In August, me and my friend Chy visited Tarpley, Thompson, & Company while exploring Colonial Williamsburg in Virginia. Tarpley, Thompson, & Company is a quaintly styled shop on East Duke of Gloucester Street, in the middle of the Colonial Williamsburg living museum. It’s open to the public without tickets, so you can visit the shop without paying an admissions fee. The front of the shop graces you with beautiful straw hats and tied fabrics, and windows showcasing elegant 18th-Century clothes and jewelry. The staff is wonderful! We were lucky enough to be serviced by a young lady named Grace, who helped with me and my friend Chy’s purchase of fabrics and soaps.
Inside Tarpley, Thompson, & Company
Once inside, you’re met with the aroma of bayberry, lavender, and castile soaps. Displayed all around the store are 18th-Century reproduction clothes, pockets, hats, and accessories. Clothes include petticoats, gowns, waistcoats, breeches, cloaks, mittens, and caps. All of them are for sale in case you want to deck out in old timey wear during your Colonial Williamsburg visit. There is also an assortment of naturally crafted soaps, balms, candles, peanuts, and chocolates. Everything is made in Williamsburg. The packaging reflects the artwork and colors of the times. If you’re a crafter or love to sew and embroider, you will absolutely love their assortment of antique patterns, thread, and fabrics.
What attracted me to the store was their assortment of reproduction fabrics, which I initially found online. They had one in particular called Exotic Blue Flowers Fabric “Second Quality,” which was on sale because the colors were off from the original print. The shop was selling it for 40% off!
I also bought two yards of the Fanny’s India Floral Fabric. I love the contrast of the neutral toned pinks and blues. The pattern also isn’t as “busy” as the other floral patterns in the store. The flowers are elegant and delicate. You can purchase both fabrics online if you don’t live near Colonial Williamsburg.
If you are obsessed with fabric, sewing, and embroidery, there are plenty of crafting tools, silk threads, and goods you can explore for your next great project. Exploring the store was invigorating! It inspired me to pick up sewing and knitting again after a long hiatus.
If you’re down for a sewing challenge, the shop also sells 18th-Century patterns.
Visit and Get Inspired!
What I love about Tarpley, Thompson, & Company, as well as many other sites at Colonial Williamsburg, is how the sites can inspire visitors to try their hands at different trades and skills. You can explore historical blacksmithing, wig making, and farming, or you can explore tailoring and cooking as we did. Any time I go to Colonial Williamsburg, Tarpley, Thompson & Company will be a mandatory stop along with the Governor’s Palace Kitchen!
Fanny’s India Floral Fabric: https://shop.colonialwilliamsburg.com/Fannys-India-Floral-Cotton-Fabric/
Blue Exotic Flowers Fabric (Seconds) https://shop.colonialwilliamsburg.com/blue-exotic-flowers-fabric-seconds/