Meet the tailors in Africa

28 Dec
Bata Market

Bata Market

I couldn’t bear to leave Bata without a last little tour to the cloths market… which according to the (one existing) travel book, is one of Bata’s two main attractions… The first one being its nightlife…

I am still looking…

Hence, I’ve turned to the second… And so I did this afternoon. Together with Anne, we went by for a little farewell tour at the Bata attracti(ve) market.

My tailor

My tailor

We stopped at my couture tailor. Exchanged a few words. Admired his embroidery work (they may not know much and may not have a method for finishing cloths, but embroidery, that they know !). Took a picture that I will keep dearly and continued walking around, touching the fabric and trying to immerse myself in this atmosphere I will no longer know as from Friday…

The embroider

The embroider

I wish I could share with you the smells of this market. A mixture of cooked and rotten food and products. Of dust and mud. Sweat and heat… You can literally not walk through that market without transforming yourself into a human sponge… Needless to say, not very sexy and not a first-date spot to choose…

The market is also an African meltingpot. Whole of Africa meets, sells and saws in this little piece of land covered with cheap construction tiles that leave no room for the day light. Guinea. Senegal. Cameroon. Gabon. Congo and other countries are all represented at this market. All the fabric comes from abroad. Mainly from Cameroon as far as my knowledge takes me… The tailors from all over. The “Prête à Porter” clothing, I’d guess mainly from China…

What I really like here are the colors… All these colorful patterns. Round shapes and lines. Bright colors or pastel. Metres and metres of fabric lining up and ready to be cut and shaped.

It’s like walking into an art gallery…


One Response to “Meet the tailors in Africa”

  1. ima December 29, 2010 at 9:46 AM #

    A true fashionista! Even in deep dark Africa!
    When you’ll miss this other form of art gallery, which is exactly what I thought seeing the little boutiques of cloth in Chateau Rouge district in Paris, we’ll go there for a visit. Not the same atmosphere, but colourful, alive and very ‘dépaysant’.

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