world’s largest textile garage sale

There is a unique event that takes place in my area called the World’s Largest Textile Garage Sale. For many fiber lovers it is the most thrilling annual event, and it raises funds for the MN Textile Center. Individuals and businesses donate mountains of unused or unwanted materials including fabric, yarn, threads, notions, kits, patterns, magazines, tools, beads, buttons, and even unfinished projects. It’s a fabric lover’s and bargain hunter’s paradise, and all of this material is diverted from the landfill or incinerator.

 

World's largest textile garage sale

 

This is such an affordable way for artists, students, and craft enthusiasts to purchase materials. The prices are already incredibly low, but then it gets even better when they hold a bag sale the last hour of the event where everything that can be stuffed into a paper shopping bag costs only $2. Then after that, all surplus materials go to schools and nonprofit organizations. They do a really good job of making this a zero waste event.

This year I was fortunate enough to get in while they were still setting up the sale, so today I’m taking you on a little field trip and showing you some of what I saw! Oh and by the way, when I visited they still had 24 hours left to put out the rest of the donations. There really is a ton of stuff (a total value of over $50,000). Here we go.


 
World's largest textile garage sale

 

The sale takes place in a huge warehouse and I would estimate that fabrics took up about a fourth of the space. So many different types were available: cotton, linen, wool, silk, denim, corduroy, fancy, knits, fleece, flannel, polyester, you name it.

 

Fabrics at the world's largest textile garage sale

 

Knit fabrics at the world's largest textile garage sale

 

Vintage knit fabrics at the world's largest textile garage sale

 

Fabrics at the world's largest textile garage sale

 

Fabrics at the world's largest textile garage sale

 

Yarns took up about a fourth of the space, as well.

 

Yarns at the world's largest textile garage sale

 

The remaining half includes books, magazines, and sewing patterns.

 

Sewing book at the world's largest textile garage sale

 

Sewing patterns at the world's largest textile garage sale

 

The event also includes a silent auction for sewing machines, sergers, looms, knitting machines, and other specialty textile equipment.

 

Sewing machines at the world's largest textile garage sale

 

Weaving loom at the world's largest textile garage sale

 

It is one frenzied day that provides so many textile-related treasures for people to take home. Do you have large fabric rummage sales in your area? If so, please do share in the comments section below.

16 Comments

  1. Vonda Laffey

    WOW! I can only imagine! Thanks for this post, do you have any leads on any organization or event like this in Illinois or the Metro St. Louis area?

  2. Wow, I’m incredibly jealous!
    I was excited to happen upon my favourite button shops monthly warehouse sale where buttons are sold by weight. I bought handfuls of buttons that may, one day, be useful. Bargain I’m sure! 🙂
    If you happen to have room in your bag I’ll have some of that navy/red/white striped knit please!

  3. Lisa D

    Is this a set weekend every year in MN?

  4. Wow, Thanks for the report. What an awesome event. I can’t even imagine how much work it must be for the organizers and volunteers.

  5. Rebecca

    Woohoo! How did I not know about this and I’m only about 2 hours away! I had to instantly inform my husband that this could be REALLY bad! 🙂

  6. oh my. I would love to be in the area close enough to go to this sale. At closing I fear that I would still be found roaming around, a crazed look on my face! Fabrics can usually be found on sale somewhere on the internet, but to have them all together, and then toss in the patterns and tools of the trades, oh, still my beating heart. lucky for you folks who can get to this sale. I no longer do any internet shopping or yard sales for sewing items as I cannot be trusted in what I deem a “must have”, however I agreed to that on condition that when my husband passes a yard sale, he stop in and get what he would consider a good buy for fabric ,etc. Well, seems I have driven him to a new passionate pursuit, giving permission to check out the sales so he can gather up yet more farm/tools type stuff, and also bring me home treasures. So far, several plastic bins of fabrics , apparel as well as home dec types, all new, clean,lovely, an antique sewing box filled with treasures and then a huge cache of many many yards of French laces from the Martha Pullen shop, many yards, all way beyond what I could ever afford and costing about $2-3 dollars for 10 yrds each type (he brought home 6 different types, all half inch wide or more)..Honestly, I don’t miss shopping for these any longer, just send him out on his merry way to “save” us more money 😉

  7. Deb

    Wow! And that loom for a mere $50. Awesome event and thanks for sharing.

  8. Textile garage sale envy here! I would gladly donate my no longer wanted/no longer liked goods and then buy a ton to refill my empty bins – if only we had such a sale where I live.

  9. Laurice

    Thanks for your posting about this event but frustrated that I didn’t know about it as I live about 1.5 hrs away and surely would have attended. Unless they have a repeat in the fall I’ll have to wait until next year.

  10. Rebecca

    Oh how I wish I knew about this a week ago…. there is always next year, I suppose! 🙂

  11. Lisa D, it is one Saturday around mid-April.

    Rebecca in MN, if you volunteer, you get in for free and get to shop early 🙂

  12. Angela

    Ah!!! Like some of the other commenters, I was so excited about this post until I found that it was last weekend. I live near Minneapolis and had no idea that this was a thing here. Guess I’ll keep an I out for next time.

  13. Lynne Lee

    Wow,,,,,this is impressive, but for us textile officianatos, I wanted to let you know that there is a second chance at textile heaven. The volunteers at the Textile Museum of Canada in Toronto, Ontario are busily preparing for our Not Just a Yardage Sale on May 29 and 30th at 55 Centre Street toronto. Great sale and great fun information, have a loFunds contributed to the Museum by the Volunteer Association will be identified as such on the Museum’s monthly and year end financial s

  14. Yes! In Vancouver there is one happening in a week! Can’t wait to stock up…just in time for summer sewing!

  15. RACHEL!!!! Ohhhhh, what fun…..we’d be dangerous in a place like this {between the fabric and VINTAGE patterns}…..AND. S.L.O.W!!!! We hope you blog about your purchases!!

  16. Helena

    I read this and instantly googled flights!

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