi Weyn! Same here! Unless the fabric is too stiff or shiny I don’t discriminate between bedsheet/quilting fabric and clothing fabric. Hehehe. I will definitely explore the building next to Ilaya next time I make it back to Divisoria. I want to get some knits. :-)

  4. Hi! Your page is wonderful. I’ve been trying to find supplies for sewing too. You’re obviously more adept in this. I just use simple stitches and I don’t even know most of the things you wrote above.
    I’m using Brother VX 1435 portable sewing machine and I used to have this twin needle that I broke. Do you happen to know where to find them? TIA

  5. hi ms.parttimemaker! Where can we possibly find wider variety of authentic cashmere fabric etc. or any good quality fabrics cz my brother and I are planning to buy for weddingsuit/corporate attire.Thanks in advance.

    • Hi Neil! You can find nice fabric for suits/corporate attire at a lot of fabric shops here in Manila. For mall based shops, I’ve seen nice suiting material at Cotton Depot, Fabric Warehouse, and Fanbi. Don’t rule out Divisoria and Tutuban though if you have the time and patience to look through all the available material they have. :-) You can also check out my post on sewing supplies and fabric here for more information. :-)

      • Hi! You said the saleslady informed you about the “ultra cheap serger/zigzag/overlock machine” they sell over there? Do you still remember the price she told you? :) Thanks!

    • In case you are still looking for a sewing machine, you can buy second hand machines for P3000 up in the Port Area in Manila. Go down Roxas Boulevard, past Luneta until the first rotunda. turn left in to the Port Area and the sewing machine sellers are on the right a little further down, opposite the Philippine Star newspaper.

  6. Thank God there is someone out here in Manila just as in love with sewing as I am. I am so grateful that you are patient and sharing enough to blog about your sewing adventures–I am certainly learning a lot and picking up so many pointers from you, and your blog is just extremely informative, detailed and well-written. I certainly got excited when I discovered it! Congratulations on your new baby girl and I will definitely keep reading :-D

  7. Hi. I come from the province. I will be flying to Manila this weekend and I would like to go to divisoria to buy some upholstery material. I am not familiar with the area and I would like to ask for directions to where these materials can be found. Would appreciate any help I can get. Thanks!

  8. Hi. Do you think they sell satin silk cord/thread? The one they used in making bracelets? Ir if not, do you have any idea where in Manila I could find one? Thank yooou. :)

  9. hi there.. Your page is very much usefull and I’m glad i found all the answers through reading your page. but one more thing; where can I buy needles for my brother sewing machine. thank you..

  10. Hi! Where can i buy lobster lock, some crimps, charms and jumprings, flat cords because i want to make some kidada wrap bracelet. Thanks!!

  11. Hello, Im just new in sewing as I got interested to try those DIY pillows online.. May I know where can I buy fabric glue and do u have any idea how much it is? And the dressmaking shear that u mentioned? Is it the same as the shear that is normally use for cutting? The round one? I wanna buy that too..

    Thanks :)

  12. Pingback: Sewing supplies in Divisoria! « callmemaria26's Blog

  13. Hi! Could you recommend fabric/textile stores that sell ostrich feathers? I went to Fabric Warehouse and they only have those with fringes. I’m planning to make a skirt out of it. :) Thanks in advance!

  14. Hi, just found your blog! I’ve been teaching myself to sew and your posts give me a lot of help finding materials. I get most of my fabric from divisoria, sa Ilaya. I know I found fusible interfacing there, too. (I think sa Carolina’s sa Yangco market).

    Sewing patterns are also something I’ve never found here in the philippines except for some japanese pattern magazines. Have you tried them? Even if they’re in japanese you can get help for the measurement terms (bust, waist, etc) online and they have tons of diagrams. Sewing patterns from the big 4 , I don’t expect them to be available here anytime soon since the demand seems relatively low. Sucks, cause I want more vogue patterns!
    Thanks for your post, again, it’s super informative :D

  15. Hi, what’s the name of the store where you purchased those sewing notions? Is it near Morning
    Glory?
    Thank you for your very informative blog by the way :)

  16. Your map is useful to me. I copied it and make use of it the next time I go there. I am particularly interested on the items in Tabora because my craft is making beaded bags. I used to buy my supplies in Quiapo, the street fronting the Church. I explore with my hobby and I want to use other materials. I have a Facebook page on our craft in case you want to see them: Look for Bead bags and wallets at Facebook.

    Thank you for the information.

  17. Hi :) i would like to solicit some information/contacts (if you knew some.. please) about denim suppliers in Manila and if there is any manufacturers that can tailor-made a denim button/rivets as well as a good quality fabric label manufacturers? THANK YOU so much! :) /dexter from gensan/

  18. Hi, is there a store that still make the covered button? i have a client who wants covered button for her dress . thanks to feedback… Beni here.

  19. hello po.. i just read your blog and i like it po. I wanted to buy fabrics din po cause i love to make dress for my little girl..I cannot continue on my project and i really really want to buy fabric but i’m not familiar with the place..

  20. Please my dear could you put the photos of the things that is needed to make a tutu.dress for little kids and what they are called.thanks a lot this blog helps me.

  21. Hello ma’am, ask ko lang po sana ma’am if you have cotton filler cord or any known supplier. Reply ASAP po ma’am. Salamat po!

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