Hidden in an industrial office space in Sunnyvale, FabMo is a treasure trove of fabrics. While maybe not exactly Marché Saint-Pierre or Britex, it is home to an eclectic collection of unique samples from the San Francisco Design District that were rescued before being sent to the garbage dump. And the sweet part is that they’re available for free or at very low prices.

All of this is the mission of FabMo, a non-profit organization, whose aim is to prevent designer interior materials from being discarded into our landfills and make them available forFabMo fabrics creative reuse by crafters. Founded 20 years ago in a local living room, the group holds monthly selection events and sales where their booty is available. Originally focused on interior design textile samples, their stock now includes a wide variety of tiles, wallpaper, and carpet squares from some of the top design showrooms, sourced from around the world. It’s a bounty for local creators!

During any given visit, you’ll find tables of textile samples of different fibers and sizes. Staffed by an army of volunteers, all the goodies are organized at the FabMo workshop by types, such as fabrics or notions. The FabMo warehouse also received donations from fellow craft enthusiasts available at their warehouse alcoves filled with stashes of craft odds & ends, thread, buttons, and craft magazines, many donated by fellow craft enthusiasts.

Many FabMo fans come for the fabrics and other trinkets, but they find much more there. There are a supportive crafting community and various workshops. And the group attracts crafters of all ages. Kids love finding treasure there and their creativity soars! For inspiration, check out the Inspiration and Artisan Showcase sections on their website.

On the selection event days, most of their stock is free, but they greatly appreciate donations, as it helps to pay the rent and keeps the lights on for this non-profit. Larger-sized and higher quality fabrics are available at their monthly sale events, where items still have bargain prices and many great bargains abound. Appointments are required and are made on their website FabMo.org. During Covid there are additional health-related guidelines, including a limit on the number of people allowed inside. If you want to be extra cautious, there is now an online store (no delivery, pickup only) offering some of FabMo mainstays and unexpected craft-related goodies, and an eBay online store too (delivery).

One note, FabMo requests that you don’t resell their raw materials, but hopes you’ll transform them into creations to keep, share, or sell. Until you can snag an appointment, sign up for their newsletter to learn more. And go with an open mind: you never know what you’ll find. Once a group of volunteers discovered a luxurious sheet of interior decor silk with the original design district price: $468 a yard/meter!

Come discover FabMo. All you really need is your imagination and a piece of fabric to see how far your creativity can take you and help the environment at the same time.

Merci Lynn Auslander

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