Friday, 26 August 2011

veritable wax print


So I promised to fill you in on my one concession to becoming a wanky Gap Yah type on my African travels... Wax print fabrics. I'm obsessed. I brought back 26 metres of the stuff, as well as a top, two skirts and two dresses. My suitcase on the way home was literally 90% African print, with the few scruffy clothes I decided to bring home with me shoved in a side pocket. I was genuinely a bit worried I'd get stopped at Customs for being some kind of importer. I feel I must point out, by the way, that the top and one skirt were courtesy of my creepy local dressmaker, who told me he was looking for a wife like me and asked me if I loved him back on our third meeting (and seemed mortally offended when I suggested that we didn't really know each other very well). So I actually didn't get much choice in whether to accept that gift, and the dress was another gift from my crazy, wonderful Senegalese "mother". In other words, I SWEAR I'm not some Gwyneth Paltrow kicking about Byres Road in my boubou, declaring "I AM AFRICAN!"

BUT, as soon as I saw these fabrics I got it into my head that they would be pretty amazing for decorating -- a secret passion of mine... Secret, I suppose, because I can pretty much never afford to indulge it. But at around 85p/metre, I had visions of mismatched cushions and throws galore. My friends, however, really didn't seem to see the appeal. Then, while we were visiting Saint Louis we had the good luck to stumble upon Siki Hotel. It's a tiny hotel in a beautifully restored colonial house owned by an expat Spaniard (the restaurant and tapas bar were excellent). Coming across somewhere that seemed fairly "hip" or stylish in Senegal was just... bizarre, to be honest, but this place was seriously my African decor inspiration, 4realzzz. Natural wood, greys and wax print upholstery, mmmm. Just when my friends had ALMOST made me doubt my (obviously impeccable) taste, too. Anyway, I realise hotel recommendations in Saint Louis du Sénégal are probably of interest to precisely nobody who reads this blog but once it's recorded for posterity that I'm going to make them, I can no longer put off making all the cushion covers/bedspreads/lampshades that are in my head. Logical, yeah? Unfortch this also involves learning to sew (the sewing machine I was bought as a present has only been sitting in my room unused for approximately three years, after all...) which could pose a few problems...


Oh, hey, P.S. did you notice my amazing 'Sacred Heart of Jesus' fabric, with Jesus' face?! Bought in a shop dedicated to religious prints, more or less paradise for a religious tat-lover like myself.


  1. nice print..I've posted my holidays in mauritius why don't you visit my blog? just click my name!!

  2. Gorgeous fabrics! I'd have done the same, I'm a sucker for a good print.

    Although honestly, I would have given the Jesus face fabric a miss ;op

    Penny x