African fabric collecting

27 Jun

More and more I feel excited to come home after being away. Traveling can be exhilarating, even to a place I already know, like Kinshasa. At the end of the day, though, I like my creature comforts, my routine, my home.

One of my goals while in Kinshasa these past few weeks was to collect some more African print fabric. This time, I visited three main places. One is a narrow alleyway near the Beach, which is the spot where all of the boats from Brazzaville (across the river), barges from up river, and vessels from Matadi (the main ocean port) land when they get to Kinshasa. The women selling the fabric in the alleyway must have first pick from vendors off the boats. My favorite find there was this lovely lavender and gold design.

Another pricier spot is Woodin, which has similar quality cloth but a sleeker and more coordinated selection of designs. They have a storefront a few blocks off of Kinshasa’s main boulevard, 30 Juin. Next door is Vlisco, which makes amazing fashion primarily from African print cottons, but is generally way out of the price range! This is a print I brought home from Woodin, in a similar color scheme as above.

We also drove down to the crazy and action-packed Avenue du Commerce, which you can imagine is the downtown center of commercial activity. After “honing in on it” for a while (my expression when I don’t know the exact location of the destination…), we finally located the Utex factory store, called Lambada. I love the strong, bright colors of many of their selections, such as this abstract floral.

But I will admit that some of my favorites are those you wouldn’t imagine wearing on a shirt or dress, such as chickens and spark plugs! (Not together…) The chickens will make a super shirt for my friend Ezra, who has grown out of the first one I brought him.

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3 Responses to “African fabric collecting”

  1. Mel June 29, 2012 at 2:01 pm #

    I enjoyed the tour through Kinshasa as much as the fabrics Heather. These are beautiful though, and I can’t wait to see what you do with them!!

  2. Heather June 30, 2012 at 5:20 pm #

    Mel, the box that arrived was NOT the fabric, but I have it now, so we will have to schedule a consultation soon for your commission!

  3. Lydia Weah September 26, 2012 at 4:57 am #

    Wow, those are really beautiful! Mentioning the pricier woodins (which I love), I spotted some woodin fabrics at very reasonable prices on this website http://www.facebook.com/africanpremier001 .. i ordered a super wax about 1 month ago and received it pretty fast, was planning to place another order (I have a shop retailing fabrics).. hopefully they will deliver up on their promise again! :)

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