I recently had a quick trip to Auckland.
My first stop was The Fabric Store at 139 Newton Road. They have recently rebranded from Global Fabrics, with the same owners, stock, staff etc. They specialise in top quality designer dress fabrics, natural fibers and New Zealand merino products. The Merino products they source are manufactured here with New Zealand wool.
The shop is light and airy and tidy and all rolls are labeled with the fabric content and price.
The staff are all very helpful and knowledgeable, with most of them having studied or are studying Textile or Design.
I remember the first time I visited was with fellow course participants during the India Flint course in January. They had a 50% off sale and we were like kids in a candy shop.
I prefer to use pre loved fabrics for my dyeing and whilst wool, blankets, cotton and linen are reasonably plentiful, it is hard to find cream or white silk in Op Shops.
I needed more cream Merino to make Ponchos, as the two at the exhibition sold and I have an order for another one. I was spoilt for choice with various weights and prices available.
We talked about the composition of Viscose and its ability to take up the natural dye. It is made from cellulose that has been extracted from wood with chemicals and salts added, so will be interesting to see if it takes the natural dye. They gave me generous samples of Silk Viscose and Silk Lycra to try so I will let them know the results which may be helpful for other such inquiries.
We also visited Little Bird Organics and Unbakery, 385 New North Road, Kingsland.
They specialise in raw, (ie no heating above 46°C ensures the food retains all its enzymes and nutrients and its life force) organic, vegan, sugar and gluten-free food.
I enjoyed Carter’s Sprouted bread, that was made with chia seeds, buckwheat and millet and was topped with smashed avocado, micro greens and kraut.
It was delicious, the fermented kraut was sour against the sweetish avocado, interesting textures and tastes together. This was washed down with a pot of tea of fresh turmeric, lemongrass and ginger.
The cabinet was full of delicious looking cheesecakes, (I wonder what they are made from) and other goodies.
There were tempting treats to purchase, exotic teas, granola, crackers, coconut oils, glass straws and lots more.
I will be back again to try the Caramel & Pumpkin seed brittle Milkshake, made with cashew ice cream!
It was a great experience and I definitely recommend it if you are looking for that something different.
Other interesting stops we struck in New North Road were Mixt, an art and design store with all New Zealand made goods, next door was a Retro shop that is only open in the weekends but looked to have a great selection of goods. Also the Royal Jewellery Studio, featuring New Zealand designed and made contemporary jewellery from 36 invited jewelers.
I parked beside the Hotere Mural in Kingsland. The mural, by graffiti artist Askew One, is based on a photo by Marti Friedlander and pays homage to one of New Zealand’s most prominent artists who died in February.
I enjoyed my first ever visit to Kingsland. It had a lot of character with old buildings and funky shops.