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Secrets to decorating like a Parisian: Reine, hidden gem in Montmartre

MyFrenchLife™ - Reine - FabricOne of my must-see places to visit when in Paris is Reine, a well-known, high end fabric store in Montmartre

Your first exposure to Reine may have been on ‘Project Runway‘, season three. It is where the designers bought their fabric for the Paris evening gown haute couture’ assignment. 

Its no wonder ‘Project Runway’ chose Reine as the source for this elegant challenge. It’s easy to spend an entire afternoon among its four floors of beautiful bridal and dress fabrics, couture buttons, and even luxury home decor materials and trimmings. In fact, this entire neighborhood is a sewing divas dream, with many stores offering exquisite remnants, or coupons, at bargain prices. 

If you go, you should know… 

MyFrenchLife - Reine - Fabrics at ReineMyFrenchLife - Reine -buttons

First, some basic information. Several streets at the foot of Montmartre are almost exclusively devoted to fabric vendors.

If the sign reads Vent en gros’ these are wholesalers and wont sell retail. Many will state Vente au détail’ which means retail customers are welcomed. Fabrics made in France should be labeled as such; if you arent sure, ask the staff. Dont forget that fabric is sold by the meter, or slightly over 39 inches. Specialty fabrics may be narrower than fabrics in the USA, for instance, so be sure to check the width when calculating your fabric needs. 

Its no wonder ‘Project Runway’ chose Reine as the source for this elegant challenge. It’s easy to spend an entire afternoon among its four floors of beautiful bridal and dress fabrics, couture buttons, and even luxury home decor materials and trimmings.

Finally, many stores sell coupons, or remnants, usually cut in three-meter lengths. These can be real steals, so dont hesitate to check them out.

Reine, floor by floor

Let’s take a quick tour, floor by floor…

Rez-de-chaussée

On the ground floor, or rez-de-chaussée, you’ll find dress fabrics, and colorful bolts lined up by cottons, blends, and silks. You’ll see mannequins display sample creations, while a special counter and staff cater to brides with fabulous white satins, chiffons and silks. As for cottons, youll see more Liberty prints than you’ll see in London. 

MyFrenchLife™ - Reine - Mannequin

Prices are fair; many of the materials are manufactured in France. With friendly staff eager to help (some may speak a little English) why not bring home a length of fabric as a special present for someone who sews, or for a budding designer in your family?


MyFrenchLife - Reine - ReineFirst floor

Up a flight, youll find French notions and trimmings in brilliant colors, patterns, buttons, threads, even yarn and knitting and crochet implements – everything for needle arts at home. 

If you sew, make a list of what you need before you go. It may save some time, but if you are like me, youll keep looking anyway, putting patterns, fabric and button combinations together in your head as you marvel at everything around you. 

Second and third floors

The second and third floors are devoted to home decor fabrics and trimmings. Are you looking for a toile? If you dont find it here (or next door at Marché St. Pierre, the Fabric Kingdom, often imitated, but never equalled), it may not exist. 

Be a Material Girl

Dont forget, fabric folds flat and doesnt break, even if your luggage gets manhandled on the way home. Ive bought traditional French lace curtain and tier panels for my sunroom, and tapestry panels for cushions and throws. 

Even if you cant sew, bring back a meter or two of something youve fallen in love with. With some hemming tape and an iron, you can make a unique valance or cushion cover with minimal work. Every time you look at your creation, youll think of Paris. What could be better? 

Tissus Reine
5 Place Saint-Pierre, 75018
Metro: Anvers

Have you been to Reine? Do you have any other favorite fabric stores in Paris? Let us know in the comments below. 

Image credits:
1. Colourful cloth, by Mark Fischer, via Flickr.
3. Mini-mannequin Tissus Reine, by Zemlinki, via Flickr.
All other images © Louise Denegre.

 



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1 Comment




  1. Ellen Burns
    5 years ago

    I used to make a lot of my own clothes when I was in high school and had time for that sort of thing!
    I’ve always wanted to get back into it and have a few projects in mind…I wish I could just pop over and grab some material here!