Because I wanted to save up on the dresses for my bridesmaids and my own gown, I planned on buying the fabric so my entourage and I will just pay for the designer's labor (yes, I asked them to pay for their own dresses). And after weeks and months of looking around for the perfect source, here's what I learned:
Divisoria, needless to say, is the best place to buy your fabric from. The tough competition among the vendors is one of the major reasons why you can haggle to your heart's content. You can also find a lot of tailoring shops that make bridal gowns starting at Php 5,000, materials included. Just be careful though, because generally speaking, it's hard to expect the highest quality from them. Be reminded that you're not the only person who wants their cheap services---there's hundreds of people like you out there.
2) FABRIC WAREHOUSE
Don't get intimidated by Fabric Warehouse. Even though they're located inside malls, their prices are somewhat at par with those found in Divi. If you're looking for a place to buy your fabric without smelling like tinapa, this is the perfect place for you. One downside though is their stock. If they run out of the fabric that you're looking for, it's either you go to other FW branches or you head straight to number 1.
3) CAROLINA'S LACE SHOPPE
If you're not really particular about the price of the fabric, want convenience and air-condition as you shop, you can go to Carolina's Lace Shoppe. This shop basically has all the fabric that you will ever need but at a much higher price range. But honestly, I would love to source everything from them if only I'm not a cheapskate. There's just something about the shop that's so elegant. It's like if you want couture, you go to Carolina's. Not sure if it's just me though. LOL. Also, they have loads of accessories-from bags, to bib necklaces,to hats- that are for sale. And in fairness to their products, they don't look cheap for their price.
4) VC TRADING
VC Trading inside Farmer's, Cubao is like a mix of Fabric Warehouse and Carolina's. They have textiles for sale, raw materials for accessories, and they do t-shirt printing. I'm not sure about their prices because I only bought DIY stuff from them, but in term's of providing you with things related to fashion, their product line's quite comprehensive.
5) KAMUNING MARKET
Imagine buying a fabric for Php170/yard from one store and buying the same fabric of different color for Php100 from another. That's what happened to me at Kamuning Market. If it's your first time to buy fabric and have no idea of the prices in Divisoria, this is NOT the place for you. I still feel robbed as of this writing. I admit I'm too lazy to look around before settling on the cheapest one, but a 70-peso difference between 2 stalls doesn't sound like there's a healthy competition going in there. I wasted Php 490 for 7 yards of fabric that I could've gotten for Php 700. Sigh. I wish I wasn't too lazy. For those who are considering going there, be eager enough to canvass. That's all I have to say about this one.
I'm lucky that my bridesmaids are good friends whom I have already negotiated with long before I got engaged. :)) Providing them with just the fabric and letting them shoulder the dressmaking expenses really helped me save a lot.