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Egyptian cotton & linen

Victoria, Canada
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Egyptian cotton & linen

Is it a good idea to try and buy cotton and linen goods in Cairo?

Are there pit falls to look out for and where does one go in Cairo to find these products.

Not exactly a travel question but if anyone can help, it would be appreciated.

Thanks

Gusser

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Cairo
Cairo
Cairo Governorate, Egypt
ontario
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1. Re: Egyptian cotton & linen

Hi Gusser, I was told that a lot of the better cotton is exported, not saying there is not some to be found here. One of the locals will probably help on this.

I do have a question related tho. I have a friend who teaches and is very involved in quilt making. I was hoping to pick up a few pieces for her, more for interest sake. I would imagine there might be some wonderful patterns, not seen in our fabric stores.

Would the markets be as good a place as any to purchase this? Won't be buying a great deal. A yard or two of something interesting.

Also is there a way to actually know what would be good quality? I have no clue :)

Cairo, Egypt
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2. Re: Egyptian cotton & linen

Hi,Gusser,

you can buy it from the market in Downtown.

Wagih

Liverpool, United...
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3. Re: Egyptian cotton & linen

Sad to say that the best of the cotton is exported, and a lot of the things in the shops are not really good quality and are often rather bright and well according to me in poor taste, but this matches with the local taste (sorry no offense intended).

So it is quite hard to find a shop with towels and linens that match with western tastes, I know a few places in Heliopolis where I live, but even then the choices are limited. The best I can do is to suggest that you look in high glass shopping malls and also in Zamalek area, but cannot give you the name of a specific shop.

About the question for getting material of quilting, this is easier, there are lots of printed cottons with low prices, not that unusual but certainly a lot cheaper that anything you will find in europe or America. The best bet is the markets, but you will have to push the prices down.

I buy cotton matetial for most of my clothes (get everything made) from the material market at Al-Azhar, it is just by the Ghouri complex and is great fun, I love going there. For simple printed cotton you should pay between 7 and 15 LE a meter.

If you have a look at my insider page "Islamic Cairo (Walk 2)" you will find how to get to the material market there.

There is a bigger market along the Nile called Wakilat El Bellah (in the area before the World Trade Center and the Conrad Hotel), you could ask a taxi to take you there, it is a huge market and quite confusing, myself I do not like it really, but it is the area for materials in Cairo, all kinds and qualities, but I much prefer the market at Al Azhar.

As mentioned by Wagih, you will also find material shops in the downtown area so that is worth looking at too, but I enjoy the market environment myself.

Regards

Wendy

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Liverpool, United...
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4. Re: Egyptian cotton & linen

Another thought, it is also called "Kalt El Ballah".

Wendy

ontario
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5. Re: Egyptian cotton & linen

Thanks Wendy.

Appreciate this information.

One question, would it be advisable to take a taxi to the market you suggested?

We are staying at the Mariott and have a morning free to do this? Also how far would this be?

Thank you.

Liverpool, United...
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6. Re: Egyptian cotton & linen

Hello again,

The main material market (new 3rd spelling wekalet el ballah ( a member corrected me by PM)- which means by the way the date maket !!- but is now only for material) is not far at all from your hotel. It is on the other side of the river and a bit to the left. But I suggest that you take a taxi as on your own it would be hard to know that you had arrived at the correct place.

I still prefer the market at Al-Azhar area, smaller and part indoors and outdoors, and the traders are very used to dealing with foreign tourists and people like me !

Anyway which ever place you decide to go to it will be an experience.

Regards

Wendy

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Al-Azhar Park
Al-Azhar Park
806 Reviews
Cairo, Egypt
ontario
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7. Re: Egyptian cotton & linen

Thanks again Wendy.

Looking forward to my material adventure.

United States
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8. Re: Egyptian cotton & linen

Hello...agree with most high quality stuff being exported. I spent alot of time trying to track down cotton fashion and nice towels and honestly the cotton stores mentioned i.e. Mobaco (sp) etc. were just not very fashionable. I would just wander around and if you see something great but don't do as I have and be on a mission to find something because it usually does not work. I found most of the Malls repetitive of each other so a visit to one is pretty typical.

ontario
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9. Re: Egyptian cotton & linen

Gene, thanks for the reminder here...re 'on a mission'. Laffin here. You are so correct. It is my holiday, not shopping expedition.

I did that once on the Big Island of Hawaii. Got to see a lot of it .......never did find that walmart LOL.

United States
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10. Re: Egyptian cotton & linen

Not relevant at all to Cairo but this reminds me of a funny incident...years ago I was traveling with a friend and we were in Mexico City...not I always do all this research and have things I must see etc. and I am madly digging through my papers and saying "we just have to find the zocalo" and as it turns out we were standing in it....sometimes you just have to put away the camera and tour books and experience the place by chance...some of the best finds are not in the books....I still do my research but wander aimlessly alot.

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Cairo
Cairo
Cairo Governorate, Egypt