Sunday, December 9, 2012

Textile Heaven, and Douala

Greetings from Douala, Cameroon!

Remember when I posted pictures of new fabrics I bought a few days ago? I bought more! This time I was very focused on buying fabrics with teal and other shades of blue. Actually, it was quite comical how I purchased them. My flight from Abidjan to Douala had a layover in Lomé, Togo... a country known for its fabrics. (Although honestly, you can find fabrics from all these West African countries at the markets, but maybe the prices vary.) I walked off the plane with my fellow transit passengers, and everyone literally descended on these fabric vendors inside the airport. There were probably 30 people, men and women alike, eager to buy fabrics for their families, for themselves, as gifts. I loved how the men were so into it! I couldn't really get close enough to make a proper choice (and it takes me time to choose, unlike some local people who point and choose in a matter of seconds!), so I waited until the stand cleared out and bought three new fabrics that feature blue/teal. Exciting!

Again, I don't know if the colors in these pictures do the textiles justice, but I did my very best.

The fabric on the left was printed in Holland and I got it on sale. Its unlike anything I've purchased before -- I think it is a print more popular in Ghana (kente?). I'm really excited for the variety. The blue fabric to the right came with it and matches the small blue patches.

The third fabric from the left was a bit of an impulse buy because the pattern is quite bold and... extraterrestrial ? But I love it! And that lighter blue is actually a lot greener in person. I think it will add a really fun pop to my assortment of pillows. And the last fabric is Woodin (a Ghanian/Pan african brand), like the light pink fabric I bought in RCI. I like the teal and natural tone combination and I think it will be a nice calmer fabric to balance out the collection.

Here they all are together!

Alllll of the fabrics....

Remember this? How did I do? 

... And my favorite fabrics.

Now I think I need one more coral fabric. Or better yet, a coral and teal fabric. My plan is to go for a Malian batik fabric. These fabrics are thin, papery, almost translucent and dyed beautifully. It is a different aesthetic and will be fun to add to the mix!

On a different note, I'm staying in a beautiful guest house here in Douala. I cannot believe I am in what I thought was an industrial hell-hole of a city! I ate breakfast on the veranda outside my room this morning:

Not too shabby... 

But lets not forget, it is swelteringly humid!

The river to the right. The columns give it a colonial feel.

I am going to try and do some work now, although it would be very easy to spend all Sunday lounging about, envisioning my new design scheme! (And watching French E! which is comical/annoying because it dubs over the English and I find myself listening to both languages and ending up very confused!)

PS. What should I buy at the tourist market?!? (See previous post :)


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