Fabric Shopping in Nairobi, Kenya
Below is a list of fabric and notion suppliers in Nairobi and their contact information, along with my personal commentary about what you might expect to find in each shop.
If you are planning a trip to Kenya, if you will have a little time on your hands for shopping, and if unusual African and Indian fabrics and sewing notions are high on your list of desirable acquisitions, this page is for you!
Or, if you live in Kenya, you are tired of fighting traffic to find what you seek, and you want to know the best places to find fabrics, notions, tools, equipment and supplies for patchwork quilting or any other kind of needlework quickly, this page is for you, too!
What I know about where to find what is on this page.
Please do not contact me
to ask where to find fleece fabric, upholstery fabrics, bridal fabrics or anything else.
Instead, contact the shops listed below and find answers for yourself.
Fabrics for patchwork quiliting and personal sewing can be found in many places about the city, but primarily they are now housed in large shopping malls or in certain areas like Eastleigh and River Road (ask your taxi driver!). Small notions and fabric shops can be found in a host of neighbourhoods.
Shops listed here are ones my readers or I know and have visited personally. Other, more traditional listings can be found in the Nairobi Yellow Pages Directory (not online) under the headings Fabrics, Textile Merchants, Threads and Yarns, and Haberdashery Supplies.
In Kenya, buildings have a ground floor and the first floor is one flight up from ground level. No mail is delivered to street addresses. Mail goes to P.O. Boxes in local Kenya Posta buildings or rooms. P.O. Boxes are of no help to find the shop in question. Street addresses often involve the name of a building, like Government House, SafariCom House and Old Mutual House. Finding out where the Houses are can be tricky. Nairobi is a city on the move, so it is best to ring for directions and open hours (some shops still close for lunch and weekends), and check online maps before you go.
For your personal safety, visit only those shops with off-street parking or on-street parking with security guards. Hours vary; it is best to call ahead. Email in Kenya is still erratic, and you cannot expect a reply from anyone via email.
Many of the shops are family-owned businesses, where reputation and pride of service to customers rank high. If you visit any of these places, please tell the shopkeepers about how you learned of them, mention my name and refer them to this site.
Check back often, as this page is never static! As I visit different shops, gain additional insights, discover new places or see that old favorites have closed, I continually update the information below. The experiences of friends and fellow quilters are added as they become available.
If you visit any fabric or notions supply shop in Nairobi that is not mentioned here, please contact me with details and a brief report of your experience. Help me keep this page a special living resource for anyone shopping for fabrics, sewing notions and embellishments in Nairobi. Thanks!