I had the most mind blowing afternoon today – exploring Manek Chowk market’s fabric vendors, in Ahmedabad, India.
My colleague helped me navigate the chaos and we explored a range of shops. The main one though that was selling fabric by the meter versus fabric for specific ‘suits’ that I ended up going a little over board in was Salman’s. It was quite the experience. As it was quite a crowded shop and most customers were Muslim, I didn’t really feel comfortable taking photos – but I did get this one of the plain cotton section.
Unlike any fabric shop I have ever been, a shop assistant followed us around this huge shop – stacked floor to ceiling with fabrics (organized by type) pulling out fabrics to suggest to me. I initially felt like batting him away – to me choosing fabric is such a personal thing. The likelihood that a stranger, and a man at that is going to suggest a fabric that I actually like, is quite rare lets be honest. But anyway he would pull them out with a flourish and before I could exclaim – lovely, horrid or anything – he would have unfurled a bit across the counter for me to examine. It all felt quite dramatic. In the end it just made me giggle and to be honest I could have spent hours in the shop. But it was soo bloody hot (I meant its been steady 35 degrees this week (going down to a balmy 29 at night). In the end I ‘narrowed it down’ to a few choices.
Now if you’re read my posts before, you’ll notice I’ve drastically departed from the normal type of prints and colors I would choose. And while I was drawn here to the outrageous, bold extravaganza of prints – they look just plain silly on a white girl. I’m getting them all made into various types of kurtas by a tailor down the road tomorrow.
This first lot are the ones that will be made into kurta tops – one or two also came with fabric for the ‘suit’ trousers and scarf – but I’m not yet sure if I am going to be able to pull off such bold prints top and bottom. I may just go for some plain bottoms (I already got one lovely dark blue cotton for trousers).
Need I mention that I spent less than 20 Euros on all this (approx 16 metres of fabric) and my other random fabric purchase – and it feels just lovely.