Claire’s Rare Button Collection

Seeing some objects from the past often brings nostalgic feelings. We are often brought back in time by the sight of these objects. Some objects inspire our artistic side and get our creativity flowing. The vintage buttons in Claire's Rare Button Collection, which she collected over the decades, are capable of invoking both within us. Today these rare buttons can be considered vintage and would be very hard to find anywhere else.



Claire Grunstein is the 91-year-old owner of Fabrics that go. She came to Tucson with her husband Herman in the late ’70s with the intention of retiring. She retired from her family’s textile business in New Jersey. Retirement did not sit well with the hardworking couple though, and they decided to open a tiny hobby shop a few months after retiring. The tiny hobby shop grew into what is now Fabrics That Go

Now 74 years and at 91 years old, Claire is one of the oldest hands-on proprietors in the country. Although the day-to-day operations of the business are handled by her son Robert, she still works up to 30 hours a week and you can usually see her if you drop by the store.

The Button Collection

One of Claire’s passions is collecting buttons, and she currently has an incredibly large rare button collection. These pieces were accumulated over time. There are thousands of buttons in the collection and all of them are for sale depending on the rarity and availability. They can range from a lot in stock to only a few buttons left. Most of these rare buttons are of antique quality and made with superb craftsmanship.

The Materials

The materials used to make these buttons are equally rare and exotic. There are those made from Czechoslovakia glass, Indian metals, silver, and bakelite. There are also those made of organic materials like Mother of Pearl, bone, horn and tree nut.

You’ll even find pieces that are works of art in themselves, like the beaded buttons and the fabric covered ones.

What They Are Used For

These rare buttons are normally used on clothing but they can also be used to decorate pillows and upholstery. Quilters enjoy using these buttons on their pieces because of their great variety. Due to the artistic qualities of these rare buttons, they are even used for jewelry like children’s charms and as decorations and clasps on purses. They have even been embedded on coffee tables. The possibilities are endless!

All designers, artists, and DIYers are welcome to check out Claire’s rare button collection. You might be inspired to use them in your future creative projects. Your imagination is the limit with what you can do with these buttons. Come by as soon as you can, since some of these buttons have very limited stock left. Just drop by Fabrics That Go and ask to see Claire’s rare buttons, you will be guided back to explore the amazing pieces, and to choose which buttons you’d like to purchase.

Fabrics That Go is home to rare fabric, buttons, and more! Our staff is also skilled in custom drapery, and upholstery, and will work according to your needs. Drop by the shop to see our vast collection.

Do You Want to Learn How to Sew Custom Bedding, Drapery, & More?

If there is enough interest, Fabrics That Go is considering an adult sewing class where you can sew custom bed spreads, drapery, & more.

Please provide your information if you are interested in Adult Sewing Classes at Fabrics That Go.

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40% off in stock fabrics – celebrating Claire’s 90th Birthday!

Fabrics That Go Owner Celebrates 90th Birthday with 40% Off In Stock Fabrics in Store Sale

In celebration of one of the oldest local active business owners in Tucson, come down to Fabrics That Go this Saturday, July 8th for a 40% off in stock fabrics and celebrate the 90th birthday of store founder Claire Grunstein. The story of Fabrics That Go is really a history lesson of the American textile industry. Robert Grunstein, Claire's son who has since taken over the day to day operations likes to tell the family history in the fabric industry. “My grandfather started the business in 1945 in Paterson, NJ, which was silk capital of the US, after doing the fabric business for 74 years on the East Coast, my parents thought to retire to Tucson.” Claire remembers the first night she arrived by plane in Tucson with her late husband Herman. “I've never been farther than Pennsylvania so it was big,” Claire recounts. “We landed at night, the city was sparkling. I've never seen anything like it. We woke up in the morning and I looked at my husband and said I think I'm in paradise, what am I doing in New Jersey I have to move here!” Although their intention was to retire, after a month of playing tennis they opened a small hobby store together in Tucson by the late 70s. Claire remembered it “like a closet, this was even smaller than our store in New Jersey.” Before long they moved to a larger store and landed at the store they've occupied for the last couple decades on 3105 N Campbell. Today, Fabrics That Go carries the largest selection of Southwest fabrics in the world and attract customers from throughout the US, Canada, Mexico and as far away as Italy for their unique home fabrics. Despite being in the same industry for her whole life, Claire and her son Robert still has a strong passion for the business, and it starts with their customers. “I love the customer's,” Claire said, “I want them to be happy, because when you're fixing up your house and you are making it pretty, it should make you happy.” Claire, her son Robert and the rest of the staff will be on hand this Saturday from 10 am – 5 pm with cake and a smile to help customers find their perfect fabrics. If you are lucky, you can catch one of her many fabric stories from the last 22 years on Campbell Avenue. Even if you can’t make it in on Saturday, stop by soon, there is a good chance you can see Claire when you visit, she still works around 30 hours a week even as she turns 90 this July 16th.