About William Gee
FIND OUT WHY WE’RE THE UK’S NUMBER ONE SEWING STORE…
William Gee Ltd was established in 1906, and is now the leading stockist and distributor of textile trimmings and haberdashery products in the UK.
We have a shop located in Dalston, London E8 (conveniently located 5 minutes from Dalston Junction), where we stock over 9000 textiles trimmings and haberdashery products, for use in both trade and domestic/ craft use! We also have a large warehouse full of rolls of pattern papers, calico, woven fusibles, linings and interfacings, Vilene products, muslin and wadding, and other large rolls of material.
Our customers range from the largest clothing manufacturers to couture designers, colleges of design, arts, fashion and textiles, hospitals, theatre and film costume departments, outfitters of uniforms, and dry cleaners. Both our trade and online shop serve customers on a personal basis and we offer deliveries throughout the country and abroad.
We are the top choice for haberdashery and textile trimmings for some of the largest fashion houses (Victoria Beckham, Vivienne Westwood & Alexander McQueen to name a few!) as well as up-and-coming British fashion designers. Our buying experts only find the best quality branded goods, and we strive to supply these items at the most competitive prices both online and in-store.
Most craftspeople find they need a zip or two at some point. William Gee has quite a few, over two million of them. He’s not around any more, but the business which bears his name is still going strong since 1906. Bustling Dalston Junction in the East End of London is where Mr Gee, formerly Goldstein, opened his shop in Kingsland Road. There’s a photograph of him standing in the doorway, underneath the handprinted sign bearing his name. A tad nervous-looking, dark haired, with a fringe and droopy moustache, his buttoned waistcoat and trousers look to be dusted with chalk (or dust!). ‘Button Manufacturer, Tailors, Trimmer and Rag-Buyer, Job Buyer & Haberdasher’ advertises the sign.
In those days there were many such shops throughout the West End’s big shops and makers. Today, William Gee is still there, one of the few survivors. It is also, the company proudly states on its comprehensive and very 21st Century website, ‘the leading stockist and distributor of textile trimmings and haberdashery in the UK’.
Did you watch The Great British Sewing Bee? Know the name Alexander McQueen? The Lion King? All of these and many more, from the worlds of TV, London’s West End Theatre, Hollywood Movies and leading British fashion Designers shop at William Gee. Fashion students are so well catered for that the site has a student section.
Today, the company is led by Jeffrey Graham and his son Adam, whose grandfather kept the business going after merging his own firm. Jeffrey remembers that as a child there were ’70 or 80′ staff, who would often stay with the company for life. Behind the little shopfront, with its traditional long cutting tables, is a warren of rooms once housing separate activities, such as making covered buttons. As you go up through the building, surrounded by shelves of haberdashery and sewing relics, you feel as if you are visiting different decades. It doesn’t go to waste. Popular are YKK zips at fantastic prices.
Extract taken from Jo Gourlay; Instagram