I wanted to give you a little window into some of my adventures when I go fabric shopping. When looking for African wax print (known locally in West Africa as ‘Ankara’) there is no better place to start than in Lagos Island, Lagos, Nigeria.
Among other things, this market serves as one of the largest wholesale markets in West Africa, not just for fabric but for pretty much anything under the sun. People come from all of the country and further afield to buy groceries, clothing, haberdashery items, household goods, baby products, cosmetics, wedding decorations supplies and a whole lot more.
For a first timer, one could be forgiven for being overwhelmed by the hustle and bustle, noise and crowds of the market. I have been going to this market since I was a child when I would go with my mother or grandmother and I have come to learn that there is certainly method to the madness and quite an intricate system to what seems initially chaotic.
The large market is divided into sections and each section specialises in a particular product. For example, there is an area called ‘Tom Jones’ (nope, not the welsh crooner!) which is where the haberdashery specialists are and where you can find scissors, thread, yarn, interfacing etc.
I shuttle between this area and the Ankara print section and sometimes brave the sun to go deeper into the market along Balogun street itself where you will find the gorgeous treasures of Aso-oke!
Some of the other sections are known as: Ebute Ero, Apogbon Wine, Oke-Arin, Idumota, Dosunmu, Idumagbo, Jankara, Balogun, Oluwole, Madilas and Sangrouse.
I will be sure to take more pictures when next I pay a visit. Till then!
You can buy some of the fabric finds right here: www.urbanstax.com/shop