Fortunately for us, few towns are as rich with artistic resources as Asheville. In many places, Michael’s and Jo-Ann Fabric are the sole sources for fabric, jewelry making, and other handiwork supplies, and crafting potential is limited to the offerings of their shelves. (And yes, we have those, too.) Against that model, we stand out from the crowd.
Asheville does a great job of promoting local craftspeople and encouraging everybody to “Buy Local.” This kind of economic mindset will contribute to the success of Asheville’s creative thinkers for years to come. Area artists dye fabric using local plants, spin wool from sheep and alpaca raised on local farms, and paint using pigments found at locally owned art supply stores. Without local resources, the arts and crafts communities throughout Western North Carolina wouldn’t be what they are today.
The pride you feel when you put a painting in your home that has a story—that was made by someone whose hand you were able to shake—is a feeling that never goes out of fashion. Handmade is created to last, and, like the painting whose value isn’t determined by a barcode, where artists source their supplies matters. The difference lies in the percentage of domestic products available to foreign; it’s being able to ask a skilled craftsperson behind the counter to help you make a good project better; and it’s being able to spend your dollar where it counts—with people who live right around the corner.
Sourcing locally adds value and pride to an artist’s products, and Asheville’s finest understand that. Take a look at where they shop—you might just walk in and discover you can be an artist, too.
Asheville Cotton Co., 1378 Hendersonville Road, 828.299.8888: Fabric, sewing accessories, sewing machines, and classes
Asheville Hardware, 10 Buxton Avenue, 828.252.8088: Used and new tools, lumber, and classes
Beads and Beyond, 37 Wall Street, 828.254.7927: Jewelry-making accessories, semi-precious stones, and metal-smithing workshops
Chevron Trading Post & Bead Co., 40 North Lexington Avenue, 828.236.2323: Jewelry displays, beads, jewelry-making accessories, and classes
The DryGoods Shop, 474 Haywood Road., 828.505.8595: Various vintage fabric, patterns, supplies, and workshops
Earth Guild, 33 Haywood Street, 828.255.7818: Everything from beads to fabric dye to embroidery hoops—a one-stop shop
Foam and Fabrics Outlet, 175 Biltmore Avenue, 828.254.4585: Fabric, sewing accessories, foam
The Frame & Mirror, 13 1/2 Walnut Street, 828.255.6885: Frame design for artists
Jacksons Western Store, 641 Patton Avenue, 866.254.1812: Leather & leather hardware supplies
Kitsch Fabrics, 742 Haywood Road, 828.505.8280: Fabric, sewing accessories, and workshops
Purl’s Yarn Emporium, 10 Wall Street, 828.253.2750: Yarn, knitting and crocheting accessories, how-to books, and classes
Silver Armadillo, 52 Westgate Parkway, 828.253.3020: Beads, finished jewelry, rock tumblers, and classes
Small Terrain, 278 Haywood Road, 828.216.8102; Garden art supplies, how-to books, and workshops
Tipsy Star Quilts, 1 Battle Square, Suite 1-A, 828.407.0337: Fabric, patterns, machine rental, and classes
True Blue Art Supply, 30 Haywood Street, 828.251.0028: Handmade papers, paint, calligraphy supplies, and screen-printing kits
This list may not include every supply store in Asheville that may be considered a resource for artists and crafters. Apologies to anyone who may have been left out. Furthermore, the offerings listed are very broad examples—each store has a great variety of tools and supplies.
Ryan-Ashley Anderson studied Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina-Asheville and has a background in Fine Art. She made Asheville her home five years ago and is proud to call herself a member of a thriving craft community. Find out more at frayknot.com.