Saturday, 23 August 2014

Fabric Shopping... African Style

I'm currently visiting family in Lagos.  If I'm perfectly honest it's not a place I feel completely comfortable in, never having lived here and with visits lately happening only every few years.  I always seem to get the blues a little when I'm here - maybe it's not having any friends here (besides family), or the heat, or a side-effect of the anti-malarials, or all of the above.  So this week I was glad that I made it to the market to do some fabric shopping.  I mean, what could be better than shopping for fabric to chase the blues away?  Especially when it's bright and colourful.

Bright Ankara fabric on display
My first stop was Balogun Market on Lagos Island.  It's a huge market selling practically everything, with a good portion of it given over to fabric - a few stalls selling general fabric, with the majority selling Ankara (the brightly coloured, wax-resist printed cotton that is associated with Africa), brocade and lace.  I was interested in the Ankara.  It is usually sold in 6 yard bundles but occasionally you might find someone selling offcuts or willing to cut into a bundle for you.

Prices are usually in the range of about N250 ([Nigerian currency is the Naira] which is just under £1) a yard to N500, but you could pay more depending on where you shop, particularly if shopping outside of the market.  With prices like that it would be easy to lose your head, but I exercised a bit of restraint.  Having said that, now that I'm sitting here writing this I'm starting to wonder if I should have bought more!

...and more fabric!
My second stop was Oshodi market.  A smaller and less salubrious market perhaps, but still with bags of choice and much better prices.

My fabric haul
As you can see I've definitely got a preferred colour palette - turquoise (my new favourite colour), pinks, lilacs and the occasional green.  I tried very hard to go for some different hues, but I kept coming back to those colours.  At this point I've got 25 yards of fabric, all for the princely sum of about £25!  I've told myself that this is enough, as I don't actually have any projects in mind for all this fabric.  In fact it's been an age since I did any proper sewing, but it's all so delicious and takes up so little space!  I'm not sure I'll be able to resist buying more if the opportunity arises, but then who knows when I'll get another chance...  Right?


1 comment:

  1. what a tremendous collection of fabrics and at that price unresistable. Think as you say the anti malaria tablets are making you feel a bit rough, have heard from several people they have unpleasant side effects but much better than getting malaria, my Dad got it in India in the war and had relapses all his life.

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