Thanks to all of your emails indicating interest in sales. Since the African Fabric Sales shop at Yahoo was closed, I’ve been working to get the domain transferred and a shopping cart installed here. Apparently I did things in the wrong order but now it looks like we are on track. Once we are ready, I will start listing fabrics and be ready to roll with sales again. Best Wishes to all of you.
An acquaintance wanted to see what hand-decorated fabrics I still have in inventory so here they are. I also have a few prints, and when the new shopping cart program is installed here I will also list some mudcloth, kuba cloth and some other odds and ends. Thanks for your interest….
Dec 10th, 2012 by Isa2
The cottons are Vlisco fabrics purchased at about $15/yard, on sale here for $20/yard. The damask are also great quality whether Vlisco or not, I do not recall but theyare fabulous quality and purchased at $15/yard on sale for $20/yard.
Are you starting to wonder why my prices are so low and the inventory is so small? It’s all part of a projected revamping of African Fabric Sales in which we intend to sell out the factory made fabrics–the wax, the prints, the damask–and replace them with hand decorated and tribal fabrics. This was the intention when I started buying and selling, but back then–pre-Clinton trade improvements–importing fabrics from West Africa, my annual destination at the time, was nearly impossible between visas and quotas for the fabrics themselves. So bit by bit I began to replace the lovely hand-decorated fabrics with the more accessible and less costly prints.
The unreliability of the quality has been daunting, and now “African” prints are made everywhere, folks, just everywhere–part of that “free” but not FAIR trade effort–and, not to diss the industry, but I’ve lost interest with choosing between prints made in Thailand or China, though were I to continue with prints I could purchase clearly African made fabrics and probably those made in Europe, if I could afford them ($13-$16 wholesale) and generate enough of a clientele to buy them from me.
But no, now I’ve made a connection with a hand-dyeing business in West Africa that make a reliable product and wish to replace the prints and restore my initial intention, so the prints must go to make room for the gorgeous hand-decorated Damasks–the African Batik Fabrics. I’d like to see the prints gone by the end of 2012, so pay attention, as the prices will continue to drop. But so will availability. Bye bye to the kente prints, in with the Indigo. Bye bye to the gold prints, in with the mudcloth and other modern tribal Cloth.
Go African Quilters, go Fashion designers.
Well, folks, enjoy a great 20% discount on all fabrics in the store. Sorry there are not longer lengths in most designs, but I’m not financially able to add to inventory,so must reduce it in order to be able to move ahead.
Shop early shop often.
Do you know this expression? Its origins may be lost deep in the fog of history, or it may not be that remote. The full expressions is West Africa Wins Again. Does it being to make sense now?
In our case here, I was wawa’ed regarding new inventory, specifically INDIGO cloth, a sizable shipment of which I was to be receiving this month, but it was not to be. My friend who winters in West Africa was to have met with her “fixer” in Dakar, but he was hospitalized with bleeding ulcers, unfortunately a not uncommon problem for anxious ambitions but ultimately thwarted youngish married men in Africa who have all the responsibilities of wife and children and few opportunities to support them even in a modest manner.
Then, my friend’s husband was not able to return to the US with them, so even if she had been able to dash into Dakar to see the supplier man, who had saved the fabric for her, she was alone in the airport with 3 children 10 years of age and under, and not enough cash at the time to facilitate the transaction.
So I’m disappointed, yes, but the worst WAWAs happen to the folks who live there and struggle to make ends meet, to keep their hopes and enthusiasm alive in the face of a daily grind of uncertainty. So maybe we’ll get a shipment of fabric later, and maybe not.
Do you know this organization? Elie Schimelman has been conducting entertaining and education tours in Ghana for a significant number of years now. She also has a project where talented artisans from the US teach local children aspects in the arts for enrichment and possible future career options.
“Cross Cultural Collaborative is an educational non-profit that promotes creativity between cultures”.
Information about her non-profit is found at www.culturalcollaborative.org (Sorry, I can’t seem to make this link hot) where you can find a link to purchase wonderful items at her gift shop.
But to get back to the tour ( http://www.culturalcollaborative.org/textiles2012.pdf ) It will take place in July of this year–July 8-21.
As the flier says: “Stay in our guest house across the street from the ocean
Participate in workshops taught by African artisans; Learn: batik – tie & dye – adinkra – kente; Visit galleries – museums – outdoor markets – dealers in
antique textiles – traditional crafts villages and Study the African textile traditions in context of the culture
Our vision is to place people from different life experiences in an environment where they can exchange ideas and find universal connections.”
As a person who has conducted Textile Tours in the Gambia, West Africa, I can assure you that this is a terrific opportunity to learn textile decorating techniques from folks who are “masters” of their trade. And not only do you get hands-on studies, but to do so in the local surroundings provides fertile ground for personal growth you may never have thought possible.
I urge you to check this out–it may be just what you are looking for. Teachers, you may be able to get CEUs for this and I know when I was offering tours, some folks were able to qualify for grants from their own school departments and outside educational foundations, though I am not able to point you in the right direction more than that.
Thanks for your business during our January sale and for the support you have shown. I received orders from many new customers as well as ongoing customers, and many of you encouraged me to continue with the business even if I am not able to add new inventory as frequently as we all might wish.