FABRIC SHOPPING

One of my favourite parts about sewing is finding those few textiles I love among a pile of a million. I don’t go overboard and typically (! – it’s only been a few months) try and use the fabric I have rather than go purchase new ones. Here are few of my go to places (in Bombay) –

1. Mangaldas or Crawford Market, Bombay. This is definitely the place to go! I go for a swing in the charming chaos and to practice my terrible bargaining skills. Beautiful fabrics at amazing prices, although I do tend to get a bit put off by the overload of  “ethnic” prints and patterns, but I guess that is to be expected. My favourite store is “Rinkoo Fabrics” in Lane 9. They have nice printed rayons and cotton voiles. Prices are 200 – 250 Rs per metre. The good thing is that they often have new fabrics coming in so you don’t just see the same stuff over and over. If you are looking for a particular type of fabric, ask 2 – 3 of any of the store owners and they should point you to the correct store. Don’t be discouraged if the first one says “you won’t find that fabric here or a I don’t know”, just ask someone else and there is a decent chance he will know of a place in the market who sells that! Don’t expect to find printed silks though. Or if you do find it, let me know!

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2. Vandana, Chandralok, Nepeansea Road, Bombay: I go for gorgeous printed silk/blend which is also super soft, but they do have a lot of other cottons also. Prices are more expensive than anywhere else, but they do have some nice fabrics. I got this beautiful silk for Rs. 700 / metre – I’m not a big fan of the flowery print but it’s just soooooo soft and feels so good. I’m not quite sure how often they get new stuff, but they have great sales every once in a while and you can get some gorgeous embroidered fabrics like this one!

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3. Amarsons / Premsons, Breach Candy, Bombay: I go here purely because it is close to my house. They have the expensive fabrics in the front of the store and in the back, they have basic plain cottons / poly cottons / etc for Rs 60 – Rs 150. Although you can find the same stuff in Crawford for Rs 30 – 100. But you get a wider range here so worth the extra 30 – 50 rupees.

3. The Hab in Bandra for notions: They have fusing – enough said! Weirdly, they are closed on Thursdays. I went all the way from down south to make this fantastic discovery. Anyway, I also went to the one shop in Crawford for notions- K/Colombowala – and it wasn’t great. It was great fun trying to find it though!

4. Honorary Mention: Fabric Warehouse, Glorietta 3? (near National Bookstore) on the 3rd floor, Makati. I love the staff here who are so helpful and answer all of my questions which really helped when I was first starting out. They have a wide range of different types of fabrics all under one roof in the heart of the city. They also carry notions and if you don’t find them here you can go to Carolinas 3 – 4 stores down.

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5. Honorary mention 2: Ahmedabad fabric shops, Arbuda (Satellite) and Anuroop (CG Road) Matching Centres are my favourites. Anuroop has a fantastic range of textiles, but some can be expensive. I got a beautiful floral crepe for Rs. 1175 (ack!). Others that I would visit are Arpit Matching Centre, Sanskruti and Matchiswalla (sp?) for notions. All of the stores except Arbuda are in the CG road area so can be covered in one go.

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