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Thread: Fabric Shops in Kenya

  1. #1
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    Fabric Shops in Kenya

    My husband and my two children at home and I went to Kenya recently. He was teaching a class, so I had some free time.

    My daughter and I walked around one day and I took some pictures of a few small shops where they make clothing. There was a larger fabric store in a mall, but this appears to be how most clothing is made. You walk into the shop and choose the fabric, then they measure you and they make it from the fabric choices they have.

    I asked one lady if I could take a picture of her lady sewing, but she told me I could only take the machine. The shops we went into only had people using treadle machines. One shop had 3 people using "Butterfly" machines--all treadles. The one I got a picture of had a Singer treadle. Interesting.

    Anyway, this is for your educational pleasure!
    Attached Images Attached Images




  2. #2
    Super Member TacoMama's Avatar
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    Very interesting. I wonder why she didn't want her picture made?

  3. #3
    Super Member Lori S's Avatar
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    Thanks for sharing these photo's . Very interesting fabrics, and method of selling clothing.

  4. #4
    Power Poster
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    Very interesting and some very good dress samples. The dark skirt and blouse are lovely as well as the mauve border print with the little jacket.

  5. #5
    Power Poster
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    What some beautiful work.

  6. #6
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    I have no idea why should said I couldn't take the lady working. ?? I didn't ask the shop owner "why not"? I just said "thank you" for allowing to take the machine.

    I was amazed how well they could sew seemingly without patterns. Now many of their things seem to be somewhat simple styles, but still....

  7. #7
    Super Member psychonurse's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing this is so interesting, Beautiful clothes.

  8. #8
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    Very interesting....thanks for sharing!!!

  9. #9
    Super Member sandybuttons's Avatar
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    Thank you for sharing
    Sandy

  10. #10
    Super Member moreland's Avatar
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    When we were in Zimbabwe, the power was off a lot more than it was on, so I was very glad they had a treadle machine for me to sew on--my "mission work" while there was making operating gowns for the doctors to use in surgery. Perhaps that is partly why most machines are treadle in Kenya (I know nothing about the country in particular, so am just guessing.)
    God Bless,
    Rachel

  11. #11
    Senior Member pasolovers's Avatar
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    Very interesting..I never realized they had custom made dresses!!!!
    Dee

    Today is the day the Lord has made..Let us be glad and rejoice in it!!


  12. #12
    Power Poster mighty's Avatar
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    Really interesting. They so beautiful work!

  13. #13
    Super Member justflyingin's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by moreland View Post
    When we were in Zimbabwe, the power was off a lot more than it was on, so I was very glad they had a treadle machine for me to sew on--my "mission work" while there was making operating gowns for the doctors to use in surgery. Perhaps that is partly why most machines are treadle in Kenya (I know nothing about the country in particular, so am just guessing.)
    I suspect you are right. While maybe it isn't "more off than on", it apparently is undependable. Plus, it is cheaper.

  14. #14
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    Beautiful clothing and they look very comfortable. Interesting.
    Pat
    Patsy

  15. #15
    Super Member ruthrings's Avatar
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    African fabrics

    I also went two years ago and admired the fabrics greatly. As you saw in the store, they were mostly abstract or geometric. I was with a friend from our handbell choir. We were on a walk around a lake when this woman walked by wearing a wrapped skirt of handbell fabric!!! I almost fainted. I grabbed my friend's arm, "Amy! Amy! Look! Look!" Then I asked our guide if I could take a picture and he asked her permission first, because they do have some idea of their spirit being taken by a camera. I was also amazed by the amount of plaid I saw Masai women wearing!
    Ruth

  16. #16
    Super Member auntpiggylpn's Avatar
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    Beautiful fabrics! They have the right idea: If you have gorgeous fabrics, it is better to use a more simple pattern as to showcase the fabrics. Did you purchase fabrics when you were there? Were there quilting weight fabrics? I could go on and on with my questions!!!
    No one has ever become poor by giving. - Anne Frank
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  17. #17
    Super Member ChildoftheUniverse's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by TacoMama View Post
    Very interesting. I wonder why she didn't want her picture made?
    Some cultures feel that to take their picture is to take their soul. That may have been the case. Thanks for sharing.
    We are star dust, we are golden!

  18. #18
    Super Member Maria C's Avatar
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    That is so interesting. I would love to go clothes shopping like that. Not so much black clothing everywhere.
    Home is where the heart is, and a few scrappy quilts.

  19. #19
    Super Member northern lass's Avatar
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    Great little sewing shop. People don't like their pictures taken because they think you are capturing their spirit. We had to be very discreet when taking pictures there.

  20. #20
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    Someone told me they do clothes that way in China you go in and pick your fabric for dress or slacks and they make it and their fabric is beautiful silk. The fabric where you are looks very nice also. I wonder if they only make dresses like that for the wealthy people that come in and want a dress or something. I wonder if the treadle machines are due to a electric problem or that they are the ones donated to them and of course they were the machines our ancestors sewed on and made beautiful clothes. Thanks for sharing the pics. Sue

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