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We are having ongoing and as yet unresolved problems with SHOPP:  the Inventory gallery Shopping cart here.  We’ve filed a support ticket with the product owners and hope to be back on track soon.  If the problem cannot be resolved, we will go to plan B wherein I will make a gallery of products and ask you to make payments directly with Paypal.

Undoubtedly Indigo

I wanted to post this article that began this blog once again….and again I thank my friend Rick, who has gone to join the ancestors, for his help in setting up this blog and for all his encouragement and for his right-on polilitics….

“….So have you ever smelled indigo-dyed fabric?  It has a funky earthy smell that indigo lovers inhale for the pleasure of it.  Try it and let me know what you think.

When I sell true indigo-dyed fabric, I sometimes think I  sound like a broken record when I remind folks, time and again, that indigo-dyed fabric is not like other fabrics dyed with “fast” or non-running colorants. But really, I want you to be happy with your purchase so you have to know that the dye runs like crazy at first.  


Traditional organic Indigo dye, which used to be the norm in African Indigo cloth, will always run for the first 6-8 washings–most heavily at first, and then less and less as the excess dye is washed out. Thus, it is not colorfast until all the excess dye has washed out. Some people swear by washing the cloth with salt or vinegar to help to set the dye. Some people like to add special products such as Synthropol or Retayne to the wash cycle. These products keep the dye in suspension in the water so that it does not re-attach to the fibers before the water runs out. With no additional products, my experience is that usually half a dozen rinses in the washer does a pretty good job of washing out the extra dye. Check the water, if it’s still blue, the extra dye is still coming out. One customer has suggested that you dampen a corner of the cloth and iron it between two paper towers. If the paper towel has blue on it, you need to wash the cloth again.

Until you no longer see blue on the paper towel or in the water, I strongly recommend that you exercise caution in wearing an indigo dyed garment with other light colored clothing or when you are sitting on your white leather couch, or are mixing the cloth into other projects, particularly with light colored cloth. The color of the dye retains its vivid color, and is not diminished by washing unless you are also repeatedly subjecting the cloth to the bleaching effects of the sun, in which case the color will fade agreeably over time always yielding a pleasing color.

Due to the labor intensive nature of making indigo dye-baths from natural materials, and the fact that natural dyed cloth cannot be sold in Africa for more money than cloth dyed with industrial materials, much contemporary indigo dyed cloth is colored with a mixture of colorfast manufactured dye and the traditional dye. Thus the benefits of both means of dyeing can be achieved in a manner that serves the economical needs of the artisans….

Did You Notice?

I am pleased to announce that there is a new page here called SHOP, and yes, it is a place for you to see the inventory currently available for purchase.

None of the fabric that appears in photographs elsewhere at this site is available for sale at this time.  I will be adding more items as time and budget permit, and welcome your comments, questions and suggestions.






I now have the new showroom for sales in the works, setting up the categories and products as well as the pesky issues such as shipping & payments.  Finally.   Also, I am awaiting the arrival of a carton of True Indigo fabric from Senegal.  Exciting. Dyed by hand on cotton bazin, also known as damask, these fabrics make a fashion statement all on their own, whether hung on the wall for home decor or fabricated into lovely garments.  A traditional material among many peoples in West Africa, this cloth originates in Guinea and is found in tied & dyed designs as well as wax resist (batik) patterns.

Show Room Coming Soon

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.

African Batik Fabrics

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….

Seersucker prints

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.


Looking for some great     bargains for your Africa inspired sewing or quilting projects?  Our fabrics are being sold at at a 20% discount until the end of the year!!  Stock up now on yardage and fat quarters and cut loose in your sewing studio.

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