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Our Beginning to Today
Britex Fabrics began as the brainchild of Martin Spector, who was a fabric merchant in Poland. He came to the United States in 1939 and established the first Britex Fabrics in the heart of New York City's garment district, and then decided to relocate when he and his wife Lucy fell in love with San Francisco. The store officially opened its doors in San Francisco's Union Square in 1952.
In the early years, the husband and wife team ran the San Francisco store together. Martin had an eye for retail and envisioned the floor-to-ceiling wall of woolens which still spans the 120-foot wall running from Geary Street to Maiden Lane, while Lucy had a flair for quality and style: she knew what to buy and how to promote it. She worked tirelessly to build the business by making frequent trips to New York, sourcing the designers who would make Britex the most innovative of fabric stores.
Britex Fabrics continues this tradition today by featuring textiles from new local and international designers, alongside goods from world-renowned fashion icons. The store itself has become a landmark--attracting ‘seamsters’ of all kinds, fashion and design students, and myriad performers and costumers in film and theater. Celebrities bump shoulders with brides-to-be, and DIY-ers and professionals come equipped with paint chips and diagrams in search of drapery materials and upholstery. The latest styles in fabrics can be found here: yet the atmosphere of this independent business is a throwback to an era when service was as important as value.