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How do you use your global fabrics?

September 7, 2010
Shopping at New York City Street Fair

Well, since this is Moroccan month I figured we may as well stretch it a bit and throw in a post about some global fabrics. This is one of my obsessions – every time I am outside of the country I feel I need to look for some sort of “representative” fabric of where ever I am. That’s real smart because now I have a drawer full of pretty fabric that either I am too afraid to cut in or not sure what the heck to do with! Any ideas are very welcome! What do you do with your one of a kind, over-pretty fabrics?

This one I got in Dominica down in the Caribbean. This fabric was used every where – for table cloths, for curtains, for clothing. The little thing on top of it was a kind of child guard. The kid sticks his or her finger in the opening and when you pull at the other end the opening will close around the finger and the kid is basically stuck. Interesting take on child guarding… but I love the fabric.

This is a piece of silk I bargained for in Varanasi, India. I had zero intention of getting it but as always in India, you just get kind of dragged into things and then you leave with things you never realized you needed in the first place. Now, of course, I adore this very shiny, smooth fabric and I am as clueless today as back then on where to put it.

And then I have this ridiculous collection of fabrics I got at the Keneshi Market in Accra in Ghana. In an old concrete building with just holes for windows was, on the third floor, the  largest fabric market I have ever seen. Fabrics were just overflowing every where. This is just the beginning. I have lots more – about one yard of each – not enough to make a piece of clothing and too much to just lay in a drawer. So what do you think?

Here are some other very pretty fabrics for inspiration from the book African Style Down to the Details by Sharne Algotsson:

Typical Kente cloth – so beautiful
Not sure where this is from but my guess would be West Africa
I great place in New York City to pick up fabrics from just about all over the world is in the Garment District. Also, for African fabrics like the ones above I would go to Harlem. I have so many more inspirational shot of gorgeous fabric we may have to do another post on it. Meanwhile, let me know where you get your fabrics and what you like – silk, tie-dye, woven or anything else!

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