“Don’t be into trends. Don’t make fashion own you, but you decide what you are, what you want to express by the way you dress and the way to live.” —Gianni Versace
The textile industry is ranked to be the first in the manufacturing industry in Nigeria. Woven textiles are the very fabric of Nigerian history and culture. There are varieties of fabrics in Nigeria due to the diverse ethnic groups and culture we have. The kind of fabric we put on during a traditional event has a lot to tell about what culture or tribe you represent.
In the 1970s, textiles were produced in Nigeria not only for domestic consumption but for exportation throughout West Africa. At the time, we produced 50% of all of West Africa’s textiles and was the 2nd largest producer in Africa. The textile industry in the 1980s was the largest private employer in Nigeria and the 2nd biggest employer after the government.
Arts and craft have always been a part of our culture. Like the Yoruba tribe who makes fabric designs from the tie and dye process popularly taught in Primary education today under arts and crafts.
Fabric is very important when it comes to sewing. You cannot learn how to sew or take lessons on sewing without using fabrics. Sometimes the cost of making a dress can be more expensive and time-consuming than buying at a shop. However, making something yourself can be very fulfilling because you are in control of the outcome and fitting. There is so much joy when you can personalize an outfit to tailor your immediate desire.
You cannot learn how to sew without fabrics so getting good quality ones at an affordable price is very important. Fabric is a necessary sewing supply hence the reason for getting them at cheap prices during the learning process.
''The big difference between couture and ready to wear not design. It is the fabrics, the handwork, and the fittings. The act of creation is the same.'' - Yves Saint Laurent
Sew Cheaply By Recycling Fabrics And Conducting A Proper Research
You have to set aside a budget to get all your necessary sewing supplies and equipment such as:
- Tape rule
- Pins and Pincushion
- Seam rippers
- Tailor's chalk
- Different colours of thread
- Different types of needles
- Tracing wheel
- Paper Tapes and so on
Note also that the sewing machine also is very important in the garment construction and learning process. Without it, nothing can be made.
A lot of money goes into learning how to sew and that is why getting cheap fabrics with good quality is advisable.
One way of getting cheap fabrics is by buying thrift clothing and converting them to your desired style.
Don't Compromise Quality
You can always buy cheap fabrics with good quality instead of buying fabrics that their quality is inferior. Buying Cheap fabrics is a way of saving money and shouldn't be a way of altering the quality of what you desire to sew.
Buying an inferior fabric can spoil your work and you may end up spending more because you would have to discard the outfit and buy another fabric. Buying good materials and linens for garments has a way of making your work neat and sewing experience fun too.
One way of buying good fabrics at cheap prices is by looking out for vendors online who are doing sales. Sales period is usually done during the festive periods like Easter, Christmas, Valentine and the likes. Just because the quality is good, doesn't necessarily mean you have to pay the full price. Just buy all you will need down during discounted periods.
Some fashion designers in Nigeria usually organise sewing workshops/seminars and during these workshops, some fabric vendors are invited to showcase their fabrics. One of the pecks of these workshops is buying fabrics and other sewing supplies at discounted prices. The vendors are usually advised to subsidize their prices for the workshop. Also, contacts to source cheap fabrics are usually discussed during such workshop.
If you don't go to a sewing workshop, you should think of start doing so. Not only would you be improving and advancing your sewing knowledge, but you would also be getting good fabrics and sewing supplies at cheap prices.
Another way of getting fabrics is by going to some tailors to ask for the pieces they have left from sewing. You could be buying this from them if what you will be sewing wouldn't need a lot of material. It is even more interesting if your project doesn't require too much fabric or what you want to sew would be needing a combination of different fabrics or prints.
Using old fabrics and materials in the house
Why don't you convert that clothing you have not worn in a long time instead of discarding it. One way of sewing cheaply is by turning some of your old clothing into a new design.
- If you have a scarf material you like, you can turn it into a nice blouse or crop top.
- Convert that beautiful pillowcase into a nice project
- Reuse that old silk or cotton sheet to sew a nice garment for your project
- You can turn that Aso-Ebi wrapper into a beautiful garment. In Nigeria, Aso-Ebi is something your mum, aunty or friend must have sewn into a wrapper and blouse. Go get those old ones from them if you don't have any.
- Turn that tight or free outfit you like so much into a beautiful creation instead of throwing it away.
Look out for those prints or designs you love in an old outfit, cut it and add it to your project. Sewing is fun and so keep exploring your options.
While you must have bought some nice fabrics at some discounted prices, remember to always keep those scraps that you cut away while sewing.
You can use these scraps by sewing them into larger cloths, patchwork style or even small craft projects. These scarps can make unique and love designs and patterns on your project. This is a way of finding cheap materials to use.
All these will help your sewing classes to be budget-friendly and exciting.
There are so many vendors and websites who are into selling fabrics and sewing supplies online.
Where To Get Cheap Fabrics In Nigeria
There are a lot of places to get beautiful fabrics in Nigeria both online and offline. You can get lovely fabrics in malls, shops and market places. There are specific places known for some types of fabrics, so knowing what you will need for your sewing project will help narrow down your search. There are a lot of different types of fabrics out there like:
- Organza and so on
Here are some few places listed you can sort out for cheap fabrics in Nigeria.
Instagram is now a fast-growing community where a lot of online buying and selling takes place in Nigeria. You can source cheap fabrics using this platform. The good things about Instagram are that once you search for something automatically it brings up similar vendors selling the same thing you searched for. With this, you can always compare prices and choose the fabric that meets your budget.
A lot of ads are being done on Facebook, so you can use this avenue to sort out fabrics depending on your location in Nigeria. You can even order from another state and it will be delivered to your doorstep.
Fabric Ng is a good online platform to buy cheap fabrics. They sell all sorts of materials at an affordable rate. You can register with them to get discount codes and also to have information on when their sales will take place. You will see pictures and the prices for each fabric and the good thing is that they deliver at any state in Nigeria.
This is another online store where you can get fabrics like lace, Atiku and Ankara. You can browse through their website to any of these fabrics that will match your sewing project.
You can get fabrics in Lagos state at markets like Tejuosho, Oshodi and Lagos Island. They have sections dedicated to solely the sales of fabrics. You can tour around, compare prices and buy the cheapest fabric with a good quality that meets your budget. The contact information of some of these sellers can even be gotten, so they can alert you when they have new fabric designs. They can always go back to pick up or they ship it to you after communication with them.
Market places you can get fabrics in other states in Nigeria are:
- The popular Aba market in Abia state.
- Wuse Modern and Garki international market in Abuja
- Onisha main market in Anambra state
- Ultra Modern market in Portharcourt, Rivers state
- Adire mall in Abeokuta, Ogun state
- J fabric, Lagos Street, Kakuri 810222, Kaduna and so on
Other online platforms
You can search for fabrics according to the exact type you need by searching some popular online platforms in Nigeria like Jiji, Jumia and Konga.
When it comes to purchasing fabrics online, you can search, compare prices, choose designs and communicate with vendors without leaving your couch. All you will need to do is, to get the right needle for the fabric and the necessary sewing supplies you will need for your project.
You can learn how to sew by take sewing lessons on Superprof.