We are in a tricky in-between size for getting fabric: the export, good quality wholesale textile factories want you to buy thousands of metres, which is way too much for us; but the good quality retail shops rarely have more than 20 or so metres.
And we want hundreds.
So Our Girl in Bandung has gone around looking for us, to see what she could find. What she found were all these tiny warehouses with rolls and rolls of fabric squashed on top of each other and all over the floor. Each warehouse tends to specialize in one or two types of fabric, though they don’t always know the composition of the fabric: they seem surprised that you want to know.
After traipsing around for a few days, in and out of side streets and alleyways, we found some fabric that I thought we could use; however, they sell it by the kilo, and you have to buy a whole roll, which is usually about 25 kilos. I needed to find out approximately how many metres to a kilo, and figure out how much I would need per garment.
When we walked out of the warehouse it was raining, and a man with umbrellas was there waiting for us. For a few cents, he walked us to our car so that we wouldn’t get wet.
On the way back to the hotel, at heavy intersections there would be a man directing traffic. For a few cents, which our driver would hand out the window, he would hold up the crazy oncoming traffic for us.