Montana Outdoor Fabric
If you’ve got a hankering to make your own outdoor clothing, here’s one place to start: Montana Outdoor Fabric on in downtown Bozeman. Hiding inside this little white house across from Willson School are stacks upon stacks of fabric, of every imaginable kind and color. Cordura, Polartec, Windbloc, Thinsulate, Supplex, fleece, neoprene, canvas, ripstop nylon—you name it, they’ve got it stashed in the shop somewhere. Throw in piles of webbing and shock cord spools, racks of zippers by the yard, and overstuffed bins of plastic buckles, and you’ve got a veritable gear-fixer’s and apparel-maker’s Shangri-La.
“Surprisingly, two thirds of our customers are male,” says Candy Graf, explaining how many Bozeman-area outdoorsmen like to explore their creative sides and transform raw material into garments. She also points out her other customers’ strong utilitarian bent—they come looking for parts to repair broken tents, backpacks, and sleeping bags. With her huge assortment of straps, snaps, buckles, and grommets, there’s not much a person can’t fix with a little determination and a careful perusal of her inventory.
If you’ve never heard of Montana Outdoor Fabric, don’t think you’re completely out of the loop. Though the shop has been around forever—Candy recently took it over from her mother, who took it over from her mother—it’s been a little-known gem one of the local outdoor community for almost 25 years. The subdued storefront and quiet West Main location are largely responsible for the lack of attention.
But flying under the radar has its advantages—service is personal and prices are good. And who doesn’t want to save some coin in this economy? Goodbye, Patagonia catalogs, hello needle and thread. For more info, visit montanaoutdoorfabric.com.