Crawford Market is one of those iconic places in Mumbai. You can buy anything here from fresh veggies to precious jewellery. There are several different sections to the market that stretches out over several blocks, with different regions each specialising in specific products.
Starting at the fruit and vegetable market, a grand old building…
we wandered down one of the streets and headed into the chaos. Our mission for the day was to search for fabric. Initially we found jewellery, paper, home-wares and just about everything else you could think of. After a few blocks we started noticing a few fabric shops and then entered a narrow laneway, crowded with small fabric stalls. At the end it opened up into a large undercover bazaar crammed with row after row of fabric stalls.
The photo just doesn’t do the space or atmosphere justice. Everywhere you looked there was just rows of fabric. Each stall had its specialisation, from glittery fabric to silks to cottons to salwar chemise suits ready to be made up. The choice was mind-boggling and quite overwhelming. Just finding a spot to take it all in and try and look at everything was hard. When a shopkeeper noticed that we were looking but were perhaps a little bit lost, soon rolls of fabric were being rolled out in front of us to choose from. Whilst this is a wholesale market, there are still plenty who are happy to sell small amounts retail. It really does need to be experienced to be believed.
What amazed me the most was the choice. We went into a small shop that sold borders or edgings. To get an idea of just how much choice there was, this was about a quarter of the store.
It took us at least an hour to choose the colours and patterns we wanted. Innocently I asked for a couple of metres of one roll and the store attendant just looked at me like I was an idiot. They didn’t sell by the metre, you have to buy the whole roll. So now I have some fantastic copper coloured ribbon… let me know if you need a metre or 5!