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Marché Saint-Pierre, Montmartre

If shopping for fabric strikes your fancy, bring a steamer trunk (or, better yet, a van) to the Marché Saint-Pierre cloth district in the 18th arrondissement of Paris.

Bolts of fabric at the Marché Saint-Pierre in Montmartre, Pariks

ABOVE: Bolts of striped cloth await customers in Dreyfus, the largest fabric store within the Marché Saint-Pierre.

First, a confession: I use the word "stuff" to mean "things" (as opposed to fabric), "bolt" is something I do when faced with a DIY project, and I'd never define "material wealth" as a warehouse filled with cloth.

But even for someone like me, who never took Home Ec, a visit to the Marché Saint-Pierre (a.k.a. "St. Peter's Market") is a remarkable experience.

The covered market or mall is a mother lode for Parisian tailors and seamstresses, with several fabric department stores and countless specialty shops within the market itself and in the surrounding streets.

What you'll find:

In a word, "everything." For starters, you might visit Dreyfus, a five-story department store of fabrics whose name is synonymous with the market.

The selection of fabrics and other items is overwhelming, but if you know what you're looking for (and if you can figure out a way to get it home), you're likely to find what you need to make clothes, redecorate your home, or erect a colorful tent city in your back yard.

For more advice, see The Paris Attitude blog's post about "The Land of Fabric" or visit the official Marché Saint-Pierre - Dreyfus Web site (French only).

Marché Saint-Pierre, Paris

How to get there:

The Marché Saint-Pierre is on the southern slope of Montmartre, in the 18th arrondissement.

If you're coming from the Anvers Métro stop (Line 2), just walk up the Rue de Steinkerque toward the Sacre-Coeur Basilica:

Rue Steinkerque and Basilica de Sacre-Coeuer, Paris

The market's main building is at 2 Rue Charles Nodier, on the eastern side of the park below the basilica.

Other convenient Métro stations include Abbesses (Line 12) and Barbes-Rochechouart (Lines 2, 4). The market's "Address and Hours" page has a Google map with Métro locations, street names, and other fabric stores (labeled "tissus") in the neighborhood.

More photos of the Marché Saint-Pierre:

BELOW: Dreyfus is the grand kahuna of Paris fabric stores, with five stories (the ground floor plus 1, 2, 3, and 4) in the main building of the market.

 Dreyfus fabric store, Paris

Dreyfus staircase, Paris

BELOW: From an upstairs window, you can see how close the Marché Saint-Pierre is to the Halle Saint-Pierre arts center and the Basilica of Sacré-Coeur.

Halle Saint-Pierre and Sacre-Coeur Basilica

BELOW: As you navigate through the Marché Saint-Pierre, you'll be adrift in a sea of soft goods.

Marché Saint-Pierre interior withs tairs

BELOW: Fabric styles range from fashionable to froufrou to frivolous.

Colorful fabrics in Dreyfus, Paris

African prints at the Marché Saint-Pierre, Paris

BELOW: I was especially taken by this homage to Parisian graphic design in the '50s.

'50s fabric at Dreyfus in the Marché Saint-Pierre

BELOW: If you're looking to update your patio chairs, the Marché Saint-Pierre has you (and your chaises) covered.

Chaise-longue fabric at Dreyfus, Paris

BELOW: My wife Cheryl was tempted by the market's oilcloth selection.

Bolts of oilcloth at Marché Saint-Pierre

BELOW: Fabrics get top billing at the Marché Saint-Pierre, but the main building and shops in the surrounding streets have plenty of related items, from eyelet ribbons to rickrack.

Eyelet ribbons at Marché Saint-Pierre

BELOW: One gadget that caught our eye was a support for fabric door coverings. (Thick door curtains are often used inside Paris apartments to block drafts and sound transmission.)

Door-curtain device at Marche Saint-Pierre, Paris

More about Montmartre:
Hotels in Montmartre
Basilica of Sacré-Coeur
Montmartre Funicular
Dalida in Montmartre
Erotic Museum
Paris Scams: 'String Men' of Sacré-Coeur

About the author:

Durant Imboden photo.Durant Imboden is a professional travel writer, book author, and editor who focuses on European cities and transportation.

After 4-1/2 years of covering European travel topics for About.com, Durant and Cheryl Imboden co-founded Europe for Visitors (including Paris for Visitors) in 2001. The site has earned "Best of the Web" honors from Forbes and The Washington Post.

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