A guide to local favorites on Fabric Row
- By Swabreen Bakr
- Photos by Michelle Gustafson
A gem of a neighborhood, this section of Queen Village along Fourth Street, between Bainbridge and Catharine streets, was historically a Jewish textile and garment district. In the early 1900s a wave of entrepreneurial immigrant Jews set up curbside push carts that sold fabrics and dry goods, eventually transitioning to storefronts in rowhouses. They enjoyed a period of prosperity before things sputtered out in the ’60s amid proposed changes in the neighborhood. Although many of the fabric stores have since closed, the ones that do remain have been in the same families for generations. New locally owned shops have also popped up to reinvigorate the row.
Meet Swabreen Bakr
Swabreen grew up in South America and settled in Philadelphia for college at Drexel University in 2002. She loves exploring cities both locally and internationally. She’s been writing about Philadelphia for about 10 years.
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