If you haven’t been to the Grand Marché in Bamako, it’s hard to describe the chaos and magic that is hidden in the twisting canopies of faded umbrellas. Makeshift rows lined with stalls made of tin and wood crouch in as literally hundreds of people try to make their way to peruse, to buy, to barter, and to sell. Hidden in its depths hides the fabric market.
Malians prize their fabrics – particularly Bazan a hand-dyed fabric often with intricate design that is covered in wax to make the material shiny (and hot!). The fabric market in Bamako has literally THOUSANDS of designs, and colours, and shapes, and sizes to pick from. As we weaved through the crowds of people we found this one particular shop that had so many fabrics that caught my eye.
Saidou Sow’s shop is topped with a sign for an Islamic bookstore but inside holds more mystery than just koran and books in Arabic. There are hundreds of choices of materials and a kind and patient man who understands french and will give you good prices for everything your heart wishes.
To get here you have to head to the Grand Mosque. Just before the Mosque you will see a Malitel building. Take your first right there and you should see a “Bazan Riche” sign you take that hallway to the left and the fabric world is your oyster!