Lafayette Saltiel Drapiers mainly sells sewing supplies and fabric for high fashion and tailors; but they’ve become rather popular for their vintage fabrics.
“Vintage” isn’t exactly a protected term. Lafayette Saltiel Drapiers has chosen to qualify a cloth as vintage when it reaches at least twenty-years old.
Lafayette Saltiel’s gargantuan archival books are living artifacts. These massive books document the history of each fabric they carry using a coded system: including purchase date, mill, type of cloth, and meters of fabric left.
Documentation is very important. Like art, the value and authenticity of an item increases when its provenance is transparent.
Every vintage fabric in the store is dead-stock. Once a fabric sells out it’s gone forever.
Lafayette Saltiel Drapiers stocks many unusual fabrics. As a friend pointed out, this is to be expected since vintage cloths are old textiles that haven’t sold. Some classic fabrics exist, but you see more colorful, yet subdued variations.
I was particularly fascinated by a 100% silk by Drapers in Italy that was completely twist resistant, due to the weave.
Pierre (one of the sales representatives) crumpled the swatch in his hand, and the fabric simply popped up without a crease.
Lafayette Saltiel Drapiers carries vintage fabric from many mills.
Some included are: Emsley, Harrissons, Alexanders, Gorina, Drapers, John G. Hardy, Deschamps, Minova, and Bocchese Moda. They also represent modern mills and showcase fabrics to fashion houses.
Prices for fabrics vary. A wool/cashmere mix I looked at cost 200 euros/meter. Individual clientele mainly purchase the vintage cloths, with some brands buying as many as 20 meters. I liked a specific overcoating fabric, but have to wait since my wallet went berserk in Paris. I hope it doesn’t run out.
Lafayette Saltiel Drapiers is a very fun stop. If you’re ever nearby, I recommend dropping by.
Appointment is best since Pierre and Virgil are the only English-speaking workers. Both are enthusiastic about showing the store’s collection, and would happily cut some swatches for you — as long as you don’t ask for a thousand!