I thought you might like to see what a typical fabric shopping trip looks like here in Libreville. It's a great way to spend a couple of hours!! I often go to a neighborhood called "Petit Paris" and look at African fabrics in one or two (or more) of the small shops there. The typical shopper is buying fabric to have clothing made, so the shops sell fabric in six yard chunks. This is more than I'd normally buy for a project, but since I have a group of friends here who are also interested in making quilts from African prints, we trade amongst ourselves, and end up with a slection of one-yard lengths to play with.
So here's a dashboard photo of the street along the way.....don't worry, a friend is driving! And a couple of photos of the fabrics stacked floor to ceiling in the shop. What a great riot of color! It's so hard to choose just a couple of pieces and leave the rest there----they might be gone next time we come shopping! It's true I tend to want to buy everything, but I do manage to leave some of the fabric there for the next person, or the next shopping expedition. :)
I've also included here a photo of some of the signs marking the fabrics that have been chosen as the group fabric for people's weddings or anniversary celebrations. The tradition here and in several other parts of Africa is that invited guests can come to the fabric shop and see which print the bride and groom or the anniversary couple have chosen for all the guests to wear. The guests then buy the fabric and have clothing made out of it, and everyone at the celebration has an outfit that matches! It's a great custom, and makes everyone invited feel part of the event. It also makes for great group photos!