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TOUR: Historic Fabric Flower Factory in the Garment District


  • M & S Schmalberg 242 W 36th St., 7th Fl. New York, NY 10018 (map)
Photo Credit: Caroline Spang

Photo Credit: Caroline Spang

When the Schmalberg custom fabric flower factory began in 1916 the New York City Garment District was a bustling center for fashion manufacturers. The district was home to several floral embellishment factories during the 1900s but toward the late 20th century the shift from domestic manufacturing to importation caused a steady decline and all fabric flower factories closed except for M&S Schmalberg. As business suffered in the sixties, Schmalberg negotiated with local fabric shops, selling yards of sample fabric to keep the factory open. Operating for over a century now the Schmalberg factory has upheld values of quality and perseverance despite industry shifts and rising rent rates.  

The factory passed through the century as living history.  The inheritor Harold Brand immigrated from the devastation of post-WWII Poland to work at his relatives’ factory and today the factory is owned by Harold’s son, Warren Brand, who from a young age learned the process of flower-making and business operation.  

The Brand family welcomes you to visit their historic factory to learn about custom fabric flower-making and to make your own floral creation. The factory provides a variety of fabrics, floral shapes, pressing techniques, dyes, and finishes to craft these intricate embellishments. Each flower is carefully passed along through the hands of the workers and may even be hand-dyed or painted.

Details

Tickets: $99

Run Time: 2 hrs