At an intersection in Baltimore, three of the four corners hold treasures. On the northwest is the historic house museum, Mount Clare. On the southwest corner is the art-deco inspired, former Montgomery Ward distribution center, now reworked as a LEED-certified space, including a green roof, called Montgomery Park. On the northeast corner, there’s a gas station and on the southeast corner is a non-descript warehouse of more than 65,000 square feet holding DeBois Textiles.
Debois started out more than 50 years ago in the secondary textile trade, meaning that they buy used clothes from a variety of sources, sort and grade it, bale it and then re-sell it on the world market, either for use as clothing, rags or stuffing. Over the years, they’ve started selling vintage clothes and fabric remnants and bolts. They buy mill ends and bolts from some of the most prestigious fabric houses in the country, including Schumacher, Ralph Lauren, Scalamandre, and others, and sell it at very reasonable prices to the public. Two of their long-time employees sort the fabrics and fold it into yardage. These gals have some muscles from hefting around these fabrics!
I went back to DeBois today to have another look around and chat with the owners. I met up with fellow blogger, Michele from My Notting Hill, and took along my friend, Kit (not Cat). As I wandered through about half of the 65,000 square feet, I was constantly gasping at what I saw! Names I know well were jumping out at me – Trina Turk, Barbara Barry, Imperial Trellis, Indochine – and I could barely contain my excitement!
My friend Christopher, with whom I had made the initial visit, warned me not to go poking though the huge drum of bolts that he’d picked out from the inventory of a high-end designer who’d recently gone out of business. Of course, I had to check out what he’d picked!
Here is some of what I saw today.
Michele and I agreed that our blog friend, Chinoiserie Chic would go nuts for this pale turquoise and hot pink Chinese-style toile. Loved this Barbara Barry print… subtle and understated. It’s so interesting to see how many colours are used in each print. Each has to be lined up exactly to make sure the pattern matches and the print is perfect. I just flipped when I saw this gorgeous Trina Turk print from Schumacher.
Here’s another Trina Turk that I liked, and then saw it on a chair on her website.
She also purchased this gorgeous silk and wool damask in a gold, grey and beige. This picture does not do justice to the fabric and you certainly can’t tell how lush it felt! The owner of DeBois told me that they’ve just gotten in a limited number of bolts of Thibault toiles, including these in a range of colour ways. All are less than $10/yard!
DeBois Textiles is located just off I-95 in South Baltimore at 1835 Washington Boulevard. The phone is 410-837-8081 and the hours are Monday to Saturday, 10a.m. to 5:00 p.m.