Buying fabric in Amritsar, Punjab

This is a pretty short post because whilst Amritsar is full of fabric I only went to one shop.  I had to go alone as Mark was working all day, and I had to pass the time somehow, right? I finished up going to a shop that was recommended by the hotel, and this was probably my first mistake. There are hundreds of fabric stalls in the bazaars, and the shop I went to is in the Hall Bazaar near the Gandhi Gate. It is called Katra jail Singh and their fabric is stunning, but pricey.

But first, I had to take my shoes off and then sit on a white covered foam pad. The floor of the whole shop is covered in this. IMG_1437

Notice that the seller got a cushion for his back? I didn’t. Two assistants then start bringing fabric off the shelves and before long I was literally up to my chest in fabric. Here is a photo about half way through the process whilst I was still enjoying myself!IMG_1438

I can see the seller’s hand already entreating me to buy. Fabric is sold by the piece not the yard, and each piece tends to be 2.5 to 3 yards long and 44″ wide.

My second mistake was finding six pieces of fabric that I quite liked and then reducing to three. I should not have owned up to the six. I should have shortlisted three and chosen one because I would have avoided the whole “if you buy all six, we will give you this special price” malarky and I might have got the special price for the three pieces instead of glum and sulky looks. Talk about pressure. I was their first customer of the day (at  2.30 in the afternoon), I would never get this quality fabric as cheap again, etc, etc. Anyway, my mind hovered over my stash at home so I stuck to my guns. I bought two pieces of silk and one piece of cotton, keeping in mind that I want to hit the fabric shops in Mumbai when I will be looked after Mark’s colleague’s mother, whilst Mark and Krishna (the colleague) go to work. Seems fair to me. I also will feel more comfortable having a woman with me who knows the language and who can protect me a bit. I also will not have to face the domestic baggage allowance of 15kg (upgraded to 18kg) as we will be on the last leg in India.

I can’t take photos of the fabric I bought as Mark has squirrelled it away in his suitcase and is now working, so I can’t ask him for it. Later!

The Hall Bazaar is very close to the Golden Temple and Gandhi’s Gate. I won’t go into the politics of this spot, but if you’ve ever seen the film “Gandhi”, you may recognise it.IMG_1441

Driving through Amritsar (and indeed anywhere in India) is a source of constant entertainment. I cannot describe the noise and the sheer mass of humanity and industry. It’s been 40 years since my last trip to India and quite a bit has changed. The new Prime Minister seems to be transforming the place and there seems to be an atmosphere of hope, progress and prosperity, although there is still a lot of poverty as well.

My last photo is just a random one, but it appealed to me. Bananas are cheap here and I was stunned with this horse-drawn load. Animals are still used extensively as beasts of burden but they seem to be well cared for. IMG_1454

In this post I am wearing my new yellow jeans (using the bespoke pattern) and a Scout tee. Both are really comfortable travel wear. The t-shirt is light enough to wash and dry easily when travelling so I can get a few wears from it.


18 thoughts on “Buying fabric in Amritsar, Punjab

  1. OMG! Sue you look like the kid in the candy shop looking at all that fabric – hope you have some space in your bag. India looks fun maybe you will have to do a return visit!!! Looking at you makes retirement look lots of fun!xx

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Were you alone for shopping there? If so, you probably paid much more than locals do. Personnaly, I hate bargaining – I’m hopeless at this game – and I admire you for resisting the pressure. Now, I can’t wait to see what you’ve picked! And please keep on posting pictures of the busy city life as they are awesome!

    Liked by 1 person

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